We were around the Meatpacking District area walking around, and I had stumbled onto this restaurant Pastis in my search for food. I remember reading that this restaurant was a happening place and was one of Keith McNally’s restaurants. Keith McNally is a restaurateur that has opened many NYC restaurants including Augustine, Balthazar, Minetta Tavern, and Cherche Midi. We were able to easily book a reservation for a Tuesday evening at 5 PM without any problems whatsoever. When we walked in, we were welcomed with a very fun atmosphere that resembled somewhat of a French market/cafe.
The interior was loud, but bearable. Tables had enough space, such that you can hear conversations. There were many corner seats where the tables are actually fairly small, but it allowed you to sit very close to your guest (i.e. knees touching). It definitely gave a lot of that French vibes. The decor was also plastered with many pine wreathes all over, so it felt very festive and cheery.
The service was fast and on point. We did not have to ask for much help because our server’s timing was impeccable.
The Côtes Du Rhône Blanc, Jean-Luc Colombo ‘La Redonne’ 2019 viognier, roussanne ($15 - left) was a very nice white wine that wasn’t super sweet and had a nice crisp.
The St. Germain Spritz ($19 - right) came with sparkling rose, st. germain, lillet rose, and pomegranate. This was very smooth, albeit a little too sweet for my palette though my partner enjoyed it.
The Onion Soup ($18) came with gratinée. This was very nice compared to what I had at Boucherie. Boucherie’s broth tended to be a little more on the sweet side, but this one had a nice balance of sweet and salty beef broth flavors. The cheese was nicely melted and crisped up as expected.
The Sardines en Conserve ($20) came with lemon wedges and bordier butter. The sardines came from Brittany, France, in a tin can from the supplier Mouettes d’Arvor. It sat in extra virgin olive oil and lemon. The sardines were delectable, albeit rather pricey for 6.
They gave us toast on the side to complement the sardines. The toast worked great with the bordier butter and to soak up all that olive oil and lemon sardine flavor goodness.
The Entrecôte ($57) came with a sauce béarnaise. This was ordered medium rare, and we mentioned to the server that we were planning to share this entree. They cut the steak in half, and they served us a light salad with the bearnaise sauce on each plate. I actually did not care much for the bearnaise because it had some strange taste that I wasn’t too fond of. The tender steak itself was seasoned appropriately albeit on the saltier side, and the cook on it was perfect. The portion size of this was quite hefty for a single person, so if you share, it’ll be fine.
This is the Fries that came with the entrecôte. The fries were not all equal. Most were crispy, but some were soggy. Nonetheless, they tasted similarly to McDonald’s fries where it tasted like it had been fried twice.
The Île Flottante ($14) came with pear and meringue. My partner mentioned they had this in France when they were there, and I’ve never had it. It’s basically a meringue, marshmallow-like, puck floating in the center of a creme anglaise. The creme anglaise had some Grand Marnier in it, so you can taste some of the alcohol. This dessert wasn’t too sweet and was served cold. I think the serving size was not huge, but it’s a nice light dessert to cap the night.
Pastis is a middle tier French restaurant that is very accessible and pretty good. We did not see any celebrities on our night, but we thought the food was quite enjoyable. It’s not a far walk from Chelsea Market if you’re in the area, and reservations were very easy to get.
Seriously, most of us have eaten outside since the start of COVID. Pastis has selected cheap, ineffective heaters that are mounted way too high above the tables to have any impact.
We noticed the heaters, and you would definitely still have to wear a jacket. The temperature at this time was around high 20s, so I wouldn’t even find it remotely fun to sit outside dining in that weather without proper clothes. We tried the outdoor backyard patio dining before in frigid weather, and it wasn’t fun. We vowed to never do it again which was fine because it seems there is still allure from people to dine outside in extreme circumstances.
This place is good but a bit pricy. Or, maybe I didn’t order the right thing for my brunch. The egg benedict I had was all right but a bit boring and the potatoes were not as delicious as ordinary home fries.
This Elitist was a victim of why I am not a fan of brunch. The eggs benedict as of this writing costs $23. The hollandaise sauce could be made of gold, and I’d still be deterred from ordering it.
- Dec 27, 2022 - Initial revision.