Fine dining without pretension at Capsouto Freres:
As the name indicates, the restaurant was founded by three brothers named Capsouto. They came to New York from Alexandria, Egypt, by way of Paris, and brought their French culinary traditions and Old World grace with them. Two remain, Jacques and Samuel. Albert passed away in January at the age of 53. They hunkered down on the corner of Watts and Washington years before Montrachet and other pioneering restaurateurs ventured below Canal. They've remained there by doing pretty much what they've done since 1980. "Nothing's changed much since then," said the Maitre D', "which both works for us and against us."
In the grand, high-ceilinged dining room, hung with many chandeliers and ceiling fans, the scene is the very picture of customer loyalty. Most of the diners have been here many times before. It's a place for long-standing married couples, who dine comfortably over wine and soft conversation; or pairs of marrieds, who use it to renew old bonds and catch up. If a teen comes here, it's because a parent brings them, thinking they're doing the kid a favor. (They are.) The elegant, two-tiered room and tall windows make a very nice backdrop for dinner with the folks. One imagines graduations and engagements are commemorated here. It has that right air of occasion.