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Brasserie 8 ½, New York City, NY, USA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Brasserie 8 1/2 Staircase - Photo by Phil GreenbergBrasserie 8 1/2, an attractive French restaurant located in New York City on the west side in the Midtown section of Manhattan steps off Fifth Avenue, and close by to Central Park. The modern, contemporary ambience includes a dramatic sweeping glass stairway to the attractive art-filled restaurant that sets the stage for culinary excellence from Executive Chef Franck Deletrain.


Brasserie 8.5 - Lounge - New York, NY
Brasserie 8 1/2 Lounge Area

We had dinner at Brasserie 8 ½ on a Friday night in early April 2017 in the attractive main dining room where the focal point is a floor-to-ceiling glass mural by the renowned French artist Fernand Léger. Tall vases of pink cherry blossoms and pink lilies heralded the spring season, white linen draped tables were accessorized with tea lights in orange and cobalt trimmed holders, and fairy lights in the ceiling created soft lighting. A long, well-stocked bar lined one wall of the spacious dining room.  


Brasserie 8.5 - Lounge - New York, NY
Brasserie 8 1/2 Restaurant

In addition to the main dining room, Brasserie 8 ½ has an art-filled bar and round lounge area where patrons can sit and relax on leather chairs and sofas while admiring the Henri Matisse prints, and there are three private dining rooms: one large, and two smaller rooms for more intimate gatherings.  


Brasserie 8.5 - Lounge - New York, NY
Glass Mural

Sitting in a private booth, we began our evening with glasses of Jaillance, Cremant de Bordeaux Rosé from Bordeaux, France, which was the perfect accompaniment to the duck amuse bouche from the chef to inspire our palates, and to pair with a selection of East Coast and West Coast oysters.  

From the East Coast, we had Beausoleil oysters from New Brunswick, Canada and West Coast Hama Hama oysters from Washington State, both of which were delicious. Interesting to note was how the two types of oysters compared, as salinity of the water, nutrients, water temperature, and location, affects size, as well as taste. The Beausoleil oysters farmed in New Brunswick, Canada, in Miramichi Bay, is about as far north as you go to harvest virginica type oysters. The rich, cold waters produce oysters with smooth oval shells yielding to meat with subtle flavors and light brine. Heading west to Washington State, the slow-growing Hama Hama oysters grown on the Hama Hama river has an attractive ruffled edge shell that yields to a delicious meat that dependent on the season, can be sweeter in taste with slight brine in the spring, and more brine in the fall and winter. 


West Coast Oysers - Hama Hama - photo by Luxury Experience
West Coast Hama Hama Oysters

For one of our appetizers, we had the Risotto d'Homard, which was lobster risotto with salsify, petite peas, tiny diced tomatoes, with black truffle essence and topped with a generous amount of sweet and succulent Maine lobster, which was beautifully presented and delectable.  


Lobster Risotto - Brasserie 8.5, NY, NY- photo by Luxury Experience
Lobster Risotto

We also had the Grilled Octopus presented with butter beans, brussels sprouts, and green grapes, artistically presented on a bed of creamy hummus, with swirls of herb-olive oil and pesto oil on the plate. The chef worked his magic in the kitchen to creatively craft a mélange of contrasting flavors and textures - the char on the grilled octopus, the slight bitterness of the brussels sprouts, and the texture of the butter beans, worked well with the creamy hummus, and the sweetness of the grapes, to visually appeal then deliciously satisfy our palates.


Grilled Ocotopus - Brasserie 8.5, NY, NY- photo by Luxury Experience
Grilled Octopus

We continued with Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes and Duck Two Ways for our main courses. The well-presented crab consisted of two succulent crab cakes with golden crumb crowns topped with celeriac remoulade, and presented on a pool of grain mustard sauce, with homemade chips. The restaurant has an excellent wine list in addition to wines by the glass, perfect for pairing with different courses. We paired the crab cakes with a glass of Bourgogne, Bouchard Pére et Fils 2014, from Burgundy France, which provided a lovely balance to the seafood.  


Lump Crab Cakes - Brasserie 8.5, NY, NY- photo by Luxury Experience
Lump Crab Cakes

The duck was beautifully executed and consisted of roast duck, duck confit, with poached pear, braised red cabbage, cranberries, with a black current gastrique that was another stellar example of the marriage of style and taste that appealed to the eye and to palate. We paired the duck with a glass of Bordeaux, Quai Lumière 2012, Chateau Haut-Meneau, France.  


Duck Two Ways - Brasserie 8.5, NY, NY- photo by Luxury Experience
Duck Two Ways

We ended our evening of fine dining by sharing the Chocolate Caramel Tart with Fromage Blanc Ice Cream garnished with two cooked, sliced brûléed banana, accompanied by espressos. The decadently rich dessert enhanced with the ice cream was the perfect finale to a delectable dinner. Sophisticated French cuisine, an elegant setting, and attentive service created a memorable evening.  


Chocolate Caramel Tart - Brasserie 8.5, NY, NY- photo by Luxury Experience
Chocolate Caramel Tart

Executive Chef, GM Franck Deletrain was born in France, raised in Italy, went to hospitality school in Venice, Italy, and later honed his culinary skills working in Padova, Bologna, and Sienna, Italy, before moving to the United States in the mid-1980s. In New York City, he worked at The Sea Grill, The Four Seasons, Patroon, Tropica, and Café Centro, before joining the Patina Restaurant Group in 1998. His maternal grandparents first inspired him to become a chef and he later found inspiration from chefs Peter Wyss, Daniel Boulud, Paul Kovi, and Christian Hitsch Albin.  When not working in the kitchen, Chef Franck Deletrain likes to travel, cook for family and friends, dine out, work on DIY Home Improvement projects, drive, and play tennis and soccer.  


Chef Franck Deletraine - Brasserie 8 1/2 - New York, NY
Executive Chef, GM Franck Deletrain

There is always something interesting happening at Brasserie 8 ½ including the L'Atelier de 8 ½ Cooking Series where Chef Franck shares his culinary passion with intimate, interactive classes of 12-14 guests who learn how to cut, dice, filet fish, bone out ducks and legs of lamb, as well as learn different cooking techniques. Upcoming 2017 classes include Summer in Provence (June 10, 2017), Bastille Day with Rosé (July 8, 2017), Autumn Wine Harvest (September 23, 2017), and An Elegant French-Inspired Thanksgiving (November 4, 2017).  


Edward F. Nesta - Brasserie 8.5, NY, NY- photo by Luxury Experience

Edward F. Nesta - CHEERS! 

The menu changes seasonally with special promotional menus during peak lobster season, the first of the season soft shell crabs and Nantucket Bay Scallops, along with ramps, fiddlehead ferns, nettles, and white asparagus from France.


Brasserie 8.5, NY, NY

Debra C. Argen - CHEERS! 

Brasserie 8 ½ is open daily, Sunday from 11:00 am until 9:00 pm, Monday through Friday from 11:30 am until 10:00 pm, and Saturday from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm. In addition to the regular a la carte menu, the restaurant has prix-fixe Lunch and Dinner menus, Sunday Buffet Brunch, Sunday and Monday Soft Shell Crab & BYOB (bring your own wine, with no corkage fee), and Oyster Happy Hour featuring raw oysters on the half-shell for $1 per oyster Monday through Friday from 4:30 pm until 7:30 pm in the bar or lounge.  

Visit their website for more information:


Brasserie 8.5, NY, NY  


Brasserie 8 ½

Solow Building Corporation

9 West 57th Street

New York, New York 10019

United States

Telephone:         +1-212-829-0812



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© April 2017. Luxury Experience. All Rights Reserved.

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