I always love visiting my favorite French spots around Manhattan, especially my old stomping ground on the Upper East Side. Café D'Alsace never disappoints, most importantly during their exclusive monthly food and drink events that take place through out all of the Tour de France restaurants located in Manhattan. October brought on the Sausage, Cider and Beer week, which ran from October 18-25. I was excited to taste test the menu with all of my fall favorites of festive beers, sweet ciders and hearty meat and potato dishes.
My fiance and I were seated in the best seat in the house, able to view the beautiful city streets during our favorite season. Exactly this time next year, we will be married among those same Manhattan streets in this gorgeous autumn weather. It gave us a very special reason to cheers to the evening. We were ready to drink, eat and fill our bellies for the night. First of the night was a delicious pint of a special Game of Thrones beer that was linked to the newest series (who knew such a thing even existed?). Officially known as Take the Black Stout from the Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY. The beer was dark and rich but light and smooth all at once. We drank up to warm our bodies from the fall chill.
Johnny, the cafe's manager presented us with our first taste. A divine duck sausage wrapped in a flaky-warm puff pastry and served over a bed of frisee drizzled in an aged port wine sauce. It paired hand-in-hand with our black stout, totally amplifying the flavor of the duck. A small bowl of some of the best Dijon mustard I have ever tasted accompanied the dish, but was not needed at all. We also started off the evening with a seasonal salad of roasted beets and arugala topped with warm valancay goat cheese and aged balsamic. It was the perfect starter to go with the flavors and tastes of the evening.
Next to come out was our first taste of cider, the Doc's Draft Hard Apple Cider all the way from Warwick, New York. The cider was great, semi-dry and an effervescent refreshment. We loved every sip of it. Out came a huge pot of good ol' meat and potatoes. Bauernwurst, bockwurst and smoked bratwurst accompanied by house made sauerkraut braised in Tour de France cider. My favorite was the smoked bratwurst and succulent pork belly. Again accompanied by a decadent Dijon mustard for dipping. Yum!
We also sipped on Sidra de Asturias Espanar all night! It was surely a different taste, but instantly grew on us. Next came out the dessert of the evening; the Tart Aux Pommes Normande consisting of sweet roasted apples with creme fraiche and calvados in a deep pie crust. It was the epitome of an upside down apple pie, but flakier and paired with a heavenly creme to top. There sat the tart to share and two hot cappuccinos both designed with milky hearts and fall foliage.
What I adore about Café D'Alsace is their ability to always get it right. Guests still sat outside sipping on fine wine and enjoying the autumn air. They have a unique ability to create innovative, yet traditional French dishes, always. If you are interested in exploring different food and drinks, I recommend attending one of the many events put out by the nine Tour de France restaurants. Make sure to check the website for upcoming weekly events, you wont be disappointed!
Café D'Alsace: 1695 2nd Avenue New York, NY 10128. Tel: 212.722.5133.