Brasserie Beaumarchais – Delicious Dining in Meatpacking

Why am I spending so much time in the Meatpacking District recently?
I guess it’s because, even though I hate those loose cobblestones and can’t afford even a vodka soda in most of the bars, there some pretty great restaurants down there.
Case in point:
 Beaumarchais used to be a restaurant called Bagatelle. Now, since some partners have left and the kitchen got a new head chef. I was invited to a tasting to give the new menu a go. 
 The dining room was incredibly beautiful – chic and upscale with elegant lighting and tablescapes juxtaposed against large portraits of rock and TV stars. 
 There was also a small bar area, perfect to congregate around while waiting for your table or catching a post work drink.
 Douseur
Champagne, Amaretto, cucumbers. 
This was a dangerously delicious drink. Crisp and lightly acidic champagne was tempered by sweet, mellow amaretto and the lightness of cucumbers. I downed one of these and felt fine. After two…well, let’s just say it’s a good thing that there was bread on the table.
 Crudites with Tapenade, Aioli and Mint Yogurt
This might seem a little expensive, but it’s actually totally worth it. The vegetables are served in copious amounts, shining like jewels and bursting with freshness. Cucumber, endive, tomatoes, cucumbers, fennel and a variety of other vegetables crowd into a ceramic crock. Dip them into the pleasantly salty tapenade or the herby yogurt if you must. Leave the aioli to me. Rich, eggy, tasting faintly of garlic, nothing compliments the vegetables as well as this does. In fact, this could compliment anything. 
 Lobster Bisque
This was sadly disappointing. The bisque was entirely smooth, with none of the large hunks of succulent lobster meat that I craved. Yes, I said desperately…who orders lobster and doesn’t want to chew? The soup was creamy, with a nice, sweet lobster taste, but without the depth of sherry or long cooked seafood stock. It was a bit flat and one note – not bad, but not good enough to order again. 
Pommes Frites
Please get these. The best fries I have had in the city in I don’t know how long. Piping hot, properly salted, fried at least twice so they are crispy without and creamy within. Extremely potato-ey – hearty and satisfying.  Don’t bother with ketchup…just ask for more of that aioli.
Steak Tartare with Handcut Beef, Quail Egg and Truffle Toast 
Let’s start with the toast. I don’t know how much it cost to make this butter, but the plethora of truffles in it alone justified the cost of the dish. The toasts were positively sheathed in black truffle specs, and the warmth of the toast melted the butter slightly and activated the heady, intoxicating scent of the truffles. Reminiscent of beef in its robust aroma and ability to make my mouth water, the truffles complimented everything from the bread to the french fries (yes, I dipped my fries in the butter) to the…
beef. Handcut beef is such a special thing – it allows the natural texture of the beef to shine through. Beef should have a nice chew and a smooth texture on the tastebuds. Rare, it should be grassy, fresh, almost sashimi-like in its delicate nature. The quail egg, with its small but intense yolk, enriched the beef and played off the gentle heat of the jalapeno and the tang of the pickled onions. This was an excellent beef tartare, and one I would order again. 
Cheese Plate
A simple dessert, but a supremely satisfying one. Sugared, cinnamon laden walnuts, toasted to bring out their oils and hearty taste. Pleasantly charred bread, bitter in some parts to contrast with the creamy, mild triple creme cheese served with the bread. There was also a stronger cheese, a funky, pungent blue cheese that brought out the sugar in the walnuts. A decadent ending to a delicious meal.

Beaumarchais is right in the middle of the Meatpacking district, but you would never know it. It is an elegant restaurant with professional, respectful service and delicious food – really, just delicious. I would take my parents here for brunch or come here after a night of dancing for some midnight frites and aioli. 
Beamarchais is one more reason that the Meatpacking District is a place to visit not just for overpriced drinks and people watching, but for truly delicious food.
*Note: My meal was paid for by the restaurant.  I was not paid or required to write a review, and my opinions are my own and, I feel, impartial.*

Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    I need to go here. Need to.

  2. East Village Eats says:

    What a great way to serve Steak Tartare (a current obsession of mine)! I guess I need to head 'out west' to the Meatpacking District!

  3. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @East Village-If you like this, you really MUST try the steak tartare at The Lamb's Club. It is one of my favorite foods, too!!

  4. East Village Eats says:

    I guess I have a lot of work to do. I was a big fan of the tartare at Goat Town, then they went & took it off the menu!!!

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