1. noun. French licorice-flavored liqueur, typically served as as an apéritif.
2. noun. Lively casual French bistro in New York City's Meat-Packing District known for good libation, fun, and a gorgeous crowd
Enter into Pastis, the trendy European-style bar and restaurant in the fashionable industrial Meatpacking District, and you'll feel as if you've been transported to another country. The tin ceiling, mosaic tiled floors, and mahogany trim bar are evidence of the Parisian style and soul that Pastis strives to embody.
Even more impressive is the fact that the antique fixtures adorning the establishment, such as the distressed mirror, round lights, brass railings and the newspaper rack were painstakingly collected from flea markets overseas and shipped here.
I last visited Patis in February with Laura of Cooking Photographer, who was visiting New York to participate in Electrolux's cake decorating contest to raise money and awareness of ovarian cancer. If you'd like to read about Laura's story, please click here.
Laura is a professional food photographer who has had her amazing work featured across several large publications such as The Kitchn and Serious Eats.
On this day Laura was showing me how to use my new camera, providing tips and pointers on aperture, ISO and shutter speed, none of which I'm afraid stuck. I still default to the trial and error method, take a bunch of pictures and hope at least some stick.
Chicken Liver & Foie Gras Mousse $13
Ravenous from our morning visit to the Chelsea Market watching and smelling artisan breads baking, we start with a plate of creamy, rich and unctuous chicken liver and foie gras mousse. The generous portion of pâté was accompanied by crisp, chewy and lightly charred thick slices of country bread, and pickled sweet vinegary red onions which balanced, complemented and contrasted the intensity of the buttery mousse. This is a plate I would order again, and the portion is large enough to share among 2-4 people.
Sliced Steak Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Gruyère $18
Laura ordered the steak sandwich, which was exquisitely layered with thin slices of tender, juicy and well-seasoned beef, caramelized onion and melted Gruyère on a light crispy french bread. This is a substantial sandwich that far exceeded expectations with its quality ingredients and satisfyingly indulgent but refined character. This along with the mousse alone are worth visiting Pastis.
Linguine with Clams Pasta $18
Onto one of the most embarrassing experiences of my life...
A wave of hysterics erupted as the physical and mental connected and I realized that the inseam of my pants had RIPPED!
I blurted out, "Oh my god! My pants have just ripped!" We both coupled over laughing UNCONTROLLABLY. I laughed so hard I cried and was close to fainting unable to keep enough oxygen in the system. Laura was surprisingly calm and reassuring about the matter, even informing me that the same thing happened to her husband just two weeks earlier, which helped to dampen some of the mortification ... well you know... when one usually feels when they rip their pants in front of someone they just met.
As soon as I got back on my feet, I texted my husband, "Ugh! My pants just ripped apart! And I'm out and about in town right now!" To which he texted back, "Doh! Truffle Week!" referring to the culinary vacation in Provence that I'd just returned from only a few days earlier. He just couldn't contain himself so he called, and all a could hear over the phone were his colleagues laughing in the background. Thanks honey.
I finally got the courage to leave the hotel. As I felt the draft blowing against my bum all l I could think was: I thank my lucky stars that I wore the same color underwear as my pants!
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