Our critics' favorite soothing soups
THE SOUP: Billi Bi
THE COST: $3.95, cup; $4.95, bowl
Tony Belucci, chef-owner of the decidedly modest Winnie's, delights in the tony provenance of his classic mussel bisque, Billi Bi, "named for an American living in Paris, William B. Leeds, who loved the mussel soup at Maxim's so much, they named it after him." Maxim's version couldn't be much finer than Winnie's, little more than mussels pureed into their saffron-tinged cooking broth, then garnished with more plump mussels. Call ahead to see if it's on the menu.
PETER M. GIANOTTI'S PICKS
STRESA, 1524 Northern Blvd., Manhasset, 516-365-6956
THE SOUP Campagnola
THE COST $10.50
Campagnola is made with white and black beans, lentils and chickpeas, with chicken stock as a base. This rustic and refined production is finished under a pastry lid and looks a little like a homey, humble version of Paul Bocuse's classic black-truffle soup.