Brasserie 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 1/2 Lounge Area
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 1/2 Restaurant
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.
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 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.
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
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
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
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
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.
Executive Chef, GM Franck Deletrain
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 - CHEERS!
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.
Debra C. Argen - CHEERS!
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.
their website for more information: www.PatinaGroup.com/Brasserie-8-12
9 West 57th
New York 10019
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Brasserier 8 1/2
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