Remember how every time you used to hear “Butterface” thrown out in a conversation about some girl, you’d think how incredibly-offensive-slash-guiltily-accurate of a term it really was? Hate ‘em all you want, but the guys of the late 90s were on to something. Baby could have back —and front, and inside and out for that matter, but ‘er face...
While the term had its time and is resting in the graveyard of the other faddish millennium-age slang (thankfully), it turns out that there might be just one more swan song for butterface —to aptly sum up the dining experience of Brighton Beach’s new fine dining restaurant: Vis à Vis.
Bomb Dot Com Dinner
And while we’re resurrecting pop culture jargon of years past, it’s safe to say that Vis à Vis’s menu is the bomb diggity, bomb dot com—just bomb. The first (and probably only) non-Russian upscale restaurant with a “global contemporary menu rooted in French techniques” you can rest assured that whatever mobsters you do run into here have crazy good taste in food.
At first glance the menu will leave you scratching your head, wondering how in the world miso glazed salmon pairs with wild mushroom ravioli and lobster bisque, but make no mistake this isn’t your everyday French restaurant. In fact—it’s barely French at all, and Executive Chef Charles Disa will be the first to emphasize his creative interpretation of global contemporary cuisine.A Taste of Winter Salad
Slow roasted vegetables tossed in quinoa, mixed greens with house-made balsamic vinaigrette, toasted pecans and whipped ricotta is fresh, hearty and a guilt-free option to start the meal.
A former marketing consultant, the largely self-trained chef didn’t hesitate in spicing up (quite literally in some cases) the heavily Russian populated area with some delicious, ethnic flair. And somehow, the hodgepodge of global flavors come together perfectly to create a—what else?—bomb dot com dinner. Get ready to tuck in, folks…it’s gonna be a long, gluttonous night.
Rosemary infused grilled lamb chops with red wine sauce, haricot verts & garlic mashed
potatoes are a splendid addition to the veggie dishes.
From French and Indian to Thai and Italian, Vis à Vis’s menu is both a feast for your eyes and your tummy, and there’s something for everyone to stuff their face with (politely, of course). And if you’ve got a sweet tooth? Well, you may as well prepare your will because this dessert menu is good enough to kill you on the spot. There’s plenty to choose from, and once again Chef Charles does a fine job at mixing things up by introducing flavors and ideas you’ll be slapping yourself for not thinking of first.
Award-Winning Flaming Brandied Ginger Marmalade Bread Pudding Served with lemon curd & candied orange, it’s dessert porn that’s surprisingly refreshing and perfect for that inner Southern gal in you. Chef’s Special Coconut and Jaggery Flan The star of the dessert show by far, this sweet surprise is served up with CARDAMOM whipped cream and fresh strawberries. (Just. Dead.) Port Wine Chocolate Lava Cake You know that melt-in-your-mouth-too-good-to-be-true chocolate cake—plus port wine? Yes, please.
And this is the point when you’ve scanned the girl top to bottom, so entranced in her smoky hotness that you’ve forgotten all about her face.
And BAM. The dream is over. (No offense ladies; men really are pigs, and you’re all beautiful.)
Unfortunately for Chef Charles and the spectacular culinary show he conducts behind-the-scenes, everything else at Vis à Vis is more or less amiss. From the barely English-speaking staff—including the servers, who are ill-fit to answer menu questions (bless their hearts for trying though)—to the makes-you-dizzy-looking-at-them green LED spot lights shooting down from the ceiling, the 5-star dining experience really does begin and end with the food.
And unless you’re hell-bent on watching nonstop Russian TV from any one of the numerous, massive mounted flatscreen TVs while enjoying your succulent lamb chops and fine wine, you might want to close your eyes throughout dinner. But watch out for the mammoth crystal chandeliers all over the place (backlit by Green Goblin’s fave color, of course), lest they actually take an eye out.
All in all Vis à Vis is one helluva restaurant—for food—which, when you think about it, is more or less what eating out is all about. Maybe it’s not the place you make a special trip out to Brighton Beach for on a Friday night, but then again—why not?
When it comes to food, New Yorkers know one thing is true: The most delicious restaurant is not rarely a huge butterface.