You know that times have changed when you can find great vegetarian options at a French restaurant. Normally, I avoid French food because of its limited plant based choices. The classy, newly opened Brasserie Liberte however has opened my eyes to a variety of exciting French vegetable-forward dishes, including a dynamite vegan mushroom bourguignon.
I kicked off my meal with carrot grain bowl, where sweet roasted carrots come on a bed of creamy chickpea puree, adorned with crunchy almonds, greens, kale and quinoa. For something heartier, you could get one of their famed flambees, a doughy flatbread with different toppings. The current menu features a butternut squash version with crème fraiche and rosemary, or a mushroom one with gruyere cheese and caramelized onions. No matter what you get to start, indulge in the fragrant housemade sourdough bread and fresh butter that comes in the bread basket. Frankly, I could make a meal of the bread alone.
After the bowl, I contemplated a bowl of butternut squash soup but ultimately went with a macaroni au gratin dish and a mushroom bourguignon. The macaroni shells are swimming in a bubbling bechamel sauce, browned on top and sinfully cheesy. An order of the this dish should accompany any meal you have at Brasserie Liberte. As enamored as I was with the macaroni though, it was the mushroom bourguignon that really blew me away. The mushrooms are super dense and meaty, and come swirled in a rich, earthy vegetarian demi-glace along with fingerling potatoes and pearl onions. The dish has a distinct umami flavor to it; the textures and flavors will stay with you long after you are done dining.
Dessert was tempting (profiteroles! crème brulee!) but I was so satisfied with everything I ate I couldn’t go there. Alas, there is always next time.