Monday, 30 August 2010

No Pig-out in New York

New York City, the Big Apple, the city that doesn't sleep, call it what you will, love it or hate it, that place is full of intrigue and adventure.  I had never before been to NYC until this past week, and though the main purpose of this trip is to see some professional theatrical productions, the opportunity to explore NYC's culinary world was naturally before me and my fellow travelers as, no matter what, we have to eat.  With most of my limited time having been already scheduled, the opportunities to explore the culinary world was limited, but I was still able to experience a nibble of that world already on the first evening in town.

Located a block west of Times Square, Pigalle, a brasserie, is one of many restaurants in the Theater District where theatre-goers can dine before watching a Broadway or off-Broadway production.  Featuring southwestern French cuisine, the restaurant provided fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere amongst throwback decor and light, classic jazz music in the air.  That atmosphere certainly helped our band of show-going travelers get to know each other and discuss about the rest of our itinerary.  Pigalle also offered a limited prix-fixe menu consisting of an entree, a main course and a dessert; seeing what was being offered, I opted for a prix-fixe dinner.
My first dish was Foie Gras Torchon with seasonal fruit preserves.  The dried grapes and peaches provided a nice counterpoint to the foie gras, chewy and textured compared to soft and melt-in-your-mouth smooth, sweet compared to savoury.  In spite of the high fat content of foie gras, this dish did not feel nor taste heavy at all.  As I ate this, I had the opportunity to share with the other show-goers my last experience with foie gras, which I now realize was over a year ago.  Thank goodness I was going to do plenty of walking on this trip to burn the calories!
Continuing with the duck theme, my main course was roasted duck magret in pomegranate sauce with green beans and wild rice with chestnuts and tart cherries.  The magret was nicely cooked and prepared, the flavouring was fine, and the wild rice, with the chestnuts mixed in it, reminded me a bit of my mother's wild rice stuffing I always enjoyed at our family turkey dinners.  Though the portion appeared larger than main courses at other fine dining restaurants I've visited, this was a bit deceiving as the magret was sliced fairly thinly.
Lastly, for dessert I had Opera, an almond, chocolate and coffee-based cake.  Though the presentation was alright, unfortunately I found the cake to be a touch on the sweet side for my liking.  I was already under the impression that desserts made to suit (North) American tastes tend to be sweeter than desserts suited more for European or Asian tastes, and rightly or wrongly, this dessert only reinforced my impression.

Overall, Pigalle was a decent experience.  Though the food generally tasted pretty good, in the end I didn't get that "wow" kind of feeling when I was done at that place.  I'm sure there are other French restaurants in New York, let alone elsewhere in the world, that can outdo this place, and I hope to discover those other places the next time I return to this city.

Name: Pigalle
Address: 790 8th Ave. (@ W. 48th St.), New York, NY
Cuisine: French, Brasserie
Price Range: Lunch $12-$30; Dinner $15-$40
Accessible: Yes

1 comment:

  1. My family went to Pigalle for Christmas dinner 2011. It was awesome. I had the Fois Gras Torchon, The Duck Magret, and the Creme Brule. AWESOME!!!!