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In France and the Francophone world, a brasserie (French pronunciation: [bʁas.ʁi]) is a type of French restaurant with a relaxed setting, which serves single dishes and other meals. The word brasserie is also French for "brewery" and, by extension, "the brewing business". A brasserie can be expected to have professional service, printed menus, and, traditionally, white linen—unlike a bistro which may have none of these. Typically, a brasserie is open every day of the week and serves the same menu all day. A classic brasserie dish is steak frites.
The origin of the word probably stems from the fact that beer was brewed on the premises rather than brought in: thus an inn would brew its own beer as well as supply food and invariably accommodation too. In 1901 Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language defined "brasserie" as "in France, any beer-garden or saloon". In 2000 The New Penguin English Dictionary included this definition of "brasserie": "a small informal French-style restaurant".
Northeast France and the United Kingdom
In Northern France, particularly towards the Belgian border (an area that traditionally brews French style beers), there has been a revival of old breweries which have been converted into restaurants and hotels, reverting to brewing their own beer as micro-brews. The term is often used in the United Kingdom applied to small restaurants, usually in city centres; however, it generally has no connection with brewing.
According to the OQLF, a brasserie restaurant is an Établissement qui tient à la fois du restaurant et du bar, où l'on consomme principalement des repas simples et de la bière, typically a brewpub.
- Bourdain, Anthony (29 January 2002). "Childhood Favorites". A Cook's Tour. Season 2. Episode 9. 3 minutes in. Food Network.
I'm looking for the authentic and the familiar, some classic brasserie chow: steak frite.
- brasserie Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- Davidson, Thomas, comp. Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language. London: W. & R. Chambers; p. 113
- The New Penguin English Dictionary ; consultant editor: Robert Allen. London: Penguin, 2000; p. 167
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