Last night I was planning on going to Socarrat for dinner. Literally power walked down there after the art exhibit. We got there around 645 and there was an hour wait. Alas. So, we left.
The question was, now that we aren't eating paella, what do we feeling like eating? My friend said how about a french bistro? We walked down 8th Avenue and saw Gascogne . The menu definitely said French so we went with it. I admit that is something I rarely do. I generally make reservations and hit up some of the newest spots so last night was a little out of my comfort zone.
We walked in and they wanted to know if we wanted to sit outside, so we did. We were led downstairs into a quaint back patio that over time became full. It was really nice. One of those unexpected finds.
I started with a simple salad that was perfectly dressed and delicious. My friend had the french onion soup which he savored. For dinner, I had the honey roasted duck breast that was sliced and served like a fan over a rich brown wine sauce with a roasted tomato on the side and a yummy light Shallot flan. My friend had the cassoulet which was delicious. Classic French cooking bent towards the Southern region of France.
When we walked out, my friend said to me, if this restaurant was anywhere else besides NYC people would be telling their friends how they have to go here. So true. That is what is so unique about this town, actually Paris and Rome was very similar. There are so many restaurants of all different price points that cater to different communities of people who live in each city. Gascogne, which I believe has been around for quite awhile, was quite busy last night. Perhaps more of a local crowd but there is nothing trendy about this place, just a nice neighborhood gem with delicious food. Supposedly they have a fantastic brunch. For me, a total treat.
Even though it was near my old office at Google on 16th and 8th, it was my mother (a former New Yorker and now Long Island resident) who turned me on to Gascogne. It’s where she goes pre-show or an evening out in Manhattan. Unpretentious, authentic French fare at reasonable prices – with a lovely garden! I have to agree that this place is a total gem. (Plus, two of my favorite friends went here right after they got engaged – and they came all the way in from Park Slope to celebrate. Good for an everyday meal or special occasion!)