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Balthazar Restaurant: A Review

I haven't done a review in a while, so there's no better time than the present. Actually, looking back through my blog posts, Ive never reviewed an actual restaurant, so this will be a first.

Several few weeks ago, my friend Anjelika introduced me to Balthazar Restaurant, which is a French restaurant in NYC's Soho district. After a leisurely brunch there, I was hooked. So when my mom visited me over the Thanksgiving holiday, I decided we should go back again. Wow, I'm glad we did.

As soon as my mom and I arrived, we were informed that since we were early (we showed up at 9:30am), we couldn't place an order until 10am, when Brunch is served. We chose to sit anyway and our server Carol came over to introduce herself. Best. Server. Ever. If you go there, you should request to sit in her section. For real.

My mom and I each ordered a cappuccino and Carol provided menus so that we could peruse the brunch possibilities. However the cappuccino kept stealing my attention. It was amazingly thick and creamy with just the right amount of foam on top of the espresso and milk. I heart caffeine.

Carol stopped by again and discussed each menu option with us so that we could make informed decisions. In the end, we chose two appetizers and two entrees. Carol received our order just prior to 10am and I think we were the first order into the kitchen for Brunch that day!

Appetizer 1: Onion Soup Gratinee

My mom thinks this is one of the best onion soups that she has ever had. And she's had a lot of onion soups. The cheese and bread were salty and thick. The soup underneath was rich and flavorful with onions and broth. This was a pretty filling appetizer, but we pressed on...

Appetizer 2: Warm Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Tart

This is by far my favorite appetizer at Balthazar. The mix of goat cheese and caramelized onions is exceptional and the warm flaky crust that goes along with this ain't half bad either. A small arugula salad with sweet, roasted tomatoes accompanies this tart.

So in short, we may have pigged out on cappuccinos and appetizers before getting to the big meal. Maybe.

Entree 1: Scrambled Eggs in Puff Pastry

This was my mom's choice for an entree. She really liked the fluffy eggs and the crisp, fresh mushrooms and asparagus that came with it. The buttery, flaky puff pastry was the perfect vessel in which to serve this.

Entree 2: Brioche French Toast

This was MY choice for an entree. I had it the last time I was there with Anjelika and I chose to have it again this time, since it was that good. The crust of the brioche was flaky. Yet the center of the brioche was soft and just melted in my mouth. And of course, it came with thick, warm bacon on top of it. (I moved the bacon to the side so you could see the brioche in this picture.) Everything's better with bacon. Drool.

All of the above was promptly devoured. As it should be.

I cannot wait to head back to Balthazar. There are so many other items that I would like to try on the menu. I just wish it wasn't so tempting to order tried-and-true favorites. I should really do these restaurant reviews more often. They're pretty tasty!

PS - Sorry about the dark photos. I took them with my camera phone and it doesn't have a flash!