Thursday, 15 July 2010

Les Halles

Anthony Bourdain first came to my attention when I was recommended his warts and all expose of his own cooking experiences, Kitchen Confidential. His following cookbook, Les Halles, made this restaurant a must visit for us. Bourdain hasn't cooked there for a while but the classic French brasserie fare is still the focus point of this rowdy restaurant. We turned up at the restaurant at 8pm after landing in New York at 6pm and waited at the bar with crowds of other customers for our table to become available. The turnaround is very fast and we didn't have to wait long. We weren't hugely hungry after our long day (and Gordon Ramsay for lunch) so we went straight for the main course with a couple of glasses of Brooklyn Pennant Ale 55. I had confit canard and Claire had hangar steak. Both were huge and delicious, my duck leg was soft with crispy skin. It was sat on a slice of toasted baguette to soak up all the precious fat and turning into a decadent treat with the garlicy dressing. Claire's steak was delicious american beef with a mountain of fries. this was our first experience of american service and it couldn't be faulted. Our water glasses were constantly refilled and it was cool to see traditional steak tartare being prepared from a
trolley by the waiting staff. I couldn't get any decent pictures on my phone but I'll try to upload some from our camera later. We were flagging by now so we skipped dessert and went back to our hotel.

A side note on the beer: it was a
good start to my American beer sampling, this has so far been a high point. It is a copper coloured ale, with a biscuity malt flavour and some good bitterness to finish. It was a million times better than this blueberry flavoured beer from the Bluepoint Brewery in Long Island. It had an aroma of vomit and blueberries, a flavour of cardboard with the malt and blueberries leaving an aftertaste as if we had been chewing on blueberry muffin packaging.


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