Camillus bistro find the best of old worlds
By Christopher Malone
Township 5 in Camillus is quite a convenient spot. It’s a mixed-use development filled with a movie theater, places to shop, various offices, a major big-box retailer and a plethora of places to eat.
After ground was broken and the vision came in place — why bother ever going to a mall?
Aside from chains, the mall certainly doesn’t have The Brasserie. When the restaurant moved in in 2015, two things crossed my mind: it’s nice to see a local restaurant open up and not be fazed by neighboring chains. The second, I definitely confused its name meaning French bistro for a French word for an undergarment.
I broke up the review into two parts: takeaway and dine-in. Feeling iffy myself and the state of the recent COVID-19 surge, breaking things up seemed appropriate. For all the readers eyeballing the plates, this is why they don’t look alike.
There were three starters that immediately caught my eye: the arancini, the greens and French onion soup. The five fried and golf ball-sized risotto balls ($11.50) were very crispy with a perfectly soft, hot and cheesy center. There was also shaved parmesan included to join in on the culinary fun. The roasted red pepper sauce was a great complement although there wasn’t enough of it for each of the arancini.
The greens ($13) was hot and fresh, served with French bread bites. The escarole was crispy and the garlic and butter was prominent. The creeping heat is great for spice lovers and fine for those timid of it. It’s easily shareable among three or four people.
The crock of French onion soup ($7) did not disappoint. Although the gruyere cheese wasn’t pouring over the side of the bowl, there was enough of it. The cheese literally blanketed the piece of bread soaking up the savory broth. The bread looked comfortable — like we all should be during the winter months — wrapped up and all nice and cozy in a cheesy blanket. The soup did not shy from the pieces of onion either. There were plenty of them with each bite.
The chipotle turkey panini ($14) checked a lot of flavor boxes with the roasted turkey, pieces of bacon, cheddar and the noticeable chipotle aioli. The only complaint is that I wish it were larger.
When I think of a panini, my mind goes to bread slices and not a roll. Considering the option didn’t hold back on flavor, it definitely had me craving more.
Instead of fries, I opted for the apple craisin slaw, which lived up to its name with each of the two ingredients to sweeten up the side slathered in mayo.
Take Nashville. Take The Brasserie. Put them together for the Brazville — a Nashville-inspired hot-and-fried chicken sandwich ($16). Between the two sandwiches, this was my favorite. The chicken was perfectly fried and each half sat in a roll with coleslaw and fried pickles. It wasn’t overly spicy either. The balance was obviously there just like its crunch.
For a couple bucks, I upgraded to garlic truffle fries, which didn’t hold back on the garlic. The house fries boasted skins and were just as good as leftovers the following day.
Finally, the shrimp and pesto risotto ($18), which I enjoyed in-house with the soup. The risotto dish could make other risottos green with envy. The Italian rice dish was wonderfully soft and cheesy. Pesto is a strong flavor but there was just enough there to not be overpowering. Plus, the risotto was a pale green because of it.
There was a plethora of lightly sautéed shrimp, too. After getting halfway through and beginning to feel full, I hit the pause button to enjoy this another day.
Before tip, the total of all the food came to $93.61, which isn’t too shabby for that much food. Kudos goes out to The Brasserie for making it convenient to dine in and take away food. Ordering food was a smooth process, and a huge thanks goes to their maintaining a clean, comfortable environment to dine in.
200 Township Blvd, Suite 20, Camillus, NY
315-487-1073 | brasseriecny.com
Sun. – Mon.: Closed
Tues. – Thurs.: 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri. & Sat.: 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. (kitchen closes at 9 p.m.)
Featured image: The Brazville at The Brasserie in Camillus: a Nashville-inspired hot-and-fried chicken sandwich ($16).