As I’ve already stated, Anthony Bourdain is one of my favorite chefs. This may seem a bit strange (it does to me), as I’ve never tasted his food. The question is, I like his unique style, his loose mouth, which I came to know after reading his best seller “Kitchen Confidential” and watching several of his TV shows.
So, no wonder that when in New York City I had to visit “Les Halles” (411, Park Av. South – GPS: 40.743542 Lat N, 73.983865 Long W ). Not that I had any hopes of meeting him there, but the place has his seal, as he worked there for quite a few years (in fact he grew up professionally at this place). I’ve found several reviews on the net regarding this restaurant, which has been labelled from “fantastic” to “complete trash”. In my modest opinion none of this extremes are correct.
The decoration is that of a French style brasserie. In a Saturday, at lunch time, the place was crowded and rather loud. The service was perfect, as the waiter was pretty friendly and neither the food, nor the bill, took long to arrive.
I ordered “smoked pork loin, veal sausage, frankfurter, smoked pork breast, boiled potatoes, sauerkraut braised in Pinot d’Alsace” (Choucrout Garni), while most of my party (we were a group of 5) decided not to adventure and took the traditional “Steak, Frites, Salade” (as a matter of fact, this is what Les Halles is better known for). The meats were all cooked to the right point and the sauces pretty good. Thus, although nothing was really fantastic, no complains either.
For desert, Crème Brülêe, caramelized to perfection and producing the typical cracking sound.
We spent around US$ 50,00/person, what is a bit expensive for a middle class Brazilian, although not particularly high in New York City. Overall it was a nice experience, which I might repeat, if I happen to visit the Big Apple again.