Pastis Brunch

I’m not really sure what compelled me to go to Pastis for brunch when in New York last month. The French bistro, located in the Meatpacking District, is frequented by celebrities like Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester and Jessica Zohr, and bajillionaire power couple Beyonce and Jay Z.

Of course, anything Blair Waldorf does I simply must do. I think some acquaintances had raved about it as well. Regardless, I had it in my mind that this was the place to brunch, and I would be dragging poor beau from the Upper East Side to the Meatpacking District to brunch there.

pastis-outside

Silly me. I was wrong (a rare admission). Pastis has a good thing going in terms of the space. The enormous restaurant somehow still seems like the quintessential quaint Parisian café. The interior is adorable with typical wooden café seating, mirrors with the menu written on them and big train station style clocks on the wall. The waiters wear white shirts and white aprons like a French garcon. The napkins, remarked beau, are more like dishrags. It’s all supposed to give off this casual, whole-in-the-wall café in Paris vibe, but at steep New York City prices.

pastis-inside2

The service was good, and our waitress was—you guessed it—French, which makes the quality service all the more surprising.

So, the prices were fairly silly for the taste and quality of the experience. And, yes, I realize this is New York, not Washington. (We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto). The drinks were fine—nothing more, nothing less—and appropriately priced. I ordered an orange juice ($6); beau ordered a cappuccino ($4.50) and a small grapefruit juice ($4.75). The juices were fresh squeezed, as they should be.

pastis-juices

I contemplated ordering a basket of fresh bread, since I’m sure it would have been amazing, but it was $18. Eighteen dollars. For bread. Figuring the carbs just go to my thighs anyway, I opted to use that $18 toward shopping that afternoon, which also helped ensure I could still button any pants I tried on. Win-win, for me, readers, but a loss for you as I cannot tell you whether the bread basket was worth $18.

pastis-pancakes

Instead, I ordered pancakes ($16), which were not worth $16 as I’ve had pancakes at IHOP (in a past pre-brunch blogging life) that are better. Boring, cold, mediocre. The syrup was just syrup—not sure it even was maple. Worst of all, the side of fruit wasn’t fresh. You know how I feel about that.

pastis-bagel

Beau ordered an eighteen dollar bagel—with lox, cream cheese, tomatoes and onions. It was good. It was just a bagel. He has nothing more to report. Two days later, on our way out of town, we picked up bagels, including the same lox-cream cheese-plain bagel order, from a Jewish bakery on the UES. The bagelry bagels were far better and a third of the price.

The Bitches say: C+. Brunch at Pastis was boring and overpriced. With the seemingly endless array of dining options in the city, why would you even bother? Perhaps as a non-native New Yorker I’m missing something. If I am, please fill me in.

Pastis
9 Ninth Ave.
New York, New York

Pastis on Urbanspoon

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Comments

  • maria says:

    nope, you’re not missing anything – pastis was over about 4 years ago. you hit the nail on the head – they’re up on their high horse and couldn’t give a damn about quality food anymore. for a quality nyc brunch at half the price, you’re better off going to bubby’s, coffee shop, or even any of the pre-fixed hole in the walls in the east village.

  • [...] As you read, Pastis was overrated and, as a commenter from New York said “so four years ago.” Happily, an unplanned brunch at Isabella’s the next day was much better, but similarly nothing special. In a very uncharacteristic move, we did not have reservations anywhere for brunch. Beau and I met up with friends and wandered through town trying to find a Sunday spot without a two-hour wait. [...]

  • [...] It is decorated in the old style—it reminds me a lot of a larger, more traditionally French Pastis. It is the spot for power lunches, dinners with your family visiting from the Midwest, ladies [...]

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