Location: 411 Park Avenue South – New York, NY
After years of following Tony Bourdain's epic food tours around the globe from his early show on the food network to his current show on Travel Channel one thing is for certain; the restaurant he cooked in for so many years must have some pretty darn good food for him to have enough street cred to insult so many Food Network stars from Emeril to Bobby Flay and get away with it unscathed. For that reason on our recent trip to New York a visit to Les Halles was a must even though we knew he no longer helms the kitchen.
Our reservation was for a busy Saturday night. Thankfully booking online a few weeks in advance ensured us a great table by the front window affording us great views of the lively dining room and a nice spot for eyeing the trendy people strolling down Park Avenue. We started our meal off with braised octopus which had perfectly tender pieces of octopus in a thick tomato and olive sauce that begged to be mopped up with the hunks of crusty baguette served alongside. Next we opted for the Terrine Maison, which rivaled the terrines we experienced in Paris and Lyon, having a nice rustic texture and embodying the essence of all things pork.
|Poulpes a la Seroise // Braised octopus with tomatos and black olives|
|Terrine Maison // House made country pate|
Having just gotten off a long flight where a tiny bag of pretzels is nowadays considered a meal, the thought of meat was all that was on our minds. Knowing that a full butchery kitchen was beneath our feet our decision to gorge on the Planche Grillades for two was the only sane course of action. If you're a meat lover beware...the following picture may require a change of pants.
|Planche de Grillades (for two) // $58.00|
The planche contains perfectly grilled lamb chops, merguez (spicy beef sausage) and garlic pork sausage, hanger steak and inch thick slices of bacon. The beef was flavorful and tender, the lamb melt in your mouth and the bacon simply amazing. The bacon was not like the thin stiff pieces of cardboard serviced in bad hotel buffets, it was a thick slab of belly that balanced melt in your mouth fat with a nice meaty chew. This was all served with frites to dip in mustard or if you dare the pools of meat juice that collect in the grooves of the cutting board which all this goodness is served on.
If you are in NYC a visit to Les Halles is highly recommended, the food and service were amazing and all at a price that was quite reasonable considering the quality and quanitity we were served.