If you like cheese, you cannot pass on Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro, the cheese haven from Chef Terry Brennan that opened in New York City in 2001. The place is gorgeous and really captures the atmosphere of a Parisian bistro, from the furniture to the old advertising art, to the way the wait staff is dressed!
Amazingly enough, they have a cheese cave, a temperature and humidity controlled room where you can dine! But make sure you reserve the only table in it! The number of cheeses they have is pretty amazing and that fantastic cheese smell fills the entire room, especially after they open one of the fridges...
The brunch menu is a classic French menu with crepes Suzette, croque monsieur or eggs, but with the Chef's own twist. For instance, they have a Tuna salade nicoise. A basic salade nicoise has canned tuna; but there, they put some seared tuna, making it fancier. They also serve it as a sandwich, called "pan bagnat"! Pan bagnat can be found mainly in the South of France; it has been so many years that I did not have it: when I was a kid, we use to have pan bagnat (in a baguette bread) whenever we were going to the beach.
So I decided to try their prix fixe brunch menu. For $24.07, you get an appetizer, entree and dessert.
For appetizer, I chose the country pate.
It was served with pickled vegetables and a purple mustard. The pate was pretty good: dense and tasty, with some kick each time I bit into the cracked pepper. The purple mustard was good, but I did not really care for it.
Then I got the almond croissant French toast.
When ordering, I thought: I love almond croissants and I love French toast, so there should be no issue with the fusion of the two! Apparently, it is one of their signature dishes. Let me tell you: I devoured it! The croissant was well imbibed with what I think was a vanilla batter. You could taste the almonds and even after adding the maple syrup on top, it was not too sweet.
It was served with an apricot compote and some ricotta that added some freshness to the dish.
For dessert, I got the creme brulee "Le Cirque".
It was a very good creme brulee: the custard was perfectly cooked with a nice vanilla taste and the sugar on top was perfectly torched.
But wait: it is not the only things I have tried that day! Jodi ordered the croque Monsieur!
This was the best croque Monsieur I ever had! Besides the quality of the ingredients, from the ham to the gruyere, it was filled with bechamel sauce and had this nice taste you get when you burn guryere! On top of that, it was served with some fantastic homemade potato chips!
Last, they somehow knew that I am a food blogger and offered us a pavlova.
It is a meringue filled with a lemon cream, served with fresh berries and a berry sauce. This was lighter than I expected and scrumptious! The berry sauce was not too sweet and the meringue was amazingly good! Great dessert!
So, clearly, a great brunch at a reasonable price. I would last add that the service was courteous and efficient, making the whole experience pleasant.
Enjoy (I did)!