Restaurant Highlight • Pascal & Sabine

Pascal-&-Sabine-Asbury-Park-NJ-Brunch-Menu-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJThis past Sunday the weather was a little overcast here, so Billy and I decided to try out new-to-us restaurant, Pascal & Sabine, for brunch in downtown Asbury Park. We loved our meal so much, we headed back there last night for dinner, resulting in a second fabulous meal!

{For those of you unfamiliar with the area – Asbury Park was a world-renowned seaside destination for the first half of the 1900’s. It saw major architectural additions to its boardwalk in the 1920’s when famed Beaux Arts architect, Warren Whitney, was hired to design Paramount Theatre, Convention Hall, the Casino and Carousel Hall (a few of Whitney’s other accomplishments include the Grand Central Terminal and the Biltmore Hotel in NYC). Sadly, riots in the summer of 1970 all but demolished the city, leaving its streets neglected for over 30 years. Led by a burgeoning industry of local artists, Asbury Park has seen a complete resurgence in the past 10 years, resulting in a hip little city with a personality all its own. Fun new restaurants and shops seem to be popping up overnight, and since we live so close by, Billy and I see it as our “duty” to check them out on a regular basis and explore!}

Pascal-&-Sabine-Asbury-Park-NJ-Lounge-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJPascal-&-Sabine-Asbury-Park-NJ-Espresso-Bar-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJBack to Pascal & Sabine… The restaurant takes its name from main characters in Albert Lamorisse’s signature short film, The Red Balloon; boasting a fresh take on the French brasserie, found in both its food and interiors. The front of house includes a French saloon style lounge, black lacquered grand piano and espresso bar fitted with a massive copper Elektra Belle Epoque.

Pascal-&-Sabine-Asbury-Park-NJ-Dining-Room-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJPascal-&-Sabine-Asbury-Park-NJ-Bar-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJThe second half is complete with cozy round leather banquets, a speakeasy-style bar lined with vintage brass table lamps topped off with red silk shades and gorgeous works by Paolo Ventura sprinkled throughout. The restaurant’s website states: “Pascal & Sabine embraces the flight of fancy and ephemeral nature of an inflated balloon, adding its own unique touch of playfulness within its doors.[…] Pascal & Sabine is a white string to hold onto, pulling you above the monotony of the world.” – how beautiful is that?!

Pascal-&-Sabine-Asbury-Park-NJ-Brunch-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJFor brunch we shared the Warm Goat Cheese Tart w/ tomato and caramelized onion for an app (whose flakey pastry and creamy filling I’m still dreaming about), and I opted for the Croque-Madame as my entree (sliced ciabatta was used in place of traditional white bread, adding a genius crunch factor the the cheesy/creamy dish). Billy chose one of the specials – Crepes stuffed with homemade crème fraîche and caramelized apples reduced in Calavdos, topped with crispy bacon (the rich Calvados put the dish right over the top).

Pascal-&-Sabine-Asbury-Park-NJ-Dinner-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJDinner included another Warm Goat Cheese Tart (it was that good), Coq au Vin for me (which is not an easy dish to make, and the sauce on theirs was utter perfection), Hamburger w/ swiss, gribiche sauce and frites for Billy and a Fresh Berry Tart w/ pastry cream, raspberry coulis and lemon sorbet for dessert (I was in heaven!). All seven dishes throughout both meals were well executed, with fresh ingredients and an attention to detail that was not overlooked!

Pascal-&-Sabine-Asbury-Park-NJ-Red-Baloon-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJInterestingly, Pascal & Sabine is owned by Smith Made – a collaboration between marketing agency Knockout and Watt Architects. Smith Made also runs three other Asbury Park restaurants including the hip family-style Neopolitan pizza joint that turns late-night dance club come 10:00 PM, Porta, which we’ve been to and love (many of our Friday night pizza creations are inspired by their menu #tgipf); along with the industrial gatropub Brickwall Tavern and vegan venue Goldies – both of which I’m now very eager to check out!

And as much as I adore little hole in wall mom & pop style restaurants, I absolutely loathe restaurants that mainly focus on looks and have a complete disregard for the food – which ultimately, is why you’re there. This was not the case at Pascal & Sabine, but instead a lovely example of when well thought out marketing, gorgeous custom typography, smart interiors and a well executed menu collide! I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in the area:

Pascal & Sabine
601 Bangs Avenue
Asbury Park, NJ 07712

Check out a full list of my favorite restaurants here. Images via my instagram, iPhone and here.