NYC Eats: Balthazar

Charming, beautiful interiors with high ceilings, bustling and a never ending stream of customers, Balthazar delivers the true french bistro New York City experience.

A one week in advance reservation for Sunday brunch only landed us with the 3.30pm slot (brunch ends at 4pm!). We were however half an hour early and decided to try our luck. Once we pushed through the heavy wooden front doors, we were immediately overwhelmed by the number of people and tables they had managed to squeeze into the place. Dont get me wrong, the floor area of Balthazar is not small at all but with every inch and corner occupied by a table and another barely inches away, you pretty much get an idea of how popular this establishment is with the New Yorkers. The noise level was high, really high- due to the number of people in the place, due to the number of gatherings held here and perhaps just due to everyone contributing to the boisterous atmosphere of Sunday brunch with family or friends!

Our first entrée was the Grilled Brook Trout over a warm spinach, walnut and lentil salad $25. A very simple looking dish, but a combination of so many different flavors that tied really well with each other! The sweetness of the grilled trout was a great match for the subtle bitterness of the raw spinach and the tenderness of simply boiled lentils. It was all so fresh and healthy tasting.

The chefs of Balthazar were flexible enough to allow us to change our main of Scrambled Eggs in Puff Pastry with wild mushrooms and asparagus $22 to eggs done Over Easy instead. This is one of their best sellers and even if you are no fan of buttery pastries, you’d like this one! The puff pastry was more like a croissant which tasted so fresh, you would believe that it just came from their bakery next door. Even with the butteryness so obvious in the pastry, it was not heavy at all! And with the wild mushrooms and asparagus adding a lovely colour to the overall presentation, this was simply a pleasure to eat.

And of course a douse of their lovely melted warm butter-like sauce at the side made the dish complete.

We ended that lovely meal with the Sour Cream hazelnut Waffles with warm berries $19 as dessert. Very freshly baked waffles with a great batter. I would have eaten it plain but I could not say no to the addition of the subtly sour warm berry sauce and all its colours, which made the end to our meal a pretty sweet one.

Overall, Balthazar is indeed an experience on its own and you should not leave town without trying it. It is rumored that this is the best place to spot celebrities but I was not so lucky this time! Closest I got to spotting one in NYC was at Rockefeller Center, where I was standing one traffic light junction across from Ben Stiller who was filming that day. And that still got me pretty psyched so Im not complaining!

80 Spring St
New York, NY 10012

Balthazar on Urbanspoon

New York, USA

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