Celebrity chef Todd English is no stranger to excitement. Not only does he own two dozen restaurants around the nation, but we all remember his well-publicized split from his fiancée last year. Well, it seems the excitement drives Todd to excel, because his most recent venture, Ça Va Brasserie in midtown Manhattan, is dishing up some delicious fare. The restaurant is somewhat of a cross between a traditional brasserie and an upscale eatery. The menu is refined and sophisticated, displaying French cooking with a modern twist.
As I sat down to eat dinner with Todd, the waitress winked at me and said, "You are in for a treat." And boy, was I! We started with a rich steak tartare served with grilled bread and made even more decadent by the seared foie gras placed on top. He cooked up a sweet corn and crab ravioli with melted leeks bacon and peas, creamy with a sweet edge from the corn and crab meat. And then there was the red wine-braised short rib. The meat was beautifully tender and served with roasted salsify, creamy spinach and truffle jus, adding both texture and depth to the savory plate. The menu allows you to choose from tasting an assortment of French-inspired small plates and appetizers like the foie gras stuffed mushrooms and escargots flatbread. Or you can choose from the entrees, like Todd's signature cassoulet of duck confit, pork sausage and braised lamb (trust me, this will fill you up), and pair it with some fun side dishes like the truffle mac n' cheese or braised artichokes.
If you're looking for a deal, his "Table du Theatre" menu is just $35 for an appetizer, entrée, side dish and dessert.
The restaurant itself is spacious with high ceilings and mirrors galore. And if we are talking wine, there is a plentiful assortment both by the glass and by the bottle.
Ça Va Brasserie is located at 310 W. 44th Street, (212) 803-4545. www.cavatoddenglish.com