Les Halles (Downtown location, John between Broadway and Nassau, NYC) with my mother, Mary. This may be my favorite frenchie brasserie place in the City, with Lucky Strike (Grand between West Broadway and Wooster, Soho) coming in a close second. I also prefer this location to it's Park Avenue (at 28th) sister. Despite finding Anthony Bourdain's behavior to be a bit priggish and vulgar, I have to say, I think the brasserie empire he has built is beyond repute in terms of deliciousness and accessibility (monetarily speaking).
I opted for the prix fixe brunch, which included a choice of appetizer and entree. I started with the Petatou de chevre, which is a warm potato and black olive salad with goat cheese gratine. The goat cheese had a wonderful taste and consistency, however I thought the balsamic reduction the salad was served with overpowered the overall flavor of the dish. Being the creature of habit that I am, I ordered the Salade Nicoise as my main. I think it goes without saying that I loved it. The haricots verts were especially crunchy and delicious.
To drink I had a crisp and refreshing Riojan rose. In general, I am a big fan of wine from the Rioja region of Spain. Several years ago, one of my frenchie friends turned me on to Marques de Riscal. He told me that it was often King Juan Carlos' wine of choice with lunch. This is a great wine if you are looking for a nice red to bring to a dinner party, but don't want to break the bank. You can pick up a bottle ranging from $13-$19, depending on where you go. For white I am not a big fan of Marques de Riscal and opt for Marques de Caceres instead. A bottle of this will run you about $6-$10. I don't recommend going vicey versy on the aforementioned, unless you are purchasing a special reserve of the Marques de Caceres red, but even then, I really don't suggest it.
As an aside, I clearly have a propensity for eating food that requires the use of accents, cedilles and umlauts. Does anyone know how to type these on Blogger?