Brasserie by Niche
I recently purchased David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen and began pining for some good, unpretentious French. You know what that means: a return to Brasserie by Niche in the Central West End. The photos are a bit grainy and dark, but Brasserie has some very sexy mood lighting going on inside--unfortunately, the camera does not like that. Your lady will, though.
I wasn't expecting to eat like like a French king, but sometimes it just happens.
Like any respectable meal, we started with cheesy bread: gougeres.
Duck confit came next...
Along with salmon rillettes, which is a lot like a chopped up bowl of lox. French Jewish soul food.
Trying to keep things healthy, we ordered a frisee salad with a poached egg, bacon vinaigrette and big, crunchy, fantastic, incredible bacon lardons.
Une autre salade was the slow roasted vegetables topped with sauce gribiche and fine herbs. The French may be the finest vegetable roasters in the world.
This is a terrible picture-it looks like a crime scene photo-but it was one of my favorite dishes from the evening: boudin noir, also known as blood sausage.
The pumpkin soup came out smelling like fall and tasting like a creamy spoonful of heaven. Brown butter croutons and salted grapes floated about, adding a slightly strange but great taste.
Brasserie has the best roast chicken I've ever had in my life. The juiciest. The butteriest. If you haven't had it, you simply must try it. There's no other option. Plan accordingly.
If you're not in the mood for chicken, try one of their fish dishes. Last time I had the trout, which was fantastic, but the skate was better. The crust the fish had was perfect.
Yes. There is more. It's dessert time!
To say I left full would be an understatement. I worried gout would set in and I'd be limping around like Kim Jong Un. Brasserie is my favorite French bistro in town and one of my favorite restaurants period. The mood inside--the lights, the decor, the large windows looking out onto the CWE--makes you feel like you're in a Parisian cafe. Like all of the Niche restaurants, service is impeccable and the bartenders match the chefs. And, though I've yet to experience it myself, I hear their brunch puts all others to shame.