It was a gorgeous weekend in NYC. It started with an inspiring run in Central Park as we ran against over 500 ultra marathoners competing in a 60k race. Now when I say against, let me clarify that they were my oncoming traffic. I am not an ultra marathoner. But there’s nothing like watching such strength and dedication whiz by you to capture every possible complaint that might slip past your panting lips. If they can run 60 kilometers surely I can finish my 4 mile loop!
Afterwards we took the opportunity to try out a restaurant that I’ve been meaning to get to for months. A sweet friend gave us a gift card as a Welcome to New York Gift and it’s taken this long to finally make the arrangements to eat at Pastis. We tried weeks ago to make reservations for the next day and found that they were all booked up for weekend brunch until this weekend. Tip #1: Plan ahead.
Pastis is a large restaurant by New York standards located in the West Village on a cute cobble stone street. It was designed to replicate a 1930s Parisian brasserie, and from what I read and experienced, it is always hopping. There’s a large communal table in the middle of the restaurant, a large bar, and small tables packed around the perimeter. I have no idea how we were fortunate enough to be seated at the best table in the house…a cozy table for two in a corner. If you’re looking for a quiet, romantic restaurant, this is not it. Loud and romantic? Definitely.
Tip #2: Order a cocktail. Yes, even for brunch. They have an assortment of wines, and a full bar, but the brunch cocktails looked really delicious. We ordered simple mimosas that weren’t on the menu, and they were incredibly refreshing after a morning run. But be prepared to spend $13-14 on your beverage. Yes, two mimosas cost $28, so no refills thank you.
Tip #3: Make sure to notify your waitstaff of your food allergies. I was extremely impressed with our waitress who warned me about this gorgeous stack of fries that the Husband ordered. No nibbling for me as they are fried in the same oil as the shallots which include a little flour. Later, the manager even came to the table to check on us and make sure that I knew that the french fries were not safe for me. That inspired confidence.
Tip #4: If you are a vegan, however, you will find very limited options at Pastis. Much of the brunch menu consists of eggs, fish, and meat. There are a few salads that you could order without the cheese, fresh fruit, grapefruit, and this oatmeal.
Knowing my limitations, I was prepared with my order before we sat down. (If you haven’t read my series on Eating Out Gluten-Free, my first tip is Do Your Homework. If I hadn’t done my research, I never would have known that their oatmeal was an option. Normally, ordering oatmeal at restaurants in off limits as they do not serve gluten-free oats. But Pastis uses Anson Mills Steel Cut Oats which are gluten free.
Topped with sauteed bananas, walnuts, and golden raisins, these oats tasted divine. They were so good that I didn’t bat an eye at the $13.00 price tag. Tip #5: Be prepared to drop a pretty penny on your meal.
The Husband ordered this Bagel with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese which was not gluten-free. Although he thoroughly enjoyed his meal, he mentioned that the bagel with cream cheese that he picks up at the corner bodega is just as good, especially since this one was $19.00. But if they had gluten-free bagels for $19.00 I probably would have ordered two!
So the bottom line is that Pastis is a great experience that has many options for gluten-free diners but limited options for vegans. It was fun to experience once, but with all of the gluten-free, vegan fare this city has to offer we won’t be back.
After brunch we were off to explore more of the city, and this weekend we chose the American Museum of Natural History.
I met a few friends.
This one was for my daddy. He has called me “Monkey” since birth. (What does that say about what I looked like as a newborn?) I texted him this picture and his response was, “Which one is you?” Love that guy.
- Have you been to Pastis?
- How was your weekend?
- How do you prepare for a new restaurant?