The past two weeks have been Restaurant Week(s) in Boston again. As much as I love Brasserie Jo, their menu this time around didn’t inspire me, so I opted to go to Gaslight, Brasserie du Coin, instead. I went with my parents who were excited to try someplace new. We don’t typically dine in Boston as a family because we live in the suburbs, and travelling into town has become more and more of a hassle over the years due to traffic and a lack of parking. One of the highlights of Gaslight, however, is that they have complimentary self-parking in a large lot next door.
I expected the restaurant to be crowded on a Friday during Restaurant Week, but we had an early reservation and much of the place to ourselves. Gaslight also has a large outdoor terrace, but we opted to stay indoors. The decor is very typical of a Parisian bistro, white tiles, lots of mirrors, linen napkins. I read a review on Yelp that called it a “cross between a bathroom and a Metro station.” That may not sound attractive, but it’s fairly accurate.
The one blaring incongruity was our waiter, who was as helpful and personable as a waiter could be. Very un-French. He actually recommended the Restaurant Week menu, stressing what a great deal it was.
Gaslight really is a great deal because even when it’s not Restaurant Week, they have an early bird, three-course menu. They also offer a free glass of wine with your meal. You can substitute beer or soda if you prefer. I was disappointed with the bread. It was hot and crispy on the outside, but it was too dense and I actually got the impression that the crustiness was due to being toasted rather than baked right.
Gaslight offered three options for each course. For appetizers there were two salads – field greens with fried brie or arugula and peaches – and crêpes with spicy lamb sausage. My dad doesn’t like anything too spicy, but the waiter reassured him that the crêpes were good – and that if they were too spicy, he’d get my dad something else. I tried a bit, too. They were delicious. I almost wish I had gotten them myself. Of course, I got the arugula salad. It wasn’t spicy either. I still don’t know what the secret to restaurant arugula is.
The three options of main course were trout, a thinly sliced steak with vegetables, and homemade tagliatelle with corn and pork belly. My parents both got the steak. I tried a bite. It was tasty, but nothing spectacular. I ordered the tagliatelle. The best tagliatelle I’ve ever had was actually at a restaurant in France, so I had high hopes. This was… interesting. It wasn’t really tagliatelle. It was thin, more like linguine, and the sauce was also kind of thin and runny. I had an incredibly difficult time getting the pasta to keep from slipping off my fork. The corn and pork added a nice, unusual flavor though. I ate all of it, so it’s not like it was bad. Just different.
For dessert, the three options were flourless chocolate cake, strawberry layer cake, and a hazelnut torte with whipped marscarpone and espresso ganache. Typically there would be no contest in that choice, for me. But I had just had flourless chocolate cake at the Capital Grill earlier that week (also a Restaurant Week excursion). They make an awesome flourless chocolate cake, so I wanted to try something different at Gaslight. My dad got the strawberry layer cake, and my mom and I both tried the hazelnut torte. It wasn’t quite what we expected but it was still yummy. It was a small, round cake with a dollop of marscarpone cream on top. That was my favorite part, sweet but tangy at the same time. I was a little disappointed with the ganache. I’m a big fan of coffee things, but this was more like a decoration swirled on the plate and didn’t really have a strong flavor.
My overall impression of Gaslight: I liked it enough to want to go back… and order something else!