Food For Thought — April 26, 2017 at 11:45 am

Get Frenched at Brasserie 8 1/2

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Brasserie 8 1/2 is a hidden surprise in the heart of Midtown. Right off of Fifth Avenue, the Brasserie might give you the wrong impression — the French restaurant descends from a grand spiral staircase in to a posh and sophisticated dining room abound with ivory tablecloths and works of art by infamous artists like Matisse and Léger. This might give one the assumption that this place is stuffy or pretentious. It’s neither. The staff couldn’t be nicer, and while the crowd seemed to be more mature, we certainly spotted a few younger clientele enjoying happy hour cocktails by the lounge.

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The French restaurant is helmed by Parisian-born Chef Deletrain, who prepares specialty dishes ranging from classics like Cote du Boeuf and Loup de Mer to Lobster Bisque and Moules Frites. We started our evening there sampling the Onion Soup Gratinée and a selection of fresh choices from their Seafood Bar, including Jumbo Shrimp and East Coast Oysters. The soup was a perfect, hearty choice for a blustery night in the city, but we were careful not to devour the entire thing, lest we fill up before the main course.

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brasserie812_salmonWhile the meat dishes were calling out to us, it seemed like seafood was the theme of the night, we couldn’t help but try the Atlantic Salmon (served with braised escarole, ricotta gnocchi and portobello mushroom) and the Loup De Mer (branzino, manila clams, wilted mustard greens, champagne beurre blanc). And yes, we accompanied this with Macaroni & Cheese. Each seafood dish was divine. The salmon had an array of different flavors that all seemed to meld together perfectly into one scrumptious bite, while the branzino offered a bit of a lighter taste, with a tasty sauce that we couldn’t get enough of. And while the restaurant features a hand-crafted cocktail menu that specializes in French cocktails, we opted to pair our evening with some wine from their extensive menu.

 

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And since the French are known for their decadent sweets, we could not pass up on dessert. We opted for the Classic Creme Brulée – a not-to-be-missed dessert here, it was amazing, and the Warm Molten Chocolate Cake, served with espresso ice cream and toasted marshmallow. While the cake was certainly delicious, we thought the ice cream kind of overpowered the chocolate flavor of the cake, so we’d recommend asking for a different ice cream option to accompany this one. But overall, this was a top notch dining experience and one we would certainly come back for.

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More cool facts: 

-Brasserie 8 1/2 also serves a Sunday Brunch Buffet for just $32 per person, or $16 for children. You can opt to add Endless Cocktails for brunch for just $14 extra.

-Sunday and Mondays are BYOB Nights, where you can bring your own wine, with no corkage fee.

-Enjoy Oyster Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 4:30-7:30pm, where you can score raw oysters on the half-shell for just $1 per oyster.

-If you want to learn to cook yourselves, you can sign up for one of the L’Atelier de 8 1/2 Cooking Classes where Chef Deletrain will teach attendees how to whip up delicious French cuisine, followed by lunch with a selection of French wines.

 

 

Twisted Talk: Have you ever dined at Brasserie 8 1/2 before? What’s your favorite French restaurant in the city? Discuss below!

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