Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pastis Pastis pastis

A friend and I spent the afternoon walking through the infamous Meatpacking District in New York, and happened to walk past Pastis french restaurant. Why does that name seem familiar, well for me a non-New Yorker the Devil Wears Prada immediately came to mind.
Pastis is a large restaurant by New York standards for sure and even by South African standards. It features a communal table, a zinc bar, and an outdoor summer café, which didn't have a table to spare. But who wants to sit on the sidewalk anyway?! *pout*
Inside the decor seems to be a mish mash of wooden tables,some with marble tops, and chairs along leather benches. There are wooden ceiling fans, and mirrors with the menu printed on them. The waiters/waitresses are all in blue jeans and white shirts which gives it a very casual feel. Along with the paper menus that double as place mats.
For a midweek afternoon, it is very busy and loud, which I hope is a sign of good food and not just hype. The first thing I notice is that tables are tightly packed, which I wouldn't expect of a venue this size but I guess more tables more money! And after all how much room do I really need to manoeuvre my knife and fork. 
So what to order at Pastis? Tuna Nicoise? Caesar Salad? No instead I opt for beer battered fish and chips and my friend orders a cheese burger, in the hopes she'll get a gourmet burger.
Both dishes arrive with a mountain of golden crispy fries, although one or two of those fries are golden brown like they'd been out tanning for a bit too long. The fish is cod in a wonderful but thick beer batter, with a side of pickled onions and tartare sauce. The beer flavour went fantastically with vinegar and the mini pickled onions. Yes I had fish, chips and vinegar at Pastis. The meal was good but not spectacular and I have had better fish in Cape Town for sure!
 Now onto the burger, which was definitely not gourmet. But maybe us Jozi Foodies have been spoilt by the Salvation Cafe-esque gaucamole laden, tomato relish, caramelised onion ring bearing burgers. the Pastis burger is a ground beef patty, with no herbs or spices, topped with a slice of cheese, tomato and onions. And that's it!
 For me Pastis is overrated! I think much of it is about being seen in the right place, which is the sidewalk in summer. I would expect to get an amazing gourmet burger, but I guess burgers aren't French after all and neither are English fish and chips. 

So maybe it was an ordering faux pas, I'll know better if ever there is a next time.


No comments:

Post a Comment