About four weeks ago, I went with some friends to the Brasserie (in the basement of the Seagram building, 53rd Street between Lexington and Park Avenues).
Two of the four of us had never been there before and when it was time for deserts, I raved in the highest notes about the chocolate beignets with caramel ice cream and almost forced everyone to order this desert that I craved so deeply.
So we all ordered chocolate beignets after our appetizers and entrees (if I should comment on that, I would wrap it up in the following generalization: The creative and inspired dishes based on french cuisine are good, especially the fish dished the dishes taken from the original "Brasserie" menu, the 24 hour restaurant previously in the same location, are not recommendable .. but let me come to the beignets )
So our beignets arrived and the first taste let me fell silent. Gone, my overflowing enthusiasm. I ate my beignets silently and embarrassed, knowing any further comment would make it worse. They werent "bad" but no- they where nothing compared to the symphony they previously served there under the same name. And no I am too picky to order these things again. I questioned myself: how could I have recommended them so highly?
When the waiter came to remove the plates asking if we had enjoyed it, most of us politely smiled yes, thank you. Then the waiter added: "Ah- very good. We just got a new pastry chef."
HA- I am not insane, I thought. But I did not comment on the topic. And I did not ask the waiter where the old pasty chef went, what his name is and if he still works in the city my embarrassment was just to big- I had taken my mouth way to full.
Does anybody know any background information about the former pastry chef of the brasserie I would love to follow him, wherever he might work his magic
post scriptum: there was a thread on the manhattan message board regarding "Chocolate Beignets from the Brasserie" about a year ago .