Frere de Lys is the long time dream of two brothers, Thibaut and Alexi Piettre. One of the things I remember the most when I was looking at the Yelp reviews of the restaurant was that the two French brothers running the place were adorable. Guys…it’s totally true. They were warm, attentive, inviting, and made the restaurant experience that much better.
The place serves “small versions of classic French dishes” and you can find dishes like Smoked Eggplant Gratin, Shrimp Caesar Salad, tartines, and Spiced Rubbed Rack Lamb. I went during brunch when there’s a different menu with options like Asparagus Grilled Toast, Eggs Benedict, and Croque Monsieur (made with French toast!). This is definitely one of those restaurants where the menu is small, but I’m sure you’ll still be torn between what to get. For me, I was stuck between whether to get the smoked salmon omelette or the Frere De Lys Burger. In the end, I decided to get the burger because of its rave Yelp reviews.
The portion sizes are definitely more European than American (on the small side), but I don’t mean that as a criticism. It’s just a fact. And my dish was served with sliced potatoes and a salad as well. Thank you Yelp, because this burger was THE BOMB. Seriously. The bun was an English muffin, which was a nice touch not just for making this more of brunch item but also because I enjoyed the texture and taste and how the bread didn’t overpower the meat, which was thick, super juicy, and cooked just to my liking. Plus there were caramelized onions. And oh my, the cheese. The burger is served with smoked Jarlsberg cheese, and there was so much of the gooey, delicious stuff, that I was practically licking my fingers after cleaning my plate.
Because that burger kind of left me in a high, I wanted so desperately to try more of their food, so I jumped at the chance to see the dessert menu. Again, there were only five options, but I was stuck. The Flourless Chocolate Tart? The Pear & Rosemary Tart? The Grand-Mere Apple & Honey Cake? Choices, choices. I asked one of the brothers what dessert he recommended, and he said “Do you like chocolate?” To which, I said “Yes!” but inside was saying, “UMM YES OF COURSE!!” And then he said I have to get the flourless chocolate tart. You got it.
Seriously nobody was steering me wrong with this restaurant. The flourless chocolate tart was perfect. Moist, rich, decadent, melt-in-your-mouth yumminess. With some ice cream and whipped cream on the side! Perfect ending to an already perfect meal.
It’s also worth mentioning that Frere de Lys also has a 50-bottle wine selection and a deal where for $28 you get an entree and unlimited mimosas or bellinis during brunch. Next time I come here I really want to try the steak tartare or the paleo zucchini pasta (which has avocado cream sauce, basil, garlic and lemon!).
I sincerely wish the best for these two brothers, because I had an absolutely lovely time at their restaurant. And guys, the bros have matching fleur de lys tattoos on their forearms. They’re just the best.
Frere De Lys Burger, flourless chocolate tart
1685 1st Ave
New York, NY 10128