17 December 2007

Bar Americain

152 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY, 10019

While Parisian bistros tend to get the acclaim, in fact it is really the brasseries that are the mainstay of not only Parisians but also for Frenchman throughout the cities of France. New York has a few restaurants that serve as the American equivalent of these brasseries, but with advent of Bar Americain, Manhattan now has one that looks and feels like the best of the best.

Having not been at Bar Americain for far too long, on a winter Saturday night we braved the weather for some eagerly anticipated American food from the menu created by Bobby Flay.

Each time we arrive, we are always impressed how the front desk honors reservations; not only an immediate seating, but a table of choice when a special request has been made in advance. Overall the service shines, although we had an interim server who came, disappeared and then was replaced by a pro. Waiters, busboys and floor managers seem to be always available and they have top notched professional style despite a full (actually overflowing) house on a busy Saturday night.

The straightforward menu is to the point, with classic brassiere fare tuned to the best produce and products of America, and the tastes of New Yorkers. The menu is pleasantly short, pure American comfort food with a French brasserie touch. We were impressed on the execution of simple salad and onion soup starters. Flavorful and fresh. For main courses we went with meat, a pork rack and hanger steak. Both were excellent cuts of meat prepared to perfection, and served in a simple but savory manor. An order of fries accompanied the meat.

The wine list is extensive, well chosen but perhaps somewhat overpriced. Not exactly sure why restaurants are over pricing many well known priced wines, other than perhaps this is a place to make up for other places were they can not raise prices. Having said that, there were some reasonable choices including some local Long Island better wines. Given the American nature of Bar Americain it would be nice if they developed a wine list exclusively if US regional wines. There surely are enough wine choices available to satisfy every taste and demand.

After a great start and now over many years of performance this mature restaurant is firing on all cylinders, front desk, kitchen, service and of course the bar. While we had one unexpected glitch in service, apart of that limited fault, the experience was again outstanding and we will be back hopefully in the near future.

Bar Americain - Highly Recommended

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