Gaslight Brasserie

For as long as I can remember, my constant dining companion has been Krissie. That makes sense.  After all, she is my twin sister. Over the past 25+ years, we have faced the good and the bad. There have been many battles at the dinner table, choking down my dad’s infamous BBQ chicken or hiding the heavily masticated meat in napkins and knocking over large glasses of milk as a means of distraction.

If there is one person who I know relishes in gastronomical adventures as much as I do, it’s Krissie.  We’ve even made it a birthday tradition to dump the contents of our wallets into the registers of fancy Boston eateries every September 19th.  The list features notables such as O Ya, L’Espalier, and Menton.

For months, Krissie expressed a need to visit Gaslight Brasserie du Coin.  With Restaurant Week (“RW”) nipping at our heels, we felt it was as good of a time as any to make a reservation.

Krissie, best friend and dining companion

We arrived at Gaslight to the expected Restaurant Week crowds. What’s nice about Gaslight is the parking. On weeknights and all day on weekends, parking in a large designated lot is free.  As a suburbanite in the Greater Boston Area, I can say parking anxiety a pretty normal occurrence for me.  This  lot is a Godsend.

Our waiter Frank was friendly, but frazzled. He took our orders but sadly, returned once or twice to clarify. No, I did not say red wine. I understand for some restaurants, RW can be a little overwhelming. However, I feel that it’s not the time to let your service slip. For many, RW is the first opportunity to be a diner at your establishment. Please remember my order, especially if it’s off the prix fixe menu.  Time to shine.

With that only mishap out of the way, Frank brought out our dishes at superhuman speed — another downside of RW when the restaurants are trying to get as many covers as they can in one night.

Steak Tartare with Croutons and Aioli

It was not included on the Restaurant Week menu, but their tartare  is the one dish I can never skip when I go to Gaslight.  It is extremely flavorful — they do not skimp on their capers.  Salivary glands, prepare yourselves!  It is topped with a perfectly cooked egg and aioli and is served with crunchy crouton toasts.

Creamy Yukon Gold Potato Bisque with Crispy Prosciutto and Parmesan Crisps

I ordered the bisque.  It was velvety and extremely rich, but there wasn’t anything that memorable about this to me.  Probably an unwise dish to order for prix fixe considering it was made out of potatoes, but enjoyable all the same.

Parisian Crêpes with Roasted Winter Vegetables and
Duck Confit and Spiced Granny Smith Apples

Krissie ordered the crêpes for her first course.  The highlight of this dish was the surprise tartness from the granny smith apples.  It may be an unreasonable judgment due to its RW price constraint, but the barely there presence of the duck confit to counterbalance the tartness earned a few negative points.

House Made Black Truffle Infused Tagliatelle, Oyster
Mushrooms, English Peas, and Guanciale Porcini Cream

Krissie and I both ordered this because we’re complete suckers for all truffle everything.  I have no complaints about this dish.  It was delicious and I savored every last bite for lunch the next day.

Meyer Lemon Tart, Candied Lemon Rind and Blackberry Cognac Coulis

Krissie ordered the citrus tart.  It was “light” the way all citrus desserts fool you into thinking.  I ate my bite and gave thanks to the Meyer Lemon gods.

Vanilla Bean “Quatre-Quarts” Cake with
Grand Marnier Butter & Strawberries

If anyone is wondering what the fancy “quartre-quarts” means — it’s French for four quarts, which Gaslight so cleverly named its pound cake.  The cake was moist and was complimented by the flavor of the Grand Marnier and strawberries.

Overall, our meal was solid French fare at a very affordable price (the normal menu was also very reasonable).  I mentioned a few times in this post that there are certain complaints that unfortunately come with the Restaurant Week territory.  That’s no excuse, but these complaints are strictly limited to Restaurant Week.

If you try this place, I suggest going with a small party of two or even by yourself and eating your meal (escargot is a must) at the bar.  The bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable.  They even have a drink named after one of my favorite French singers, Edith Piaf.  If you’ve seen Inception, you know the song Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.

Gaslight Brasserie du Coin
560 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 422-0224

Also, I should note — my dad’s cooking has improved considerably over time.  Long gone are the days of Boboli pizzas and fast food!  Now he’s mastered pancakes (the blueberry, banana, or blueberry/banana variety) and pork chops, which have become tastes of home for me.

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