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Les Halles

b
Bob Dec 28, 2000 09:02 AM

Anyone been there recently? Can you recommend any dishes? Thanks.

  1. m
    MEG WOLTERS Dec 28, 2000 11:03 AM

    I LOVED IT. The steak and fries combination is terrific. I also recommend the escargot.

    I also recommend the Chicken salad with sliced parmasean cheese.

    It's a bit loud inside.

    Enjoy

    1. t
      Tom Steele Dec 28, 2000 11:05 AM

      I've been to Les Halles many times over the years, and it's become incredibly popular--with good reason: It's as good a bistro as any in Manhattan, and it's reasonably priced.

      If you like blood sausage (boudin noir), Les Halles makes the best I've EVER tasted (you can also buy it on your way out at the boucherie up front). Do NOT miss the French fries, which, as far as I'm concerned, are also the best in town: Piping hot, perfectly creamy inside, golden and lightly crunchy outside. Ask for mayonnaise.

      If blood sausage frightens you, hanger steak (onglet) is a great cut of meat. So named because it hangs near the kidneys, it just tastes beefier than any cut, IMHO.

      But frankly, everything I've ever tasted at Les Halles has been memorably good. I don't know if Anthony Bourdain is back at the range, but I doubt it. Now that Brad Pitt is vying to play him in the movie version of Bourdain's marvelous KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL, who knows whether he'll ever return, much as he says he loves chefing.

      By the by, I recently attended Tom (Gramercy Tavern) Colicchio's "class" at Macy's De Gustibus series. During the Q&A, I asked him what he thought of KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL. Not surprisingly, he said he absolutely loved it. (What chef wouldn't???)

      Anyway, enjoy Les Halles. It can be extremely loud and sometimes a bit smokey, but that's precisely what you find in a bourgeois Paris bistro.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tom Steele
        d
        Danger Jones Jan 6, 2001 03:29 PM

        Tom, good to see you attended the Tom Coliccho's class at Macy's De Gustibus series. Would you recommend it? I saw the Rick Bayless class there this last segment which I thoroughly enjoyed--- dj

        1. re: Danger Jones
          t
          Tom Steele Jan 6, 2001 07:13 PM

          Yo Danger! The De Gustibus "classes" can be quite wonderful. They're expensive ($80 a pop), but if you're an intermediate home cook and reasonably chef-obsessed, it's probably worth it. It's dinner--the "tastings" are ample enough--and the wines are pretty good (though I wish they'd decant some of those reds). It's mainly a great opportunity to interact with the chef of your choice before, during, and after the preparation of the dishes.

          Now I have to go--I'm doing Tom Colicchio's braised fresh "bacon" (pork belly), and the cooling period has ended. Time to degrease, deglaze, and re-braise.

      2. e
        Eddie Bennet Dec 28, 2000 11:56 AM

        I most recently ate at Les Halles in September. My top recomendation on the menu is Mignon de Porc. This is one of the best pork dishes I have had and is perfectly suited to cold weather. The dish is a pork tenderloin served with garlic confit and mashed potatoes. All of this rests on a delicious and viscous red wine reduction sauce. The whole cloves of garlic are fantastic, creamy and sweet. The escargots are great, straight forward and classicaly prepared (be carful, they come to the table at a molten temprature). I was not thrilled with the mussels. They are also prepared in the classic way, steamed with white wine, garlic and a touch of tomato. They were ok, but not all that flavourful, there are far better renditions in Manhattan. I have to say the same about the Onglet a l'Echalote or hanger steak. While Les Halles is widely praised for their meat, the steak lacked the flavour of a well aged piece of beef. I was very surprised at how poor the cheese plate was. A very mediocre selection of brie, roquefort, and a goat cheese, none of which were memorable.

        1. j
          Jayask Dec 28, 2000 01:34 PM

          I ate at Les Halles Friday night.

          They have great frites. My steak was good as well, as was the onion soup. The apple tart with vanilla icecream was very good, and had a nice flaky crust, although I prectically needed a knife to get through the crust.

          They are only a block from Kalustyans (on 28th and Lex), so I went spice-shopping as well. :)

          id someone just say they are doing a movie of Kitchen Condifential with Brad Pitt? Wow. The book was a riot!

          -Jayask

          1. a
            andrew reibman Jan 2, 2001 08:32 AM

            tete de veau is wonderful, particularly if you like tongue or aren't squeamish about "variety meats". on a return trip I would try anything with offal - these seem to be somehing of a specialty here. liver, kidneys, the blood sausage (recommended by another followup poster) etc...

            1. p
              Patrick A. Jan 2, 2001 08:20 PM

              I highly recommend the steak tartare.

              The New York strip is also very good. (Non-aged style beef -- order it rare.)

              Patrick

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