2015 has been the year of saying “Yes!” I’ve been saying “Yes” to a lot of the things that I used to say no to. Firstly, I have more time than I used to have. Secondly, and frankly, I got tired of saying “No.” Of the many things in life I really can’t say no to, French food ranks highly. Very highly. One day, I will go to France and learn to cook. I promise you, mom. (My mother learned to cook by mail in the 1970s. The Grand Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu. She still has the binders. She wants me to learn.)
So French food. Brasserie Gustave invited me and a +1 to come along for lunch one day, so I brought along Jen and a +2, Baby Arden. (I asked in advance if that was okay.) It was time to introduce Arden to the concept of “Ladies Who Lunch.” Given the speed at which Arden shoved two beautiful madeleines into her beautiful gob, I think she is now a convert, both to “Ladies Who Lunch” and to madeleines. Thank you to the staff at Brasserie Gustave for providing the madeleines. Also thank you to Brasserie Gustave for putting up with our mess because this is how things looked when we left…they get extra points for this…
But really, our meal at Brasserie Gustave was tremendously lovely. I understand now why Fay Maschler liked it. And Jay Rayner. If you are looking for a place to take your parents for lunch or dinner, Brasserie Gustave is it. The space during the day is light and spacious, the service is attentive, and the food is deeply French and deeply good.
Deeply, deeply French like delicious, garlicky escargot…
And deeply, deeply French like perfect, buttery foie gras…
Richard, our host, was very attentive and kind during our meal. So too our server — the one who brought Arden the madeleines. Richard brought us his suggested wine pairings with each course. (Whenever I am in a French restaurant or in the hands of a knowledgeable server, I put myself in their hands.) My favorite was the Coteaux du Layon from Maison Langlois-Chateau, a honey-toned Chenin Blanc.
For lunch, Jen and I “pseudo-shared” our two mains. I say “pseudo-shared” because of course we were like “We can share!” but really, we each enjoyed our mains so much that there was really the only tiniest bit of sharing there towards the end. (After we had finished talking, you know.) My Rossini was honest perfection, the beef perfectly medium rare, the spinach perfect and well…more perfect foie gras. How many times can I use perfect in this blog post?? I see now that they are offering a Chateaubriand Rossini for two for £70. You should go to Brasserie Gustave with that special someone in your life and get it.
Jen ordered one of the day’s specials, a baby chicken perfectly prepared. I would tell you what it tasted like but Jen only let me have the tiniest of bites at the end of our meal, so enthralled was she in the entire dish. By this point, I knew the feeling.
The Verdict: I tremendously, tremendously enjoyed my meal at Brasserie Gustave. If my father ever makes good on his threat to come visit me again, this is where we are going. Richard and his team are fabulous hosts and the food is fabulously French. Prices are a tiny bit high but honestly, it’s worth it. Go go go. (They also get super extra credit for dealing well with an active 13 month old.)
I was a guest of Brasserie Gustave. They are very kind hosts. We tipped on our guesstimate of the full bill.