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Brasserie by Niche

February 23, 2010

The opening of Brasserie in the Central West End was a very welcome addition to my neighborhood.  Actually it seemed too good to be true…a Gerard Craft restaurant opening up just a few steps away from my door serving French cuisine at very reasonable prices.  Since Niche is by far my favorite restaurant in St. Louis, I was very much looking forward to dining at their sister restaurant and seeing for myself if it lives up to the expectations.  While the concept behind Brasserie is very different from Niche, the food delivers exactly what it promises…basic traditional French cuisine.  You won’t really see much fusion or overly-creative dishes on the menu, but if you need your fill of some comforting classics, you will leave this place satisfied and return many times again.  The atmosphere is beyond charming…it feels exactly like a little french bistro and fills your with a cozy yet cosmopolitan feeling.  

bread served on brown paper tablecloth

 

We started out with some gougeres, which are French cheese puffs.  They were delicious, nice and crusty with just the right amount of cheesy tang.  

gougeres

 

We next moved on to the country pate served with cornichon and grain mustard.  The pate was not as smooth as I was expecting, but it was perfectly seasoned and went especially well with the sharp mustard.  I would absolutely order this again!

country pate

 

For the entrees, I sampled the Mussels with pommes frites as well as the Coq au Vin.  The mussels came in an herb creme fraiche sauce and were served with thin crispy fries. 

mussels

 

pommes frites

 

While I would have preferred a white wine sauce to go with the mussels, the dish was tasty despite being a bit overly salty, especially when paired with the fries.  It would have been great as a started shared with others, but trying to eat the mussels and fries as my entree made it a bit challenging because of the salt factor.  I actually really liked the fries since I prefer mine to be on the thinner and crispier side, but if thicker cut softer fries is what you’re looking for, you might be disappointed.  

Coq au Vin

 

I also sampled the Coq au Vin, which was served with a very rich thick red wine reduction sauce.  The few bites of dark meat that I tried were moist and so tender having absorbed the juices they were marinated in.

The outstanding dish of the night would have to be the dessert!!  I had never had a floating island before but the second that first bite hit my lips I vowed this was my new absolute favorite dessert.  

floating island

 

It’s basically a meringue which is poached (im guessing in a mold?) instead of baked, so it comes out soft, floating in a sea of caramel creme anglaise sauce, topped with almond slices.  Yes it’s very very sweet, but it really blew me away!!  If you have a sweet tooth like me, definitely give this a try. 

Also, while I didn’t have any beer while dining here, I hear they have a good selection of craft beer.

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