Pascal's Brasserie - Newport Beach?
Has anyone tried Pascal's Brasserie in Fashion Island? This restaurant, previously French 75, and something else before that, has recently been taken over by Pascal Olhats whose other restaurants, especially Traditions, are quite good. Wondering about the new "Brasserie"...any info?
Had a wonderful early evening, recently, at Brasserie Pascal.
The interior is the same as when it was Rouge/F-75, but I like it, and it fits well with Mr. Olhats theme--the only difference, was that it was hopping, and happy that he has added his special touch via the menu and vibe.
Started out w/ 2--#75's during HH, tried his $10 for 2 appetizer menage, (heavy, almost a meal for two, out of the gate.) Ubiquitous sliders, saucisson/pate, and perfect fries were winners on the platter. I finished only the most desirable, non-starchy items (sans the fries--ate 1/2 of them--did eat the ground beef w/ delicious blue cheese sauce/onion sans the bun (saving up for dinner) and all of the pate/terrine w/ accoutrements.) It's a nice platter for those in the mood for responsibly filling up while having a couple cocktails. Some items weren't hot, and/or tasted "kept." Others, like the burger, fries and pate were very, very nice. Hard to chastise, as even the items that weren't perfect--would be quite nice, anywhere else.
However. . .the meals were just a great deal--all around. Though the HH appetizer $10 for 2 was only "picked at," we ended up choosing to dine on his $14 Crab/Shrimp Louie Salad, and a pre-6:30PM $10 complete Halibut meal. (Honestly, I was dying to try his Steak Tartare, his foie gras, and/or the charcuterie/pate plate (again, and have had it previously)--will save for the next visit.))
His slightly charred baby romaine lettuce bulb/wedge with fresh and briny extra-large shrimp and crab claw meat with perfect remoulade-style dressing was immaculate, well executed, and possibly the cleanest, best tasting "Crab/Shrimp Louie" I've ever had. The "foodie-contestants" at the other table were gawking, and asking what we ordered. Obviously, the presentation was just right.
One would think that they'd get a run-of-the-mill fish at $10/plate. Oh, no--not here. Enjoy while you can. I asked the waitress, who's been working there since the "Rouge"-days, which I should order, the Filet, Halibut or Coq au Vin? She immediately responded, "Halibut." She was spot on. Though I'm oddly not a halibut fan, I love fish in general--so I always give it (Halibut) lots of chances to help make me like it. My plate arrived hot, fish cooked to perfect medium (seared, but not too-seared fish-only crust) and juicy, with a light wine/very slightly buttery-w/ mild lemony splash. Yum.
The sides were quite rich--but delicious--risotto (cooked perfectly--the grains were still individual, yet were rendered to the right creaminess) that was challenging to stop taking bites of, and the veggies weren't steam-tabled. Very nice. No need for seconds here, all portions were more than ample.
I witnessed the tartare being made table side (can't wait, wish I had a tartare-lover to share with) and the Filet and Coq au Vin being served. All classy, all nice--in a very relaxed environment.
I'll always patronize Mr. Olhats, but if you want to try out a man sending a message about his culinary acumen at an incredible discount--you should not wait until tomorrow to try out his new venture.
Enjoy. I love it when I can write such a glowing review. It is Bistro-wonderfulness, here in Newport.