LA BRASSERIE-A traditional French brasserie on Park Avenue South
Brewery lures you in with the promise of something spectacular as it sits in the old Antoine Bourdainthe space formerly known as Brasserie Les Halles. Fortunately, it does not disappoint. Located on bustling Park Avenue South in the popular Nomad neighborhood, La Brasserie offers authentic French cuisine in its upscale digs without any attitude.
If you arrive early, say around 5 or 6 p.m. on a weekday, chances are it will be quiet. It’s time to head to the fancy bar and make friends with one of the helpful bartenders. Watch them create one of their craft cocktails in front of you or listen to them go through the extensive wine selection. As the night progresses, more and more people will show up, so having that one-on-one time won’t be as easy later on, or sitting at the bar.
If the bar with its vintage-style stools and illuminated glass shelves is inviting, so is the entire dining area. Here, you’ll find a dimly lit space with checkerboard floors and tables draped in white tablecloths.
The service is fast and not stuffy. Our server was not only helpful with suggestions for the meal and wine pairing, but also friendly throughout. He would check in when needed with genuine interest and come up with comedic anecdotes throughout the night, sounding like he was chatting with old friends. The overall experience is remarkably warm and inviting.
The menu offers a wide range of must-try French dishes. Not starting the meal with oysters or any raw sea bass offering would be criminal, especially when there’s a cucumber-citrus reseda.
You can’t come here without trying the Tribute signature Antoine Bourdain “Steak Frites” either. Just ask the waiter, he’ll tell you. Made of tender beef served with crispy homemade fries and your choice of sauce, which we defend for béarnaise, this dish is simple but solid.
For those with a craving for fish, the Bouillabaisse will surely do the trick. Made with scallops, shrimp, and mussels, plus saffron potatoes and Brussels sprouts, it’s a lot of good food in one dish, and certainly enough to share with two people.
When it comes to desserts, there are several decadent options to choose from, such as the flourless cake and pie, but the real stunner is the hot banana soufflé with chocolate sauce.
After dining at La Brasserie, chances are you’ll be addicted. Between the lovely ambience, charming servers and an impressive French menu, this is the restaurant you will frequent again and again.
The Brasserie is located at 411 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10016. For menus, hours of operation and contact, please visit https://www.labrasserienyc.com/ or call (212) 567-8282.
Photo credit: Courtesy of La Brasserie.