Deja Vu with Plein Sud

Here’s one from the archives – since I visited, the chef has left and my pictures have CERTAINLY improved, but  it still might be worthwhile to give the place a try!

Despite a dismal NY Times review, I decided to check out Plein Sud for lunch.  Run (at the time) by Top Chef alum Ed Cotton, Plein Sud is an upscale casual brasserie in the Financial District.  It is a large, laid back space with a quiet elegance about it; perfect for a business lunch or casual brunch.


The bread deserves special mention. Thick, tangy slices of sourdough embedded with salty, meaty green olives. Smeared with creamy butter, it is an auspicious start to the meal.

Celery remoulade with apples

Unfortunately, this version of one of my favorite dishes is like a bad drunk – a little coarse, a little dull, and totally sauced.  The mayonnaise is far too cloying.  It dulls the naturally crisp, clean flavor of the celery root, and there is nowhere near enough acid, salt or pepper.

Chilled Leeks

Served in this light vinaigrette with just a sprinkling of chives, these are refreshing, light, and savory.  Simple but very well done.

Lentilles Ravigote

Delightful.  Served in a vinaigrette with chives, shallots, and hints of capers and chervil, the lentils take on these bright flavors beautifully.  It tastes simultaneously fresh and earthy-something not easily achieved!  This appetizer plate is ample enough to be a light meal all on its own!

 Thai Mussels with  coconut milk, lemongrass,  and madras curry, with French fries.

Fantastic. The fragrant lemongrass really elevates the combination of the sweet coconut milk and mildly spicy curry.  The cilantro ties in both the Indian and Thai elements, and the mussels are just perfect.  Sweet, ocean scented mussels wading in a spicy, rich broth that is so good I asked for a spoon to finish it off!

The fries are also first rate.  Served PIPING hot, with a light cornstarch coating and a dusting of parsley, these avoid salt overload.

Plein Sud is a delicious meal!  A few missteps, but far more hits than misses.  It is reasonably priced, well prepared food in a lovely atmosphere with excellent service.

Or at least it was when I went…seems like it’s time for a re-visit!


Plein Sud on Urbanspoon