With the constant openings of new restaurants in NYC, it's hard to mark those staples that have been around for decades off your bucket list. I passed Brasserie 8 1/2 many times while shopping on 5th Ave, I even have pictures outside the restaurant, but never got around to checking it out for dinner!
When I was invited in, I didn't think twice, secured a reservation and checked the menu frequently leading up to our visit. The restaurant definitely hosts an older, after work crowd - most of them seemed like they were posting up at the bar for cocktails and not having a four course meal, but that didn't stop us from feasting. They have a great prix-fix menu for $42 and if you see something off the prix-fix menu, you have the option of ordering it a la carte. The waitress was super helpful when it came to making a decision on what to order.
Here's what we got:
TARTARE DE SAUMON: Salmon Tartare, Avocado, Horseradish, Salmon Pearls
GRILLED OCTOPUS: Sunchokes Mousseline, Fingerling Potatoes, Espelette Pepper
FILET MIGNON AU POIVRE VERT: Roasted Petit Filet Bordelaise Sauce, Potato Lyonnaise, Green Asparagus. With Half Lobster
SAUTEED SOFT-SHELL CRAB: Marcona almonds, fava beans, mustard greens,
sundried tomato aioli
BRASSERIE 8.5 MAC & CHEESE
CHOCOLATE TARTELETTE: Fromage Blanc Ice Cream
I have no complaints about the overall experience, except the Truffle Mac & Cheese that I was so excited to get was just okay. It looks amazing from the outside, but kind of tasted like Velveeta on the inside (which isn't necessarily a bad thing!), just not as gourmet as I expected. Everything else was phenomenal, so ironically, it gets a 8.5!
BRASSERIE 8 1/2
Located at Solow Building
9 West 57th St., New York 10019