It would not have been a complete trip to New York without a visit to the Anthony Bourdain‘s home base, Brasserie Les Halles. My reservation is for two at seven-thirty on Saturday night at the Park Avenue location.
Two-hundred and ninety-four restaurants, including Les Halles, take part in New York restaurant week which goes from July 22 to August 16th. Restaurants offer prix-fixe menus for lunch at $25 and dinner for $38.
By New York standards seven-thirty is still a little early for dinner in this town that never sleeps, but the patio is full when we get there. The hostess checks our reservation and shows us to our table.
The interior is old but charming and warm, the bar seats all taken with New Yorkers having wine and cocktails. At the table next to us they are watching one as a cook prepare their bananas foster in the traditional way, table side.
While the Restaurant Week menu does offer a good choice of dishes that make up the prix-fixe menu, we decide to try some of the other offerings. We order the escargots and the Croutons de Coulommiers rotis, au miel et poivre, that is, Brie topped with honey, cracked pepper, roasted and served on croutons. The escargots are smooth, rich and tasty, melted butter does that to food. The Brie is lightly drizzled with clover honey, light to the taste – not too sweet or heavy.
We are most excited about our side order of Truffle Mac and Cheese, we both immediately dig in. The mac and cheese is perfect, the truffle oil is a great addition, however we both felt there was just a little too much, which made the flavour quite intense – nevertheless it didn’t stop us from devouring it.
My daughter ordered the Magret de Canard, Sauce Grenade. Beautiful med-well done duck breast with a pomegranate sauce, scalloped potatoes and French beans. Typical, traditional bistro food – a hearty dish with soul.
We relax for a while feeling satisfied and happy with the food this evening, but we are not done, onto dessert. We choose the featured dessert, the Frozen Walnut Mousse. I also order a Cafe Les Halles with Kahlua, coffee, crème Chantilly and flambé with Grand Marnier.
It’s a comfortable evening in Midtown Manhattan. The patio is still full with people enjoying the night and the slower pace of traffic along Park Avenue in the evening. We walk a for few blocks talking about which part of the meal we enjoyed most. I will go back on my next visit and I recommend you give it a try next time you’re in New York – honest bistro food, served the way it should be.
Happy eating, everyone!