By Michele Laudig
For a while, the sign in the window of FOODBAR, at SouthBridge, indicated that it was closed for renovations this summer. But when it finally reopens on Monday, October 20, it'll be a whole new restaurant: Metro Brasserie, a traditional French brasserie open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night eats. (How late? Til 2 a.m. Thursday through Sunday, and midnight the rest of the week.)
Executive chef Matt Taylor, who started cooking at age 15, has a solid resume. He most recently worked with Robert McGrath, originally signing on at REM before the project stalled, and helping with the revamp of now-defunct Pishke's. Before that, he was sous chef at John Besh's Restaurant August in New Orleans, and he also launched Besh's brasserie, Luke. Taylor was Bradford Thompson's sous chef at Mary Elaine's for four years, and he's also done stints for Daniel Boulud and Deborah Knight of Mosaic.
Needless to say, I'm eager to try Taylor's food at Metro Brasserie. An early look at the menu has me all hungry for raw oysters, housemade boudin blanc, salt cod fritters, and salmon rillettes. There are half a dozen salads, and several sandwiches, including an oyster po' boy and a Brasserie Burger on brioche with bibb lettuce, cured tomato, cornichons, smoked Vidalia onions, and sauce gribiche.
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Among the main courses, there's roasted monkfish with caramelized apples, glazed carrots, and red wine butter; braised pork cheeks with maple syrup, buttered parsnips, and celery; slow-cooked bacon-wrapped rabbit loin with green olives, pistachio, and orange; and moules frites. Each day of the week will also feature a different $50 plate for two (such as cassoulet or cote de boeuf). Beignets, grilled Andouille sausage, and crepes are a few highlights from the breakfast menu.