My husband and I have been trying to meet my grandparents for a double date dinner for months now! We hadn’t seen them since our wedding and we had taken our big honeymoon trip and they had just returned from a long cross country excursion. There was so much to catch up on. It was decided that there was no better way to talk about Paris than to eat in a true Parisian style restaurant. My grandparents were the ones who introduced me to the beautiful French city back when I was 12. So going to Pascal and Sabine in Asbury Par, NJ was all very fitting.
I have heard about the restaurant since its inception. Based on the rave reviews from friends all the way to NJ.com and New York Times write-ups I could tell this restaurant was clearly a stand out. It only took me two years to finally venture down to experience it for myself! Ironically, it was going to be a lot harder to impress me now than if I had visited when it first opened. I just returned home from France so the competition was going to be stiff.
We arrived on a quiet Sunday afternoon and were escorted through the dimly lit, but well styled, lounge and dining room to our corner booth table. I had to admit I felt like I was transported to a European bistro. The menu is straight to the point. You’re going to eat French food. The short starters menu is balanced out with a charcuterie and cheese board options. The dinner menu bounces around from casual classics like steak and moules frites to more robust meals such as duck breast and a variety of fish filets.
After floating around the menu for far too long we finally settled on our orders. To start the table shared a large order of the escargot. Each bite was dripping with butter, garlic, and lots of herbs. They weren’t quite as tender as the ones we indulged in Paris but, they were pretty darn close. The best part was dipping the crusty bread from the table baskets into the extra (and there was plenty) sauce. We also shared a plate of “oma” cheese in honor of my great grandmother whom we always referred to as Oma (The German word for grandmother). It can best be described as a more pungent brie style cheese. It was certainly a little stinky but paired with the honey, figs, candied nuts and champagne grapes the plate came with it became a tasty little bite!
Next up were our entrees. I ordered the Palourdes which were little neck clams in a garlic, wine, and white bean sauce. I did not order smartly. Too much garlic butter for this girl! But, it didn’t stop me from eating down my small pile of clams. They were more briny then sweet and there were less beans than I hoped for too thicken the base up. But overall it was tasty. My notes would be that this dish may be too small for someone hoping for a main course amount of food.
My husband’s duck was tender, well-seasoned, and absolutely delicious. I definitely was having a case of food envy after tasting his meal. My granparents selected the tile fish and swordfish and their remarks were both of praise. The dinners were all simple, refined, and classic. It is the closest experience in the states that has resembled one of our Parisian style meals.
We tried to say no to dessert but simply couldn’t pass up some of the options. We shared a crème brulee which was divinely creamy and flavorful. I’ll admit I’m not typically a crème brulee fan and this one hit the mark. We also had a mango soufflé with blackberry ice cream. How they infused the soufflé with such a fresh mango essence is a mystery to me. The fact that it worked was even more intriguing! The soufflé was perfectly cooked and the fluffy interior paired perfectly with the cool blackberry ice-cream.
Our dinner had concluded and we were happily stuffed and had shared all our tales of adventure complete with photo books, online slide shows, and great storytelling. We all left with tales of Eiffel towers dancing in our heads.
Pascal and Sabine is worth the visit. Reservations are definitely recommended for the busy Friday and Saturday nights. If you’re looking for a true French culinary experience I think you’ll be in for a treat at this eatery.
See their full menu on their website: http://pascalandsabine.com/
…all for the love of the dish