Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bridge Ten Brasserie

After celebrating the grand re-opening of the South Side Library Mary Alice and I sped down Carson Street to the Bridge Ten Brasserie. We knew it was on 10th St. but we lacked the courage of our convictions and turned back before reaching the location hard by the 10th Street Bridge. In fact, it's part of the Holiday Inn Express. The great blessing there is that there is free parking in the hotel lot ($5 valet at dinner). If you've never spend half the night looking for a parking space on Carson Street you have no idea what a blessing that is.

Seated in the bar area we found ourselves the only guests on a rainy Saturday. The bar is a nice looking, modern space with plenty of stainless steel and dark wood with windows that look out on the terrace that fronts 10th St.

Greeted by the maitre d', a genuine Frenchman, we were seated and quickly began our lunch with the rillettes  de canard appetizer. This brought on a rectangular crock filled with preserved duck meat and topped with a rich layer of duck fat. The dish was accompanied by slices of grilled house-made bread which was given a bit of butter or oil and topped with a sprinkle of perhaps parsley. Whatever it was the grilled bread was delicious and a perfect foil for the rich preserved duck and duck fat.

For our main dishes I chose the Salade Auvergnate. This has always been one of my favorite lunch time dishes in France although you don't see it much here. The Bridge Ten version is somewhat different from what I'm used to with bleu d'Auvergne cheese rather than Cantal but the combo of greens, cheese and ham is still a delicious one.

Mary Alice had one of her favorites, a Croque Monsieur. Prepared on excellent bread, also made in house, the ham was topped with beautifully melted cheese and accompanied by a salad of greens and tomatoes. There is about twice as much sandwich as is needed--two could easily share this for lunch. Even more, its accompanied by a full plate of frite. The frite had an excellent potato taste but weren't as crispy as they might have been. I'd say: cut them thinner and blanche before frying.

We ended up with the clafoutis, a traditional French dessert from Limousin and normally made with cherries. Their version used blueberries (excellent at this time of year) and they studded a thick, pudding-like cake that made a sweet end  to our lunch. Two cakes were perfect for the two of us to share.

There is a nice but small assortment of wines and I enjoyed two glasses of a very nice Bordeaux, Cote de Bourg.

During the course of lunch we had a chance to meet the owner, Dave DeSimone, who many will remember from his writing about wine for the Tribune Review. He's making a real effort to bring authentic French food to Pittsburgh and plans a number of events plus various regional menus in coming months.

We enjoyed our lunch and look forward to trying other items on a return visit for dinner with the No Rules Eating Club.

Bridge Ten Brasserie on Urbanspoon


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