Bar Americain

An American brasserie, Bar Americain celebrates the foods of America with a healthy dose of the bold flavors Bobby Flay is most known for. ...Bobby combines his American menu with the energetic fast pace of the time-honored European brasserie.

This is my second brunch at Bar Americain, the first having been almost a year ago before I moved to the city. Both times though I was impressed with the creativity on the menu along with the impeccable service and expansive, elegantly designed dining room.

The restaurant is one huge room with 20-foot ceilings and kind of a 20's-style-meets-futuristic decor. Behind the bar is a massive mirror (of multiple panels) that dominates the wall, but balances with a few columns and other pieces that serve to divide the space and the cool five-foot diameter lights that hang over circular banquettes. Off to one side, you can see the kitchen and the raw bar, both things I appreciate. The whole space managed to maintain a sense of intimacy, in that I wasn't distracted by what was happening around me, yet keep an open and spacious feeling. I have yet to visit the mezzanine, which "provides an ideal vantage point for people watching with a slight respite from the bustle of the main floor below."

On to the food. From what I remember, the brunch menu hasn't changed too much in the last year, and that's fine with me: stick with what works. The menu is arranged more like a dinner menu, with appetizers, sides, the raw bar, and entrees listed, along with an selection of cocktails — with everything themed more around breakfast and lunch, than dinner, of course. There were so many dishes that were appealing, it was tough to settle on just one. Luckily I was able to taste a few others.

As I was craving Hollandaise, I ordered the Crawfish & Crab Cakes, with poached eggs and a tarragon Hollandaise. The dish was delicious, though the tarragon was a bit strong in the sauce. I almost wanted to order the Cajun Hollandaise from another dish (which looked amazing) but I didn't want to veer from the chef's choice for the dish. Another favorite at our table was the Blue Corn Fried Eggs. The menu doesn't do the dish justice: we had all passed it over until our server explained how it comes together with eggs over easy atop a large blue-corn 'chip' with chilies, black beans and crumbled cheese. I was jealous of V, who was enjoying every bite. Like this dish, others on the menu were typical of Flay's southwestern style, and they were all very original and well executed.

The Smoked Chicken Pot Pie comes in a ceramic crock with a sweet potato biscuit crust and was very fitting for the season, as it has begun to cool down. The Biscuits and Cream Gravy was tempting with artisanal ham (I wonder exactly what that means?), sausage and scrambled eggs. The previously mentioned Cajun Hollandaise comes atop poached eggs, Tasso ham, and a griddled tomato that looked amazing and also fitting for Flay's style. And the list of things I want to try goes on: an open-face omelet with peppers, mushrooms and goat cheese; Bananas Foster Crepes; and a Grilled Pizza, with smoked bacon, caramelized onions, and toasted garlic. Flay has really put together a great menu.

Finally, to top off the atmosphere and the food, the service too is top notch. Our server was friendly and attentive, he knew the dishes and drinks so well that he was able to convince several of us to change our orders. Still he knew too just the right amount of attention to give and stayed back during most of the meal, allowing us to enjoy the company and conversation at the table. Really, everything came together at Bar American for a great meal. I'm grateful to V's family for inviting me along to this and so many other great meals!

No comments: