I've been going to Cafe Luxembourg since Keith McNally opened it... a long time ago. The business, along with the Odeon now belongs to his ex-wife Lynn Wagenknecht. It's still a great place for the basics, like French onion soup, (a Patti favorite when its done right). The steak frites, their "Luxemburger," and their tuna burger are all tasty. Not to forget minted peas, a personal favorite. We don't go there expecting fine art just a good meal in comfortable surroundings.
None of Keith McNally's establishments aren't original creations. It is his interpretation of European classics that makes them special. Luxembourg while calling itself a bistro is actually a riff on a brasserie. The New Oxford Dictionary defines a brasserie as “a type of restaurant with a relaxed, upscale setting, which serves single dishes and other meals. A brasserie can be expected to have professional service, printed menus, and, traditionally, white linen (unlike a bistro which may have none of these). Typically, a brasserie is open every day of the week and serves the same menu all day.”
While Cafe Luxembourg is based on a European classic it is, never the less, very "New York" in its way. Nothing finishes off a long stroll in Central Park like a warm meal and warm company at the bar.
Sometimes the well worn path is the best way home.