NYC — Winter 2015: Balthazar

Saturday, February 21, 2015
Our second full day in NYC found us yet again in Soho. But for a different reason this time: we had an appointment at Bite Beauty Lip Lab to make our own lip products! (More on that later.) So Austin and I decided to do lunch and a bit of shopping before heading over to the lab. We decided to go to Balthazar, which has become quite the tourist destination and always has a long wait game, but I've been there a few times before and it never disappoints. (The wait time for two people at 1:00 on a Tuesday is about half an hour.)

Onion Soup Gratinée

What better way to warm up in subzero temperatures than with soup? I don't often order soup at restaurants, but the onion soup gratinée was calling to me. I mean, when you're at a French brasserie, you gotta order the classics, right? And I'm so glad I did, because it's one of the most decadent soups I've ever had. I don't mean decadent as in "expensive," but I mean decadent as in flavour. Every spoonful has a generous portion of melted Gruyère (seriously, it's like an entire block of cheese in there  they aren't kidding when they say "gratinée"), massive chunks of country bread, and melt-in-your-mouth onions in a rich garlicky broth. One of the tastiest soups I've ever had in my life, and by far the best French onion soup I've ever had. And considering that they serve 15 gallons of it every day, I'm not the only one who thinks this. If you're gonna do Balthazar, this is a definite must-order.

Roast Lamb Sandwich

Austin and I decided to share two sandwiches for our mains. The first one was the roast lamb sandwich: the most tender, medium-rare slices of roast lamb, topped with grilled onions and zucchini, fresh argula, and spicy harissa mayonnaise, all tucked into a crisp baguette. I rarely describe a sandwich as "scrumptious," but this one really was. The soft chew of the lamb with the crisp veggies, the crunchy bread, and the creamy spicy mayo work in perfect harmony to create sandwich heaven in your mouth. (And for those who don't like lamb, the version here doesn't taste gamey at all, and in fact, is very mild.) It is the most lauded of the sandwiches offered at Balthazar, and for very good reason.

Toasted French Ham and Gruyère Sandwich

The second sandwich we shared is essentially a croque provençal: slices of Gruyère, French ham, and fresh tomato grilled between two slices of buttered country bread. Not the most exciting (I mean, it's really a glorified French grilled cheese sandwich), but incredibly delicious and ultimately satisfying as comfort foods should be. Fans of croque-monsieurs (or any of the variations of it) will love this one. Both sandwiches come with thin, perfectly salted fries that many restaurants can't seem to get right, but are flawless at Balthazar (and thusly, should be noted). If there's one thing that Balthazar has, it's consistency in the quality of their dishes. It has been nearly 18 years since Balthazar opened, but there's still a mob scene every time you go in even to this day. And it's always worth the wait.

80 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 965-1414
3 comments on "NYC — Winter 2015: Balthazar"

    I love lamb! Especially in gyros. Man, French food is so fabulous. Ugh. So jealous.

    1. Er, not that gyros are French, lol. I can't think or communicate right now - I'm hungry and your photos are KILLING me.

    2. LOL! It's okay, my thoughts are similarly incoherent when I'm hungry and looking at food photos. :P

      But agreed, lamb gyros are SO EFFING DELICIOUS.


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