I recently had the pleasure of dining at the unique French Brasserie, Café Un Deux Trois. The location is discretely off the major traffic of Times Square. I never had the chance before to visit a brasserie in Paris or even in the city, so it was exciting to try something new. That’s what I love about the city…always having new places to explore your taste buds.
I have always loved Paris and everything antiquated with it…the fashion…the ambiance…and the people. This place really is the quintessential French Brasserie. Owned by restaurant team, George Guenancia and Gerard Blanes, who have had over 34 years of experience in the business from Paris to New York. The design and decor bring the realities of Paris to New York City. Designer, Pierre Hittier remodeled the floor with authentic mosaic tile and adorned the walls with globe lighting fixtures, artesian crystal chandeliers, Parisian posters and imported stained glass windows lining the bar side wall. The place strikes a balance of grandeur (with space) but still invokes the feeling of an intimate dining experience.
The executive chef, Luis Gonzales prepared a special tasting menu for the evening…
With a long list of menu choices, I was grateful that the chef offered us a tasting of the best dishes, especially with my critical palette. We began the evening with a bottle of Muscadet Sevre et Maine (a light spirited white wine from the Loire region). The bottle was served in a cute little clear bag of ice. Our server presented us with a fresh basket of house-made warm fresh baguettes that were delicious enough to ruin my low-carb diet. Our premiere amuse-bouche (snack) was a Bisque de Homard (Lobster Bisque) which had a hearty taste but was still light for a cream based soup. Our second tasting (seconde dégustation), Calamars à la Romaine, calamari with a choice of Saffron Garlic Aioli and Marinara dip had a light breading crust and the Saffron Garlic Aioli complimented the calamari best with just enough spice and zest to up the level of ordinary fried calamari. Since I’m a flexitarian, the staff was nice enough to offer me a substitute from the Pate de Champagne au Cognac with Shiitake mushrooms with mache salad greens (as a third course). My favorite dish the whole evening was the Crêpe Chèvre Espinard (a mini crêpe of spinach and wild mushroom with a creamy filling of Buchemel creme and goat cheese) served with a small mixed green salad. Café Un Deux Trois is renowned for their crêpes and I finally understand why…words cannot really describe how good it was…you simply must experience it yourself.
As if there wasn’t enough food already, the waiter brought out our next dish, Truite Almandine, a beautiful flaky trout sautéed with a bed of almonds placed carefully a top with a demure dressing of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Then I had a small serving of Raviolis Au Fromage Sauce Tomate while my counter partners engulfed the Beef Bourguignon. Even though we were completely stuffed by the previous six courses, we saved room for dessert…because you can’t go to a french restaurant without trying a Crepe Suzette, a Tarte Tartin and a Creme Brulee. All were great but if I had to go with one I would say the Creme Brulee was the best…the sugar crust had a thick layer easy to crack and served traditionally cold.
Even though we had a mountain of food, I was surprisingly satisfied but not stuffed. A moment of friends reuniting with good food in quaint and chic ambiance is exactly what this place offers. While I don’t have a picture of my ensemble for the evening, I assure you that I did my best to fit into the atmosphere. I let my hair go wild and curly, my lips stained with Stila Caprice (hot pink) and a pair of tight black cigarette pants and a striped boyfriend black/taupe sweater…how parisien chic… I only needed a cute little hat or scarf to finish it off. The perfect place and space for a fashionista of petit stature to gracefully fit right in.
244 West 44th Street | New York | 212.354.4148