As our semester living in Manhattan came closer to the end, we all wished to really make one of our food outings really special. Shortly after deciding this, we decided to go to Balthazar in Soho to sample some exquisite French food.
This exclusive restaurant is situated slightly off of Broadway and Lafayette St., but it is quite close to the hustle and bustle of the nearby shops. You can't miss the bright windows which provide you with a view of the warm room within.
We decided to start off with some appetizers. Above is the Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Mousse with red onion confit and grilled country bread. This was the first time that I have ever tried foie gras of any kind and was pleasantly surprised. It had a salty flavor, and you can definitely taste a meat flavor. When spread on the crisp toast, it was a nice match, the cold spread contrasting with the warm and toasty bread.
The other appetizer that we ordered was the Escargots in garlic butter. The snails were so tender and the flavor of the garlic was wonderful. I mean, what's not to like? The critters were sitting in butter and garlic. A great way to start the meal.
Mic's friend Al got the monkfish, which was wrapped in strips of bacon. Though small, Al said that the fish was tender and the bacon flavor permeated through the fish, though, not overpowering it. He approved of the dish.
M got the Steak au Poivre with spinach and pommes frites. The steak was very tender and the sauce complemented the flavor of the meat very well, according to M.
W got the grilled brook trout. The fish, with the crisp skin, was extremely moist and the warm potatoes beneath were tender and delicious.
Mic got the Roasted Cod with gigante beans, onions, tomato, and basil. Mic had meant to order something else, but picked the wrong thing on the menu. Likewise, though the fish tasted good, she felt that it was a little dry and needed a sauce of some kind.
Squishy and I both got the Steak Frites with béarnaise sauce. The steak was alright, but I felt that it was a little too charred, with the burnt parts taking away from the steak. Overall, it was tender, but the char was disappointing. The fries were crispy and yummy and the tart béarnaise sauce was a great accompaniment to the steak.
H got the Duck Confit with crispy potatoes, wild mushrooms, and frisée salad. H never had eaten duck before this moment and he praised the dish, stating that the crisp skin of the duck encased the moist flesh below. He enjoyed this dish very much.
Overall, this was our foray into fine French cuisine. It would be a rare occasion for us, so we savored the moment. The service in this restaurant was excellent and food was superb, for the most part. It is definitely a place to check out because you might even spot celebrities if you're lucky.