Brasserie 33: Oui, Oui!

A completely random date night occurred like this:
Hubs- “Wanna go out to dinner?”
Me- “Yes! Where?”
Hubs- “I dunno. Somewhere in the city?”
Me- “Okayyyy….How about this French place I’ve been wanting to try? I have a Groupon!”

And just like that, we were driving to Shadyside and dining on lovely French cuisine at Brasserie 33.

The only way to start a French and bread!

I have to say that this entire dining experience was wonderful. We were greeted at the door in (authentic) French and immediately directed to our seats at the bar. I called ahead and learned that the very few tables available (less than 15) were all reserved for this Saturday night, so we happily took the offer of up close and personal bar seats. We’re not picky.

As we sat on our stools, we were welcomed by who I’m guessing is the owner/manager of the restaurant. He explained their new fall menu with excitement, and when I asked about vegetarian options, he thought for a moment and quickly offered to make something “beautiful” with pasta, fresh vegetables….mentions of sun-dried tomatoes, all kinds of great sounding ingredients! It was so nice to see how accommodating they wanted to be by offering to prepare something not on the menu. I wasn’t super hungry, so I settled for a shared appetizer and an endive and beet salad. You know me- I love to try a little bit of everything and I LOVE me some good beets. The food did not disappoint!

To start: warm brie, goat cheese and carmelized onion tarts

Our appetizer was mild, creamy and filling. The brie flavor was enhanced perfectly by each sip of my cabernet. I just wanted a bit more of the sweet carmelized onions. I’m a sucker for sweetness!

Salade! (pronounced sah-lahd)

My salad was the perfect light meal. Crisp endive, creamy Roquefort dressing, earthy roasted walnuts and succulent, sweet beets. Seriously YUM!

And the best part? The bread! I’m not a huge “bread basket at the restaurant” type of gal, but I was really digging the fresh tasting, slighty sourdough feel of the french bread. Mmmmmm 🙂

Hubs enjoyed his boeuf bourguignon. He inhaled that giant bowl!

The only negatives I would give this restaurant are the expense – in my frugal opinion, this is not your every day eatery – and the slight lack of authenticity in French atmosphere. The food hit the spot, the hospitality was superb (which is not very French!), but the restaurant space itself was too open feeling, with a wall full of windows, for my taste. I think of French restaurants as being dimly light, congested, and full of in-depth conversations. This place was just a little off, but definitely rates in my top 5 French dining experiences overall.

4 out of 5 stars, my friends! Hopefully you’ll get to experience “la cuisine Francaise” as well!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeanne
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 22:03:00

    Is this the place in the little strip shopping center next to the laundry? It looks pretty from the outside but I do agree regarding the location. Would be so much cozier in a little storefront. Glad to know the food was so delicious! My mom is a total francophile and will appreciate some good French eats.


    • Julie
      Oct 12, 2011 @ 01:29:26

      It’s on Ellsworth…I think next to a Japanese grocery store? Yeah, I definitely think a more cozy atmosphere is fitting for French cuisine. Let me know if you try it!


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