Monday, April 17, 2017

C'est Magnifique at Brasserie 8 1/2

By: Finance Foodie

When I first moved to New York City over a decade ago, Brasserie 8 1/2 was the first "finer" restaurant I dined at. I still remember it felt so chic and sophisticated walking down the swooping circular staircase into the dining room - in that moment, it was like I had made it and Manhattan was mine (then I went back to my box apartment that I shared with 2 other roommates and quickly came back down to earth...)

Fast forward to present day - I still live in a box apartment (sans roommates, at least) and Brasserie 8 1/2 is still very much alive and grand (no small feat considering the ultra competitive NYC dining arena). Given its prime Midtown location, this French brasserie is usually packed during the weekdays for business lunches but tends to quiet down for dinner service. The Mister and I, looking to unwind after a stressful workday and escape the hustle and bustle of the area, decided to have dinner here a few nights ago.

When looking over the menu, my eyes immediately saw the $42 three course prix fixe menu (as a value minded Finance Foodie, I also like a good deal). The server informed me the portions are quite generous so the Mister and I start off sharing the Grilled Octopus from my prix fixe meal. The portion size was indeed enough to share and the char on the octopus was nicely smokey. I didn't really care for the butter beans that came with the dish but the tender octopus legs were the star of the show anyways. Also, it was nice to see this exact dish was on the a la carte menu as well ($16).
Poitrine de Canard
For my main, I went with the Poitrine de Canard, two slices of duck breast on top of red cabbage and a flavorful black currant gastrique with a side of flan. The duck was cooked a perfect medium rare and didn't taste overly greasy (as duck can get, especially if served with the skin). I also like how the lightness of the flan served as a well executed contrast with richer flavors of the duck and the red cabbage.
Steak Frites
The Mister, who has been on diet and was looking forward to this "cheat meal of the week", went with the old French Bisto standby meal of Steak Fries ($47), a large hunk of dry aged sirloin with fries. The meat was massive but still perfectly cooked and had nice flavor from the herb butter sauce.

For dessert, we split the Apple Tarte Tatin with a scoop of caramel ice cream from my prix fixe meal. The ice cream was creamy and sweet and melded really well with the flakiness of the tarte. An excellente way to end a magnifique meal!

Finance Foodie Money $avvy Tip - While the a la carte menu can get a bit pricey, the dinner prix fixe menu (both the $42 three course menu served daily and the Soft Shell Crab menu on Sunday and Monday) are a real best bang for your buck. Portions are generous and the only thing they skimp on is the price (not the quality of the food).

Brasserie 8 1/2
9 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 829-0812
Cuisine: French

Brasserie 8 1/2 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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