by Dorothy Cascerceri
When it’s 90 degrees out and feels like 120 I don’t care what I’m having for dinner. Just give it to me somewhere nice and cold. I don’t want to picnic in the park. I don’t want to huddle near the air conditioner in my bedroom with my dinner plate. I don’t want to barbeque outside.
So the other night my friend and I decided to treat ourselves and go out to dinner. We’d order a nice glass of white wine. We’d find a nice, cool place to relax. I might even consider bringing a long-sleeve shirt in case I get cold. But our plans got somewhat foiled but what one may call a “technical difficulty.” We wasted one whole hour hopping from restaurant to restaurant only to find the air conditioner broken! With each heat-infested place, we became more and more discouraged until we finally found Brasserie 360, which sits on the southeast corner of 60th street and Third Ave.
Stepping inside we felt relieved. The restaurant, a cute little French bistro that reminded me of Pastis or Balthazar (but without the inflated prices), was cold. Very cold. They seated us at a quiet table by the window and we were content. I was tired, and the muggy weather outside put me in the mood for something light, so I ordered the chopped cobb salad and a glass of Pinot Grigio to go along with it. The salad was excellent…definitely your standard cobb with chicken, avocado, tomatoes, bacon, corn and goat cheese. But it was extremely fresh, and the apple dressing added a nice additional flavor.
My friend went for more of a comfort-food platter— crispy organic baby chicken with a side of mashed potatoes and veggies—which I nibbled from, but it wasn’t heavy or drowned in sauces. It was light and fresh.
Once we finished our main courses we agreed a dessert was in order and justified it with the mile-long walk we took around and around in circles in search of a restaurant cold enough to stay in for a while.
We still decided on a healthy choice: mixed berries in homemade cream. I’m not much of a cream person. I don’t get whipped cream on anything ever. And I don’t really like cool whip either. In my morning coffee, I avoid cream at all costs and opt for soy milk instead. But the homemade cream on these berries was delicious. It was so light and such a nice complement to the fresh pieces of fruit.
By the time we were done, my long-sleeved shirt was out of my bag and around my shoulders. I was shivering and my nose was cold to the touch. I couldn’t complain though. It was a much better feeling than sitting in a sauna or steam room with a cobb salad in front of you. Brasserie 360 is simple, elegant and classic, and so is the food.