Monday, September 21, 2009

Encore Les Halles

The maestro prepares the tartare.

There's really only one place that I wanted to eat during this trip to New York City, and that's Les Halles. Once upon a time, their Washington DC outpost was our spot. We knew the staff, we knew the food, they knew us and it was a beautiful relationship. I'll grant that the food might not be the pinnacle of French cuisine but it was damn good, darn consistent and we loved it.

For me, there's not too much that I ask of a brasserie other than to give us consistently good food at good prices and take care of us. So many of today's "brasseries" and "bistros" charge and arm and a leg that you wonder if you aren't eating haute cuisine instead of just regular fare for regular people. In Baltimore, there simply is no place for simple French food prepared simply and affordably.

Shaping the tartare.

Les Halles DC closed last November and I've been without a French home for nearly a year. A lonely year. A long and lonely year. I just want a simple Steak Frites.

So when Philip mentioned that they were hungry but didn't want to go out to yet another fancy, fine dining place, I suggested Les Halles and off we went. Jason had his first experience with Steak Tartare and I had my standby: Onglet Aux L'Eschalote - butterflied hanger steak with fries and a small salad. Perfection. If I wasn't such a masculine sort of man I might have cried.

Philip went for the duck confit and Greg for a salad duo. French comfort food simply prepared. It was a nice respite from the fine dining that we're surrounded by normally.

Photographing the tartare.

Onglet, Frites and Salade.

Coconut and Chocolate Ice Cream.