In France, a Brasserie is a place to get a real meal at a time when more serious restaurants may not be serving or when one is up for more than a cafe but less than a gastronomic adventure, sort of what T.G.I. Friday's does in the U.S.A. But now we have the real deal in Boston, starting with Brasserie Jo nn Huntington Avenue, then Bouchee on Newbury Street, and in the past weeks, Gaslight on Harrison Avenue. Brought to you by the same crew that owns Aquitaine in the South End, this new addition has furthered the transformation of the Harrison Avenue area from a bleak industrial wasteland to Boston's version of SoHo or SoMa, complete with art galleries, Internet companies, and upscale restaurants.
Gaslight is noisy (almost deafening), busy and, I will have to say, competent, lively, and reasonably priced. Since all good brasserie's serve oysters, we started with a dozen from Duxbury which were a bargain at $2 each. For a first course we had the Salade Gaslight ($7.75) which had haricots verts, bacon lardons, and onions and and Salade Frisee ($6.75) with chevre, black olives, and leeks. We followed that with the Steak Frites ($19.50) a Bavette (Flank Steak) with a Béarnaise sauce and the Confit de Canette (duckling) ($16). Both came with excellent pommes frites.
The desserts were OK - the molton of the "molten chocolate cake" ($6) was a little bit of sauce on top of an otherwise undistinguished cake.
In summary, this place has a lot to recommend it. The food is good, the atmosphere is fun, it's open late (1:30 am) and there's plenty of free parking.