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Saturday, January 20th, 2007 | All Things, Eats, Friends

Oh, MePa… how you once drew me. But no longer.

This once-cool, gritty Manhattan industrial neighborhood — ruined, ruined! There was a time when underground clubs shared the warehouse-lined streets with bloody-aproned butchers and long-legged transvestite prostitutes, but those eventually ceded way to hipper-than-thou hotels, trendy restaurants and wispy fashionistas tottering around the cobblestones on their Christian Louboutin stilettos. Not to mention the cheesy, overplucked, overglittered tourists that descend en masse Thursday through Sunday nights. The void remains. What’s left?

Florent — the stalwart beacon of pink neon on Gansevoort, from which the last of the packing plants have all but disappeared. Owner Florent Morellet opened the small bistro in an American diner space back in August 1985, which makes Florent older than the average club kid.¬† This late-night haunt, above which the original vintage diner signage¬†still hangs, planted its roots long before the district was ready for prime time. Though the clientele has shifted over the years — in 2003, Morellet began employing a late-night doorman to screen out the most drunken customers — the place remains for the most part, unchanged. And among the trendsetters, i-bankers and fashion editors, you’ll still spy the occasional drag queen scarfing down omelettes, burgers, lentil salads, steak frites, mussels and escargots at all hours of the night.

The place is not without its quirks, but after abandoning the too-chaotic birthday party at G2, it seemed the perfect place to wind down our night. We hit before the post-last call rush and had the dimly-lit eatery mostly to ourselves. Since it was after midnight, we were able to order a round of grilled cheese sandwiches. The buttery, cheddary goodness and hot, crispy fries served as the ideal accompaniment to our musings on the vagaries of love.

Florent

Florent

There are 2 Comments ... Say cheese

Qsoz
January 31, 2007

I miss Rhone.

vipnyc
February 1, 2007

So do we all.

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