Great French chef Alain Ducasse visited New York this month just as Nicolas Sarkozy called Barack Obama’s receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize evidence of “the return of America to the hearts of the peoples of the world.” The moment fit nicely with our mission, which was to have Ducasse judge something from France that Americans have adopted deep in their hearts: the French fry. We took Ducasse on a tour of some of Manhattan's most respected potato artisans: Balthazar, Blue Ribbon Bakery, Les Halles, Pommes Frites, the Harrison, Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries, Café Bruxelles, the Breslin, and McDonald's. Ducasse rated the fries on a ten-point system for taste, five for texture, and five awarded at his discretion. “There are lots of varieties of fried potatoes in France,” says Ducasse. What we simply call “pommes frites” might actually refer to pommes Pont-Neuf (thick-cut fries), pommes allumettes (matchstick), or pommes pailles (shoestring). But Ducasse treasures character in cooking above all else — and a crisp golden exterior helps, too. Click through the slideshow to see whose fries are hot in the oil of competition.
Most Viewed Stories
City Kitchen Is the Massive New Food Hall That Times Square Has Been Waiting For
Chef Shames ‘Insulting,’ ‘Entitled’ Customers on Instagram After They Threaten Nasty Yelp Reviews
Nutella Bans Lesbian, Jewish, and Lots of Other Words From Its Personalized Jars
It’s Free Pancake Day at IHOP! Freak Out!
Why NYC’s Most Acclaimed New Omakase Menu Ends With Surprise Apple Pie
LES Whynot Coffee Moving to Smaller Space Nearby, Making Way For Sushi RestaurantAll closings »
Search by name
Or, search by
Stories Elsewhere You Might Like
This Grapefruit-Tequila Cocktail Will Transport You Straight to Summer
These Photos Will Brighten Your Afternoon
What is Bagna Càuda?
Cauliflower Couscous Will Become Your Go-To Summer "Grain"
powered by PubExchange
Latest News on Grub StreetYou’ll Almost Definitely Be Able to Order Fast Food With Your Apple Watch
Those health-monitoring features are going to come in extra handy.Blenheim and Chef Ryan Tate Part Ways
The restaurant is on its third chef in less than a year.What You Need to Know About Washington’s Powerful, Vastly Influential Pizza Lobby
Pizza companies love Republicans!McDonald’s Will Ask SXSW Attendees to Please Fix Its Restaurants
The burger chain is casting an extremely wide net.Just in Time for the Reservations Renaissance, OpenTable Debuts a New Look
"The table is just the start."Chef Shames ‘Insulting,’ ‘Entitled’ Customers on Instagram After They Threaten Nasty Yelp Reviews
"Shout out to these two winners for seating themselves with no reservations, insulting and berating our staff ... "Grand Sichuan’s UWS Outpost Reopens After DOH Shutter
It's safe to eat scallion pancakes again.It’s Free Pancake Day at IHOP! Freak Out!
Go get yourself a short stack of buttermilk pancakes.City Kitchen Is the Massive New Food Hall That Times Square Has Been Waiting For
Vendors include Luke's Lobster, Dough, and Azuki Sushi — and it opens this Thursday.Senator Proposes Bill That Would Allow U.S. Soldiers to Drink at 18
"If you can carry a weapon and defend your country you should be able to drink a beer."
It wasn't even Fabergé!Nutella Bans Lesbian, Jewish, and Lots of Other Words From Its Personalized Jars
The company may have gone overboard trying to keep messages polite.That Brooklyn Hot-Sauce Emporium Surpassed Its Kickstarter Goal — and It Should Open Next Month
It raised $26,817 from 360 backers.Why NYC’s Most Acclaimed New Omakase Menu Ends With Surprise Apple Pie
"It's rare for a Japanese restaurant — or any restaurant these days — to have a pastry program."LES Whynot Coffee Moving to Smaller Space Nearby, Making Way For Sushi Restaurant
It's one of the handsomest coffee shops in the city.Some Toxic Puffer Fish Liver Sent 5 People to the Hospital
Fugu strikes again.Beloved Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery Opening First Stand-alone Shop
It's in the West Village.The No-Reservations Generation Grows Up: How Bookings Came Back
"I just felt so bad when I saw people standing out in the cold."Plan Ahead for Einat Admony and Anita Lo’s Awesome Passover Dinner
Tickets are available now.This Restaurant Shamed Its Own ‘Incompetent’ Staff on Yelp
Shockingly, the place is now closed.
Find out where to eat in our weekly ranking of the city's most-buzzed-about restaurants.Maraschino Cherry Mogul’s Secret Pot Farm Continues to Be Completely Fascinating
Vintage cars, Bat Cave entrances, irrigation systems, and more details.British Chocolate Club Has Already Shut Down Operations
Thanks to big, bad Hershey.Starbucks Is Launching Its Own Media Company
The goal is to talk about "issues that matter to our nation."Naomi Campbell Dines at Kappo Masa; LeBron James Celebrates at 1 Oak
This week's Celebrity Settings.Taco Bell’s Cap’n Crunch Doughnuts Are Maybe Even Too Perfect for Stoners
Best branded partnership ever?First Look at Rocky Slims, Angelo Romano’s New Kips Bay Restaurant and Pizzeria
The former Pines chef will open his latest spot next week.Two Roberta’s Owners Have Filed a Restraining Order Against Their Ex-Partner
All is not well at the beloved Bushwick pizzeria.Tiffani Thiessen Devours Fried Chicken in Miami and Lobster Rolls in New York
"We also had key-lime doughnuts for dessert, which came with a key-lime coconut pudding on the side."America’s Breweries Dangerously Close to Running Out of Funny Names for Their Beers
One brewery went through 400 different name options for a new beer before finding something that wasn't already taken.
The West Village's Sevilla made the cut.Café Selling Fake Molotov Cocktails Gets Very Real Visit From Police
The empty bottles on display were "creating a stressful environment for others."Bonnie Slotnick Has Reopened Her Treasured Cookbook Shop in the East Village
"It's so nice to be in a place where the people who own the building want me here and care about me."And Now There Are Cotton-Candy Oreos, Too
Plain is still the best, though.Golf Legend Jack Nicklaus Is Launching His Own Ice-Cream Line
Now let's get an Arnold Palmer flavor.Michelin’s First-Ever ‘Nordic Cities’ Guide Includes No 3-Star Restaurants
Not even Noma, which still rocks two.Cult Icon Peter Chang Will Open His Own Fast-Casual Concept
Will Peter Chang Wok earn the Sichuan chef even more loyal fans?First Look at Rosie’s, Opening Next Month in the East Village
Chef Marc Meyer plans to showcase traditional Mexican dishes, from tacos to Veracruz-style whole roasted fish.We’ve Hit Peak ‘Sommelier’
How long will it be before someone takes the title of bone-broth sommelier?Umami Burger Is Finally Going to Open in Williamsburg
This was supposed to happen over two years ago.
They're even artificially scented to smell like fresh-cut grass or wildflowers.‘World’s Most Expensive’ Scoop of Ice Cream Honestly Sounds Pretty Gross
Truffles and saffron and vanilla? Maybe not.A New Report Says McDonald’s Dodged More Than $1 Billion in European Taxes
Trade unions are not loving these accounting practices.Danny Meyer’s Porchlight Looks Like Manhattan’s Most Easygoing New Cocktail Bar
It opens on Monday, March 2.Maraschino Cherry Mogul Commits Suicide During Police Raid
Cops say he used part of his Red Hook cherry factory as a marijuana grow house.Here’s a Chocolate Club That Will Send Real Contraband Cadbury Right to Your Door
It's the Revolutionary War of chocolate.MasterChef Junior Names Its Latest Adorable Winner
Nathan Odom makes a mean tea tart.The Trick Behind Santina’s Guanciale e Pepe Rice
“The goal was to invert risotto,” says co-owner Mario Carbone.New Yorkers Mourn the Loss of Winnie’s
"No god no please no not Winnie's god no why is NYC so terrible I hate this f-cking town."Man Blames Nutella Jar for Horrible House Fire
Has a spread ever attracted this much drama?