Whilst in Manhatten last week I couldn't resist visiting my old favourite, Balthazar on Spring Street, Soho.
The chaotic entrance was crowded with an baying crowd of hopefuls, thankfully our good friend William Clarke had secured us a booth with a great view of the festivities.
Exquisite oyster selection from both East and West coast of the Americas and a chunky brandade with toasted sourdough were followed by a steak frites for me, a boeuf bourguignon with parpadelle for Hobby, warm salad of trout with spinach and lentils for Sarah (Williams wonderful wife, and a whole lot more!) and William had a sauteed skate with capers ... all immaculately cooked with plenty of butter and washed down with a wonderful bottle of 2003 Condrieu, just as it should be in a french brasserie.
With the release of Julie and Julia (which I watched on the flight home!) we are reminded that those pesky yanks do know how to cook french food and its great to find it served in the setting of its homeland with wonderful and informed service. Fabulous.