Sunday, April 29, 2007

Poste (Modern Brasserie) is the Moste

Poste Brasserie at the Hotel Monaco is a stand-out in Gallery Place. Unlike other "brasseries" this is a modern and very American take on the french idea of brasserie or "brewery" which typically means very casual seating and typical comfort items like steak frites and escargot. This place is more like California wine country with some snails and some hanger steak thrown in for good measure (and when I say "thrown in" I mean, plated carefully using very fine ingredients and artesinal acoutriments). The service is impeccable, the modern and clean dining room with high ceilings and the wide, wide open kitchen are airy and inviting. There is quality at every turn. I even spied a sign that read "sauces must be strained two times" on the industrial freezer. Now that's attention to detail! Best bites:

Truffle fries (matchstick fries with a dusting of truffle powder--crispy, salty, earthy)

Kona Kampachi (thinly sliced, farm-raised-trade-marked-sushi-grade, white fish served with pink grapefruit, ginger vinaigrette, and a little micro arugala--spritely, light, flavorful)

Escargot (deliciously garlicky, served sans shells on a tray with individual cavities for each little snail, which is lovingly topped off with tiny little puff pastries)

They have a nice selection of wines as well. There is outdoor seating in the lovely courtyard of the hotel and a beautiful open glass vestibule that houses one of the two bars. Great place for happy hour and dinner.

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