PGH Dining: Brasserie 33

 On Valentines Day, Husband took me to a restaurant I've been close to a dozen times, but never inside. Brasserie 33 is located next door to our laundromat, which might have turned a few people off. Strangely, we were happy to go, once Husband purchased a Groupon to take us to this mentally "back burner-ed" restaurant. It is next to the laundromat, so we hardly considered it!
 We sat at a table alongside the line of windows facing the street. When purchasing the Groupon, Husband was told the menu would be prix fixe,  but we were handed a one-sheet menu with several options. Lucky us!
 As we looked over the menu, we were given bread to munch on. The amount of butter was sadly not correctly proportioned to the amount of bread.
 The kitchen was just over Husband's shoulder, so we got to see the action!
 Our first part of our dinner was the steak tartar, a dish that neither Husband nor I had ever had. {Shocking, I know!} For me, tartars are interesting dishes, with the raw meat coupled with a raw egg yolk...something of an intense flavor shock. 
The dish was brought to our table, and we just stared at it. It was composed of large chunks of meat, marinated in an acidic sauce. First, we had expected a finely chopped, or even processed, product. The meat had a decent taste, but ended up being very chewy. Husband had a especially chewy piece, which may have been some sort of connective tissue. 
This dish was not our favorite, at all.
 We then moved on to another dish we'd never had: Oysters Rockefeller. This dish seems like a southern-ized version of oysters on a half shell. Someone please educate me on the past of these little lovelies. 
 The dish was flavorful and cooked well, but the details weren't there for us. The bacon/lardons were far too large, and overpowered the oyster, spinach and cheese. At the end of a bite, you were still chewing bacon. The fat had not been rendered well, either.
 Finally, we shared a salad to round out or appetizers. 
The salad was accompanied by toasts with a goat cheese spread on top - creamy and snappy! Lovely. The dressing was a Thousand Island of sorts, and was the best homemade version either of us had eaten in several years.
 For entrees, we chose the popular dishes of the night {they were on most of the tables around us}: seafood bouillabaisse and a roasted duck with currant glaze.
Roasted half duck, served with a scalloped potato stack and steamed vegetables.
Broth studded with seafood. 

 Both dishes were good, but the duck was my favorite. The sauce was sticky and sweet, which complimented the dark meat well. The sides were lackluster.
 While looking over the dessert options we enjoyed a Kir Royal, which, thank to our waiter, had extra "razzmatazz."
 Now, it's time for the HOLY MOMENT OF THIS MEAL. We ordered the apple tarte tatin. If you've ever watched the Barefoot Contessa or any french cooking show, you gape and stare at the episode when they finally arrive at making a tarte tatin. A fruit that's been encased in the most decadent caramel you've ever tasted {because it's homemade!}...a dessert that's almost perfect. Brasserie 33's offering was intensely perfect, and is certainly in my top 3 desserts of all time. {Dash Best} Husband doesn't even like cooked apples, but these were like slices of candied deliciousness.
 If you are ever in Pittsburgh, or specifically Shadyside, please go eat this dessert. Skip dinner, but have this dessert. You won't regret it in the least. 
In short, dinner was less than memorable, but the apple tarte tatin was unbelievable. 

Brasserie 33 on Urbanspoon

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