Locally owned and operated, The Brasserie Restaurant & Bar in Brookside's Consortium, features French-inspired cuisine, something of a rarity in Tulsa. Founder Tim Baker (recently of Fleming's steakhouse) brings 20 years of experience to his recent endeavor, located in a completely remodeled space, which was formally Monte'e Chop House and Montrachet Wine Bar and Bistro. Justin Thompson, formerly of Ciao, Baby!, is the restaurant's executive chef.
I always enjoy this space in the Consortium, and this newly remodeled look is most pleasant and inviting. Light and dark colors blend well, accenting each other in commendatory way. Lighting is splendid and table seating is comfortably placed for intimate dining, and dining just to be far enough away for privacy.
My dining companion and I did notice the noise level was a bit high, with guests fully enjoying themselves and wait staff voices carrying beyond the kitchen station area to the dining room.
Our server for the evening kindly greeted us and allowed us time to settle in before rushing us into getting our beverage order. The fall menu and wine list are magnificent! From a previous conversation with Baker, I recall him saying that there should be a "symbiotic relationship with food and wine," adding that at Brasserie, he has designed the food and wine menus with purpose: many of the wines are French regional wines selected to match the same regional cuisine of France.
And while we both did not stick with the French wine/food idea, we did thoroughly enjoy our first dining experience at The Brasserie.
My friend and I pondered the menu selections: Fruits de Mer; Tartes; Hors d'Oeuvres; Salades; Plats Principaux; and Sides. We agreed to begin with the Spinach Goat Cheese Tarte ($8). As my dining companion said, "anything with goat cheese has to be good." We were not disappointed with the tarte, but we were a bit befuddled that our server expressed some hesitation to select a wine for the tarte.
She asked the right questions, do we prefer red or white, sweet or dry, but beyond that her only suggestion was the Chateau Trinquevedel Tavel. I recalled Baker saying that the Pierre Sparr One, Alsace '05 ($5.75 by the glass) is the 'most versatile food wine that goes with everything. It went nicely with the tarte.
My friend took our server's recommendation from the Rhone Whites; the Chateau Trinquevedel ($7.25). This wine had a delicate, crisp taste, which really did not hold up to the tarte, my friend said.
The tarte was unlike what we thought it would be: it was an oblong-shaped puff pastry topped with spinach and goat cheese. It was heated nicely and perfectly delicious! We also had the Creamy Chicken Liver & Foie Gras Pate ($10). This was served with savory apple pear chutney in a gelatin layer on the bottom of the Pate, with delicate mounds of Gherkins, Red Onion and Capers to add to the toasted bread for each bite.
The Pate was rich and simply exquisite!
Our only suggestion would be to have smaller toasted bread, more bite-sized. I especially enjoyed the little crunchy salt pieces on the gelatin.
For my dinner, I had the Seared Duck Breast with Gnocchi, Roquefort Cream with an Orange Maple Glaze. Each bite was savory, rich with flavor. Each item appeared to be prepared in the best possible way, with ample attention to flavor and detail.
A side selection was the Truffled Polenta ($4), which I would highly recommend for its smoothness and creamy flavor. I also had a small bowl of the Onion soup Gratinée ($6) with Gruyere, Swiss and Parmesan cheeses. Again, rich in flavor and a fascinating blend of cheeses encased the thick bread that topped the soup.
My friend ordered the Pink Peppercorn Crusted Roast Rack of Lamb ($23) with Potato Gratin and Spinach. While he enjoys the lamb flavor for what it is, he did comment that many people shy away from lamb because of its gaminess; he said this flavor was not overpowering. He said the roasted preparation kept the flavor simple and "not fussed over."
His side was the Sautéed Asparagus with Lemon & Capers ($4). This side was a good choice for the lemon and capers were a perfect match for the sweet and tender asparagus.
Wines that were recommended with dinner included a glass of Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon, Tri-County for my friend and Van Duzer Pinot Noir for me. These were good suggestions.
The Brasserie is a must for a fine dinner like few in Tulsa. Both of us appreciated the attention to detail for each dish we ordered.
3509 S. Peoria, Ste. 161
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