[Photos: Patricia Chang]
Restaurateur Franck LeClerc expands his local reach with today's debut of Gaspar Brasserie, the fifth in LeClerc's collection of projects, which include Gitane, Claudine, Café Claude and Café Claude Marina. The new spot, which is designed as a Parisian-style brasserie, harkens back to LeClerc's French background with a classic, sexy vibe complete with chandeliers, red leather banquettes and dark wood accents.
The 115-seat restaurant is divided into two-levels, each with its own bar. Designed by LeClerc himself and architect Elmer Lin of Consortium Design, the downstairs has a more airy, casual feel and a focus on champagne-based cocktails, while the upstairs is a darker, more intimate experience laid out over a main dining room and a "Cognac Room."
The menu is designed by chef Chris Jones (formerly of Brix and the girl & the fig), and aims for a quintessential French feel, with an array of soups, salads, cheeses and shellfish (think oysters, clams and lobster), plus "petits plats" like escargot and duck confit and entrees like veal, duck breast and grilled steak with spinach. (Here's the full dinner menu.)
There's also a bar menu, which includes bites like cod croquettes, deviled eggs and a signature burger. Enjoy alongside drinks designed by Kevin Diedrich (Jasper's Corner Tap, Burritt Room), who's put together both a "lo octane" champagne-focused cocktail list and a "hi octane" portion that features drinks like the "Forget Paris" (gin, aperol, amer, saline solution), "Ma Cherie" (vodka, lemon, honey-ginger solution, hibiscus tea) and "French Maid" (cognac, velvet falernum, lime, cucumber, mint, ginger beer).
If cocktails aren't your thing, wine director Sarah Knoefler has put together a French-focused list that features nine whites and nine reds available by the glass, carafe or bottle, plus plenty of champagne and more wines by the bottle. (See all the food and drink menus here.)
Dinner hours for the new spot are Monday to Saturday, 4pm-11pm, with happy hour on offer weekdays 4pm-6pm. Lunch, Sunday dinner service, weekend brunch and late-night hours are in the works, so stay tuned for updates in the near future.