When it comes to food and fashion, we think it's safe to say that the French have got it on lock. Nowhere has that been more apparent to us recently than at Plein Sud , a classic French-inspired brasserie located in the super chic Smyth Hotel in Tribeca (yep, just a hop, skip, and a jump from chez nous). You'll instantly feel more Euro as you waltz into the rustic yet oh-so-sophisticated dining room, with its high, weather-worn-looking wooden ceilings, intimate booths, and sweeping bar. Executive Chef Ed Cotton, who starred in Bravo's reality series (and one of our secret obsessions) Top Chef, puts his own spin on French classics like Bavette Grillée (grilled skirt steak with watercress and red wine jus). If you're really famished (and brought a bib), try the Burger Royale au Fromage, a Pat LaFrieda creation stuffed —yes, stuffed—with cheese and slathered in black truffle aïoli.
For the whole perfect outfit part, we're reccing you channel your inner Parisian. This look will go from the office 'til way late: A flared blazer that will accentuate the waistline in a good way, a Breton-striped shirt that screams St. Tropez, classic jeans (A.P.C., duh cinched with a flash of red leather, and knee-high, authentic black leather riding boots, just to give you some equestrian cred. Finish it all off with a dash of bright red lipstick. Instant gamine—no Carey Mulligan-esque microcut required.
Oh, and after you've been properly satiated, slip off the blazer, re-apply that lipstick, and head downstairs to the newly opened Toro Lounge, a dramatic bullfighting-themed lounge, to sip inventive and totally delish cocktails while the DJ spins soul and vibrant beats. Spain's not so far from France, after-all.
Clockwise from top left: 3.1 Phillip Lim Fringe Fitted Blazer, $650, available at Barneys New York, 660 Madison Avenue (at East 61st Street); 212-826-8900; M.A.C Lipstick in M.A.C Red, $14.50, available at MAC Cosmetics, 113 Spring Street (between Mercer and Greene streets); 212-334-4641; Zara Leather Belt, $39.90, available at Zara, 580 Broadway (between West Houston and Prince streets); 212-343-1725; A.P.C. Petit Standard Jeans, $175, available at A.P.C., 131 Mercer Street (between Prince and Spring streets); 212-966-9685; Vince Breton Stripe Dolman Tee, $95, available at Vince, 833 Washington Street (at Little West 12th Street); 212-924-0370; Ariat Ladies Heritage II Zip Field Boot; $245, available at Manhattan Saddlery, 117 East 24th Street (between Park and Lexington avenues); 212-673-1400.
Plein Sud & Toro Lounge, 85 West Broadway (at Chambers Street); 212-204-5555.