Brasserie by Niche
Maybe I'm lying to myself when I say I don't like French food. Every time I eat at Brasserie by Niche, I end up with enough food to choke a horse. As usual, it was packed on the Friday I went.
I was feeling particularly indecisive that night, so rather than make any tough decisions, I just got it all. First up were the classic Burgundy Escargot, swimming in little pools of herbs, garlic, and butter. Thinking with my tongue and not with my brain, I dove straight into these bad boys. There go the taste buds - these things were still hot as hell! Not one to be defeated by stupid little snails, our table still managed to decimate these.
Hidden away to the right are the gougeres, little poofs of cheese bread. I stand by my previous statement that Gerard Craft is the master of cheese breads.
Organ meats - liver in particular - are typically not my favorite due to their minerally flavor. However, if you think wayyyy back to my first Niche post, you'll see that I raved about a play on Peanut Butter & Jelly using chicken terrine. The Brasserie Chicken Liver Terrine is that terrine! I didn't even know! That ramekin left the table clean as a whistle.
Now onto our fourth appetizer (stop judging!), the Steak Tartare. We finished this baby off, too. The meat had a good amount of capers mixed in, giving it a nice salty punch.
Full yet? We weren't. It's entree time!
To share, we got the Moules a la Normande, mussels cooked in a broth with country ham, cider, leeks, garlic, and creme fraiche. I wasn't keen on ordering these (mussels are mussels are mussels, right?), but lo and behold, these are now my favorite mussels in town. They're smokey from the ham and sweet from the cider, giving them a different flavor profile than most places. I drank that broth like it was soup.
My main was...vegetarian? Yep, I went meatless. I picked the MASSIVE Roasted Vegetable Tart. Lentils, cauliflower puree, caramelized onions, and all sorts of other veggies were piled high and cooked spectacularly. This was my dish of the night. The different vegetables and cooking styles gave it all sorts of textures and a deep, complex flavor.
This is not a great shot, but it's just there to reiterate that Brasserie's roasted chicken is great.
The final entree was the Trout with fingerling potatoes, lemon, brown butter, capers, and parsley. It's a solid, healthy dish.
At this point in the evening, it felt like death was near. Clothing was tighter. Breathing was labored. I was sweating butter. I thought the evening's eating marathon was over, but Brasserie's great manager, Jen, and chef Nick Blue disagreed. Out came a chocolate mousse and the floating island. A few bites in and I passed out on the table.
Another successful meal at Brasserie completed.
4580 Laclede Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63108