Francis Staub, founder of the cookware company, has reopened the iconic Brasserie Les Halles as La BRASSERIE on Park Avenue South in Flatiron. Although different in concept from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles, Francis Staub’s La Brasserie has kept the Steak with home-made Frites in honor of Bourdain while adding a few of his own favorite dishes including the Souflé with caviar and the Steak with Café de Paris sauce accompanied by home-made purée with herbs and garlic butter or with home-made French fries.
The menu welcomes a range of appetites from Wellfleet oysters with a citrus-cucumber mignonette or Hamachi with avocado, black radish and yuzu dressing to foie gras torchon with date-lemon chutney to start. Larger plates include roast chicken with crisp shoestring potatoes and tarragon jus, and Arctic char grenobloise with haricots verts and curried mussels in coconut milk. There is also côte de boeuf for two, finished with brandy and served on a bed of rock salt, presented with grilled mushrooms, shallot marmalade and béarnaise.
The wine list is mostly French, covering all major regions of the country, and includes both classic and natural selections. In a nod to the origins of the brasserie (which, translated, means brewery), beer and cider selections from Belgium, France and New York are available on tap and bottled.
The restaurant sports a 20-foot zinc bar while maintaining the iconic floor and ceiling designs of the space echoing the spirit of the original brasserie. The bay windows on the Park Avenue side when retracted create 12-seat terrace dining for warmer months. Brasserie Les Halles, which opened in 1990 as a butcher shop with a bistro in back, was successful until 2017. Bourdain was the executive chef from 1998 and remained the chef at large until its closing.