L'Assiette Steak Frites

An exquisite sous vide take on steak frites at a Melrose brasserie

By Karen Young

A sophisticated yet casual air radiates throughout this quaint French brasserie on Melrose. The red awning and street-side candlelit tabletops lead inside to white tablecloths, a long marble bar, and wood-paneling framed by an artfully displayed wine bottle wall. The overall effect will make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a lively Parisian scene.

L’Assiette means “the dish,” and here that honor goes to none other than the steak frites. Jacques Fiorentino opened his Melrose restaurant three years ago with the intention of featuring this beloved Parisian dish—but with a masterful twist.

Telling of his singular vision, Fiorentino’s choice of cut for his signature dish is the culotte. Sometimes called the sirloin cap, this flavor-packed cut of beef is a favorite of serious chefs, and Fiorentino makes it delectably tender through sous vide technique, topping it with his “secret” sauce. As for the frites, hand-cut Kennebec potatoes are prepared using a meticulous eight-step, 24-hour process that results in the perfect fry, with a golden crisp exterior and soft center.

L’Assiette Steak Frites is offering their iconic namesake dish as part of an exclusive four-course dinner for $48. Start your meal with the stuffed dates, filled with goat cheese and applewood bacon, or the truffle mac-and-cheese, made with Gruyère de Comté and Chablis. For the second course, select the rich and savory sorrel soup or a little gem salad sprinkled with roasted pistachios and hearts of palm with a sherry-citrus vinaigrette.
For your entrée, you have three mains to consider. Fiorentino’s sous vide coulotte steak frites is of course available for your indulgence (up the decadence quotient with the addition of truffle shavings for $14), as is the poisson frites—lemongrass-ginger BBQ-grilled organic Scottish salmon served with pommes frites. But if you’re in the mood for something else, there’s also the 24-hour cassoulet, with duck breast, lamb gigot, culotte beef, spicy Andouille sausage, saucisson a l’ail, Mayocoba beans, and rosé Himalayan salt, presented family-style in a tureen.

The menu is just about perfect already, but if by meal’s end your sweet craving is still demanding some attention, go ahead and order a little something extra. A triple-fudge brownie topped with a touch of Maldon salt and raspberry coulis could do the trick, while the exquisite amaretto cake—the product of a family recipe—is baked by Fiorentino’s wife, Marianne, and goes just right with a glass of Chateau La Gironie Monbazillac. Either way, you won’t be sorry.

Exclusive 4-course prix fixe dinner with glass of wine ($48 per person)

wine (choose one)
2013 Spellbound, Chardonnay, Napa, California
2013 Leese-Fitch, pinot noir, California

first course (choose one)
Dates farcies au chevre frais—stuffed dates, goat cheese, and applewood bacon
Truffle mac-and-cheese with Gruyère de Comté and Chablis

second course (choose one)
Sorrel soup
Little gem salad

third course (choose one)
Flagship steak frites—served with L’Assiette’s famous house sauce (add $14 for black truffle shavings)

24-hour cassoulet, California style (leaner recipe)—duck breast, lamb gigot, culotte beef, spicy Andouille sausage, saucisson a l’ail, Mayocoba beans, and rose Himalayan salt; served in tureen, family-style

Poisson frites—lemongrass-ginger BBQ-grilled organic Scottish salmon with pommes frites (peanut oil pommes frites upon request)

Poulet forestier—chicken breast, stuffed with jambon de Paris and shitake mushrooms,wrapped in prosciutto, with wild forest mushroom Chablis sauce
(add $14 for black truffle shavings)

fourth course (choose one)
Triple fudge brownie—Maldon sea salt flakes, raspberry coulis, and French vanilla bean ice cream
Marianne’s amaretto cake—served on a bed of crème Anglaise
Banane flambée au rhum—caramelized bananas, Myers Jamaican Rum sauce, and French vanilla bean ice cream

hours

5:30 PM–10 PM daily

price range

$8 (house sorrel soup) to $32 (poisson frites)
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