One of my favorite weeks of the year is NYC Restaurant Week, so this week I had my colleague, Jeannie, decide where we should go for a nice lunch. Her pick was Brasserie Les Halles Downtown because she had never been there before.
In my case, I had eaten there many times, and having taken a look at their Restaurant Week lunch menu, I couldn’t have been happier with her choice.
Frequently one to daydream about a trip to Paris, I treat dining at Les Halles as a transporting experience. The décor has the classic look and feel of a Parisian bistro, and the food is authentic and delicious.
This time, I decided to stay away from its mile-long menu that includes my favorite dishes of traditional steak frites and moules made six different ways and instead stick to the prix fixe menu. Thinking I’d done myself a favor by narrowing my choices down to a select few, I quickly realized that I was stuck pondering endlessly about what I was going to eat. My appetizer choices included asparagus soup with potato and cream, mushroom Vol au Vent (in puff pastry) and crabcake with cilantro peppers and olive oil.
Entrees included either skate in a lemon butter sauce, beef provencal or duck sausage, and desserts were either a classic Coffee Crème Brulee or a slice of pecan pie. All sounded mouth-watering and debatable and then…voila! — my colleague and I decided to get different combinations to try out and share. And sharing we did. The dishes we chose were as tasty as they sounded and as we expected them to be. Considering none of them included the frites, this is saying a lot!
But the truly best part of Les Halles (aside from its fabulous frites) is that you don’t have to wait for Restaurant Week to try it. The food is so reasonably priced, you can go anytime and have a great meal for under $20 (and yes, that even includes the steak frites!) So if you are like me and just can’t seem to get to Paris these days, treat yourself to a delicious meal and a glass of Cotes du Rhone at Brasserie Les Halles Downtown.
As soon as we got back to the office, I started wishing I could get to all of the other participating restaurants in Lower Manhattan. Realizing that both my waistline and my wallet just wouldn’t allow it, I guess I’ll just have to look forward to the next NYC Restaurant Week for now just like I still look forward to Paris.