65 St. Marks Place
New York, NY 10003
Hours: Mon-Thu, Sun 11a-12mid, Fri-Sat 11a-1a
Subway: 6 to Astor Pl | N,R to 8th St
Written by: Heather McCown
Jules Bistro is nestled in the heart of the East Village. For 15 years it has been home to nightly jazz and delicious French cuisine, in a restaurant-style setting.
Jules is part of the Forgeois family of restaurants (others including, Bar Tabac and Cafe Noir), offers frog legs, duck and veal, with the requisite salade Niçoise and steak frites. Don’t be fooled by the excellent dishes; this is a neighborhood spot with a laid-back atmosphere. The white stucco walls contrast with the dark wood of the bar and exposed beam floors, all of which are enhanced by the festive candlelight. Established in 1993, this spot is a haven for those looking for good food, camaraderie and excellent jazz music.
This is also a musician’s joint where acts are scheduled months in advance. Jules paints the palate with a comfortable ambiance of warmth and appreciative patrons, while the musicians provide a complement of rich tones and lilting melodies. “The musician’s get to control the sound of the room,” states bass player Pat Ryan, as the instruments are acoustic or enhanced by small amplifiers. Jerome, one of Jules’ bartenders states, “We try to keep the music at a comfortable level where everyone can talk at the bar or tables,” which are placed within feet of the musicians.
On any particular evening, patrons delight in the excellent music; including, the gypsy swing sounds of the band, Lower East Side Hot Club. Each note seems to playfully mingle with the aromas of food and warm conversation. During interludes, Jerome shaves a delicate morsel of Tête de Moins cheese for those seated at the bar. Jules feels comfortable alone, or with a group. The venue provides a delicious combination of food and drink that is only enhanced by the artistry of the musicians.