Part of the Patina Group chain of restaurants, Brasserie was on my to-do list, especially since I frequently dine at Cafe Centro (another restaurant in the chain). Anyway, I dined at Brasserie last night with another couple - it was Restaurant Week double date night.
Image credit: Patina Group
Before booking the reservation, I took a look at the Restaurant Week menu, and had my eye on the lamb shanks - yup that's what I craving. Unfortunately, the item I wanted was not on the menu, but in its place was the special of the day: a one pot meal - bouillabaisse. Huh? What's that? According to epicurious.com:
Bouillabaisse is a Provençal fish stew with a tomato, garlic, saffron, and potato broth thickened and flavored with a rouille—a paste of garlic, chiles, bread crumbs, and olive oil—served with dried bread or croutonsI've eaten bouillabaisse a couple of times, and I'll have to say, Cafe Centro has the best I've ever had. If you have any recommendations, please let me know =)
Moving on, the Brasserie bouillabaisse was, hmmm, very good (not excellent), mostly due to the quality of the seafood - a mix of mussels (which some were undercooked), scallops, shrimp, striped bass, and salmon - the broth was a little bland; the 2 pieces of toasted bread - crunchy, and a bit salty from the sauce they dalloped on it.
Oh, did I just skip right to the main course? Well, for appetizer, I had the salmon carpaccio topped with tempura cracklings. Not the best I've had, but very good. My fiancé had the petit quiche lorraine, which was very rich, and oozing with Reblochon. For his main course, he had the petit fillet with frites. Excellent piece of meat indeed, and just the right portion, especially if you're having a 3-course meal.
Desserts were not impressive. I had the almond cake with sweetened Crème Fraîche, red wine poached cherries. I thought the cherries were too overpowering for the cake, and the Crème Fraîche wasn't bad. I wound up eating the cake alone.
In summary, the food was very good (again, not excellent), ambiance - very noisy, cool decor. Might dine there again.