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Lafayette
Insert inappropriate noise.

Let’s cut to the chase: We’re suckers for a lavish (alright, gluttonous) night out. And Lafayette is prime for just that.

The much-hyped new spot from Andrew Carmellini (the guy behind the Dutch and Locanda Verde) is an absolute Francophile’s dream--from the pommes frites to the foie gras and all the tartines in between.

Before you envision romantic dinners for two, know this: It’s bustling, cavernous and grand…everything you could want for a large group get-together. (Wishing a friend a joyeux anniversaire means the meal ends with a macaron-covered, conical-shaped, sparkler-topped explosion.)

Our advice: Start with a slew of the petit starters. The deviled eggs (um, with smoked trout) are to die for, and the house pâté comes with its very own jar of mustard--a total crowd-pleaser. Continue with larger dishes for the table, like the tangy spaghetti niçoise, the unbelievably tender duck au poivre and the refreshing fleur de soleil (which is really just spring in your mouth).

Even if you’re too stuffed for a round of buttery apple tartes (though they’re magical), don’t leave without hitting up the drool-inducing bakery case. Morning-after éclairs are the ideal reminder of a night well spent.

380 Lafayette St. (at Great Jones St.); 212-533-3000 or lafayetteny.com

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