French classics and lots of flambéing
When in the mood for something continental, head to Brasserie Gustave for all-French classics in a relaxed ambience. Richard Weiss, co-owner/ex-sommelier, provides an involved front of house service. His large and rambunctious nature is incredibly well meaning, and provides an invaluable fount of information. In the kitchen is Laurence Glayzer, with 10 years working at Michelin-starred restaurants in France including Marc Meneau’s L’Esperance in Vezelay, Georges Blanc in Vonnas, and Bernard Loiseau La Cote D’Or in Saulieu. As such, Glayzer can prep any French meal both on and off menu.
The restaurant is painted canary yellow and kitted out with Art Nouveau and Art Deco posters of satirical cartoons published in La Vie Parisienne – a French magazine founded in the 19th century and renowned for its salacious content.
To start, a ‘Frenchini’ recommended by Weiss is a twist on a Bellini made with strawberry puree and Cremant. It is far superior to the classic and well worth an order in this Brasserie named after the engineer behind the iconic Eiffel Tower. A heady and aromatic dish of Escargot is specifically picked for its resounding Frenchness, baked with parsley, butter and bread crumbs. The little balls of land-crustacean are served blindingly hot, so wait before ingesting. On another plate, veil-thin sheets of Smoked Salmon with chopped shallots and capers – immerse these in fresh lemon juice and enjoy.
A tableside oven is rolled onto the scene to fire up both mains – Fillet Steak is flambéed with peppercorn sauce and Seabass finds itself similarly engulfed in flames. Yes, it is rather a kitsch move, but I love it. The flambé continues with Crepe Suzette with a heavy kick of orange, and a rather capable vanilla Crème Brulee.
This quintessentially French restaurant offers fantastic brasserie classics and is well worth a visit.
I was invited to Brasserie Gustave.