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jogoode

Brooklyn Mobilize!

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I spent the weekend in the city. Had Sunday Brunch at Rose Water, which has been mentioned previously in this thread.

It was great. Had iced tea, and one of the specials, which was a yuca cake with spinach, a red pepper type salsa, and eggs overeasy. It was very good.

My friend had their sweet potato cake with eggs, which was amazing. I was trying to figure out exactly what was in it, but it seemed like sweet potato, carrots and mushrooms, all thinly sliced. It was really great.

I also liked the selection of iced teas ...

For dinner, we went to Oznot's dish on a friend's recommendation. I thought the food was good, atmosphere great, and service average (our server said he was new).

My wine was great, a riesling. My entree, a special was a whole grilled fish, stuffed with couscous almondine. A great mixture of flavors. My friend got bbq steak, which was steak with a spicy sauce, it was ok. She asked for it medium rare, and I thought something like that should be served more well done, because of the sauce. The flavors didn't go that well.

The prune cake/tart was AMAZING. I would go back just because of the atmosphere.

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APPLEWOOD (11st between 7th and 8th ave) in park slope,

though I know the chef, and think he might not want me to just promote brunch,

but it's a weekend hot spot.

Haven't had dinner, but love their drinks, of which I've partaken in a few libations.

Newer is TOST, also in park slope (7th Ave between 14th/15th st). It's a secret, well, now it's not.

Top shelf paninis, $2 bruschetta, salad, dessert, and a kickin' (yes I did drop the "g" and add an apostrophe) wine list to boot.

For realz.

COCOTTE on 5th ave and 5th st i believe, of which used to be a stuffy, almost antiquated, rustic french bistro, will be revived this upcoming week (when they change the menu). My friend Adam has just become the head chef, and I have much faith in his ability. In time, I'm sure it will be on many lists. Good lists.


Michael Harlan Turkell, PHOTOGRAPHER

"BACK OF THE HOUSE" Project, www.harlanturk.com , PLOG: harlanturk.blogspot.com

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COCOTTE on 5th ave and 5th st i believe, of which used to be a stuffy, almost antiquated, rustic french bistro, will be revived this upcoming week (when they change the menu). My friend Adam has just become the head chef, and I have much faith in his ability. In time, I'm sure it will be on many lists. Good lists.

Cool. The one time I ate at Cocotte I had a bad experience. Maybe you could relay this to your friend so they can correct it. I was there for brunch and ordered the french toast. The french toast itself was excellent. Problem was - it came drowning in artifical maple syrup. It was a pool of syrup with french toast sitting on top. I should've said something I know - but I'm one of those types who rarely complains.

Tell him lay off the syrup! (and even better provide an option to have the real maple syrup at an extra cost if necessary)

~WBC

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I had a very satisfying, reasonable meal at Cocotte two years ago. It was very memorable. But that was two years ago, and things may have changed.

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things seem to have cooled off in this thread, so a quick question if you don't mind--

i'll be in brooklyn fri-sun this week. i know it's short notice, but does anyone have any recommendations for us?

1. an not-too-expensive but interesting dinner later on friday. we're open to most anything, and from looking around ici looks like it might fit the bill. think we could get in?

2. a decent but quick lunch on saturday while we're wandering around

3. something for saturday evening--we have an open house party starting at 4, and i figure we may get tired of it and head out to eat. but on the other hand, i wouldn't want to make a reservation, because we may not be able to honor it. some sort of smaller, no reservations, but not too crowded place comes to mind. the kind of place that everyone always says on a tuesday evening, yeah i love that! but then saturday rolls around and they want a nicer place or something, so you can roll in and get a meal without too much trouble. know what i mean?

we're staying in prospect park, party's in brooklyn heights.

thanks for any tips (or if you want to point to other threads that my searches might not have turned up, i'll happily look at them too).

edited to clarify: we like everything. i'm always on the lookout for foods from other countries that we can't get in philadelphia--for instance, we don't have south indian restaurants down here. specialty things like dumpling houses and noodle houses and whatnot are fun too. anything good, really.


Edited by mrbigjas (log)

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A new restaurant called Sorrel opened up in Prospect Heights - on Carlton and St. Marks. $25 for three courses ala 360, with a couple of off PF options... Initial reviews have been positive.

If you're sticking to Prospect Heights, Beast, Amorina (the Pizza Rustica joint), and Aliseo are all good bets.

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thanks lambretta76! we're totally not limited to prospect park area, in case you or anyone else is wondering.

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A bunch of brave fellows have finally opened up their coffee shop down the block from my apartment on fourth avenue, (hopefully) marking the beginnings of an encroachment upon the wasteland that lies between 5th avenue and, well, Smith St. (an overly optimistic perspective I admit). But nevertheless, I am more than happy to welcome these guys to my block.

They call themselves Mule, and do not seem to have any web presecene whatsoever at this point. The opened Monday according to the owner who built the place by hand (he was/is a self-proclaimed "wood and steel man"). They open and 7am and serve coffee, espresso drinks, bagels and some assorted muffins and pastries. They expect the menu to become more expansive over time as they get settled. Friendly. Pleasant atmosphere.

Had a double espresso but do not really know enough about coffee to confidently report anything about it other than the fact that I enjoyed it and subsequently suffered from caffeine-induced tremors that lasted a few hours.

<b>Mule</b>

<i>4th Avenue between St. Marks and Bergen St.</i>

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A bunch of brave fellows have finally opened up their coffee shop down the block from my apartment on fourth avenue, (hopefully) marking the beginnings of an encroachment upon the wasteland that lies between 5th avenue and, well, Smith St. (an overly optimistic perspective I admit).  But nevertheless, I am more than happy to welcome these guys to my block.

<b>Mule</b>

<i>4th Avenue between St. Marks and Bergen St.</i>

The rezoning that allowed all the new "luxury" condos along 4th ave will certainly bring changes; eventually even the area along the gowanus will change once they figure out how to clean up the industrial sites.

On the other hand, I'm always happy to see a new coffeeshop.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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The rezoning that allowed all the new "luxury" condos along 4th ave will certainly bring changes;

It appears that you can't have your cake and eat it too... or, should I say, your coffee and drink it too. :raz:

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Below is my review of the new Restaurant Sorrell that I originally posted on chowhound...

Had a late dinner at this new joint on Carlton at St. Marks in Prospect Heights.

It's located in an old bodega, but the room is clean (perhaps too much so) and airy. Air conditioner had a hard time keeping up with the heat, but whose didn't?

My fiancée opted for the $25 fixed price, while I chose three appetizers.

I started with the summer corn soup served cold ($5). It was very refreshing, very chilled, and perfectly captured the essence of corn. When I saw it, I feared that it would taste too much like creamed corn, but the cream base, while very heavy, carried itself well. She had the sautéed snails with spaetzle, which was like the classic escargot re-constructed. Wonderfully plump snails, a garlic/olive oil pesto, and the spaetzel, which took the place of the bread normally used to sop up that extra garlic butter.

Her main was a roast chicken breast with Israeli couscous and baby bok choy. Very tasty, but much more of a fall dish than a summer one. I had the pickled herring with potatoes and watermelon ($6), which was outstanding. The sweet, sour, and starchy all worked very well together in this dish. I would order this again in a heartbeat. I also ordered the beef tartare ($7), which was a rather large serving of good quality beef. A nice touch was the use of togarishi pepper to give it a good kick. However, it was a bit heavy on the capers, which made it a little too much. It was served with three toast points (griddled with olive oil) and a caperberry on top. A lighter hand with the capers and this dish would be very good.

For dessert I had a couple spoonfuls of her cold melon soup, which was a beautiful presentation of honeydew "soup" on one side, canteloupe "soup" on the other, with a sprinkling of blueberries in the middle. Perfectly captured the essence of the melons, and it was served not too cold so it didn't seem like melted sorbet.

All of this, plus a glass of the Gruner Veltliner and a forgotten French varietal (which was really nice), came to about $70 with tax and tip.

It wasn't quite as good as 360, where the chef had previously worked, but I can see the promise in this place. And since the menu changes daily, and a nice meal can be constructed from two or three apps and a glass of wine, I'll definitely be returning.

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Sorrell sounds pretty interesting to me and think i'll give it a try based on your comments.

This past friday I had dinner at Applewood which was also mentionned upthread. I liked the place but did not love it though. To start with I had a "seafood salad" which basically consisted of a trio of roughly chopped marinated crab, crayfish and octopus meat mixed together and topped with a whole unshelled lobster claw. A roasted jalapeno cream came on the side of the plate. I didn't think much of this dish, a little uninspiring. The amount of meat was overwhelming and in my eyes should have been mixed with something else like radish or cucumber just to break away from the dull taste of mixed seafood only. The lobster claw, as is the case 95% of the time, was dry, overcooked and had a "pasty" mouthfeel. Not that great really.

My entree was a better. I had a loin of lamb with roasted red bell pepper which was diced and sat on the loin. The loin itself was served on a bed of collard greens (i think) and came with what I think was the lamb's jus. That was good and very nicely seasoned.

Dessert was good. Mascarpone filled crepes with, if a remember correctly, a blackberry/wine sauce. Not bad at all.

On another note, I also tried this new place that recently opened on Court St. called "Little Bistro", I think the chef worked at Jean Georges and Nobu or something like that. I don't even remember what I ordered, all I remember is my wife and I going for tacos after that because food was so horrendous that we barely touched it. I hate to bash restaurants but this was one of the worst meals I had this year...


"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler

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I finally tried al di la last night and was, well, disappointed. Everybody seemed to have such praise for this spot, but I thought the food was pretty unimpressive.

The highlight of the evening was our waitress: she seemed very passionate and knowledgable about the food and wine and carried herself with such a perfect balance of energy, authority, friendliness and respect. But most importantly she seemed right off the bat to have a stake in the quality our dinner experience.

So, back to the food. We had a great bottle of Roero Arneis Pasquero 2004. Also, we ordered the salt cod antipasto, the garlic soup, the bagna cauda (anchovy/oil tapenade-ish sauce served with raw and gently cooked vegetables and roots, some pasta primi (tagliatelle with meat ragu, beat-filled pasta with poppy seed, and a special of the day that seemed almost identical to the tagliatelle), and the pork chop special. The cod I think was the most interesting of all the dishes I sampled, but I thought the salt cod foam/salad needed more.... SALT! It didn't taste like much at all. The polenta cakes seved with the cod were pleasant but could have also benefitted from a bit more seasoning. The garlic soup was not to my liking at all and was very glad I hadn't ordered it for myself: the garlic essence was so overpowering that the taste lingered through the rest of the meal and afterwards. The bagna cauda, or anchovy/oil sauce served with vegetables was ok, but it got a bit redundant in spite of the nice variety of veggies and the overall impact was kind of dull (more seasoning here as well?) As for the pasta dishes? Well, I know I shouldn't have but I couldn't help myself from thinking that Babbo had a much better rendition of pretty much everything I tasted. I think that the texture of the pasta was the weakest link, a bit too mushy and therefore couldn't really didn't hold up to the heavy ragu(s). The beet-filled pasta with poppy (also a dish that Babbo serves but with a different filling I think) was probably the strongest of them all. Pork chop was fatty but flavorful. Much much much better down the street at Rose Water.

Just my two cents.

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quick report:

had dinner for the first time at maria's mexican bistro on 4th & Union in Slope/Gowanus.

How have I not eaten here before?

Had nice fresh guacamole, although given the choice of mild, medium and spicy, and picking spicy, the resulting guac was not very spicy at all.

For my entree I had enchiladas -- cheese, shrimp and chicken with 3 sauces -- each very good, although the cheese filling was Oaxaca cheese which does not melt to the point I prefer.

My gf had a Pork Chop stuffed with Zucchini flowers and Oaxaca cheese topped with tomato sauce and cheese on top of spicy spinach bed. Delicious. Our margaritas were definitely not up to snuff though -- disappointing given the range of tequilas on offer. Engaged a caramel crepe with vanilla ice cream for dessert - serviceable but over-caramelled, perhaps the Flan next time.

At 65 bucks with tip this was a pretty fair deal for great mexican food.

Will be back.

MJR


Edited by mjr_inthegardens (log)

�As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.� - Ernest Hemingway, in �A Moveable Feast�

Brooklyn, NY, USA

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I finally tried al di la last night and was, well, disappointed.  Everybody seemed to have such praise for this spot, but I thought the food was pretty unimpressive.

The highlight of the evening was our waitress: she seemed very passionate and knowledgable about the food and wine and carried herself with such a perfect balance of energy, authority, friendliness and respect.  But most importantly she seemed right off the bat to have a stake in the quality our dinner experience.

So, back to the food.  We had a great bottle of Roero Arneis Pasquero 2004.  Also, we ordered the salt cod antipasto, the garlic soup, the bagna cauda (anchovy/oil tapenade-ish sauce served with raw and gently cooked vegetables and roots, some pasta primi (tagliatelle with meat ragu, beat-filled pasta with poppy seed, and a special of the day that seemed almost identical to the tagliatelle), and the pork chop special.  The cod I think was the most interesting of all the dishes I sampled, but I thought the salt cod foam/salad needed more.... SALT!  It didn't taste like much at all.  The polenta cakes seved with the cod were pleasant but could have also benefitted from a bit more seasoning.  The garlic soup was not to my liking at all and was very glad I hadn't ordered it for myself: the garlic essence was so overpowering that the taste lingered through the rest of the meal and afterwards.  The bagna cauda, or anchovy/oil sauce served with vegetables was ok, but it got a bit redundant in spite of the nice variety of veggies and the overall impact was kind of dull (more seasoning here as well?)  As for the pasta dishes?  Well, I know I shouldn't have but I couldn't help myself from thinking that Babbo had a much better rendition of pretty much everything I tasted.  I think that the texture of the pasta was the weakest link, a bit too mushy and therefore couldn't really didn't hold up to the heavy ragu(s). The beet-filled pasta with poppy (also a dish that Babbo serves but with a different filling I think) was probably the strongest of them all.  Pork chop was fatty but flavorful.  Much much much better down the street at Rose Water.

Just my two cents.

It's really strange; I have lived in P Slope/ P Heights since 1997, and my friends and I rarely leave the 'hood to dine (its too easy to get a decent meal close by), so I have been to many of the local places many, many times. al di la has long been my favorite place in the neighborhood because it has always felt like just the type of neighborhood restaurant I could never find in my home state (MI). That said, in the past two years, I have found myself going here less and less, and when I do go, I get more and more disappointed. Two reasons, I think... The menu has barely changed in the years since I started going (if it has changed at all); the spinach gnocchi, the beet ravioli, the rabbitt and polenta, everything. This is a kitchen that now seems bored... how many times can you knock out the same 10 dishes? Second, as the level of quality as risen in PS and on Smith Street, the place has grown to seem less and less exceptional for the area. Couple the rise in standard in the neighborhood(s) with the decline in the food at al di la, and I think you experiece a different restaurant. In 2001, it seemed like a revelation. Today, I still go once in a while, but it seems to need an infusion of something different to re-energize the kitchen. That said, the dining room is charming and the perfect representation of the Park Slope ideal; tight, almost communal tables, a mix and match antique feel, and always great service, friendly and professional. The wine list is great for the price point as well; you can get a great bottle for a reasonable price. The no reservation policy is also nice for the local crowd; the relatively new wine lounge next door is inferior to the old "leave a cell phone number and go have a drink elsewhere" policy they used to have and maybe still do (how many times did I go for oysters and a beer at Blue Ribbon while waiting?) Anyway, point taken. Hard not to love it still, but it ain't what it used to be...

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Thanks to some recommendations from jogoode (thx JJ!) and to the perspicacity of my host, we dined at Ici on Saturday night. It's a great space, very relaxed and pleasant, sort of like the neighborhood restaurant that everyone should have three blocks away. Well, at least the sort of one I should have, anyway.

The pricing is really quite reasonable. For example, we started with a great truffled mushroom soup ($7) that could've easily been over $10, and even in Providence the grilled squid with lemon and smoked paprika ($10) would've hit $12. They were both excellent, as was a beet salad ($9).

For our mains, my tablemates had a swell walleye pike with fingerlings, brussel sprouts, and a few other things ($21) and some orecchiette with eggplant ($12) -- a smidge bitter for our host. I had a perfect, perfect braised short rib plate with sweet potatoes, mustard fruits, pickled shallots, and a wonderful reduction of the braising juices ($20). We had a spicy gamay (a Puzelat Le P'tit Tannique 2004 for $37) with everything, which really hit the spot.

We may be back for Thanksgiving weekend, and if so, we'll likely hit Ici again.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Has anyone tried the new place that opened on 10th and 7th avenue called BEET? I have walked by it a few times and it seems nice -- although the entire restauarnt is lit by these red lights. I mean it is so RED that everything you eat will look the same. The food looks interesting, mostly Thai inspired it seems which a mish-mosh of other Asian food items thrown in.

I may try it for take-out first, as the red interior is somewhat distressing.

jpd


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Has anyone tried the new place that opened on 10th and 7th avenue called BEET? I have walked by it a few times and it seems nice -- although the entire restauarnt is lit by these red lights. I mean it is so RED that everything you eat will look the same. The food looks interesting, mostly Thai inspired it seems which a mish-mosh of other Asian food items thrown in.

It's owned by the Mango Thai people, which I would consider "sickly-sweet" at best. Beautiful room, though - perhaps they have a better cook here?

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Ah that would explain it. I have had Mango before and it is definately hit or miss. Their noodles tend to be good overall. Hopefully they improved somewhat. I will have to give it a shot at least.

John

Has anyone tried the new place that opened on 10th and 7th avenue called BEET? I have walked by it a few times and it seems nice -- although the entire restauarnt is lit by these red lights. I mean it is so RED that everything you eat will look the same. The food looks interesting, mostly Thai inspired it seems which a mish-mosh of other Asian food items thrown in.

It's owned by the Mango Thai people, which I would consider "sickly-sweet" at best. Beautiful room, though - perhaps they have a better cook here?


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Hey Max good to see you in these parts. How close is that restaurant to the train?

Raji,

it's very close, steps from the Union M/N/R stop on 4th Ave.

In other brooklyn notes: Bogota Bistro on 5th is maintaining a blog about their restaurant, bogotabistro.com. Interesting account of starting up a restaurant in Brooklyn and their progress through today.

cheers

MJR


�As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.� - Ernest Hemingway, in �A Moveable Feast�

Brooklyn, NY, USA

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Had dinner at Coco Roco last night on 5th Ave. I'm convinced it's the best of the Peruvian spots in the neighborhood (which includes Pk. Slope and Cobble Hill). Last week I ate at Mancora, which seems to be a pretty popular destination amongst the eG Brooklyn crowd, but I have to say it pales in comparison to Coco Roco: the chicken at Mancora was incredibly dry; at Coco Roco it is moist and beautifully spiced. I did enjoy the ceviche at both restuarants (Mancora served a truckload portion of it while Coco Roco opts for a more appetizer-sized amount).

Even though there was a bit of a disaster with getting the chicken to our table (apparently the guy in charge of the rotisserie forgot to set aside one for our table and allocated all the finished chicken to take-out and delivery orders), we weren't really too upset given the quality fo the food. The yellow rice and beans side was really well done and the chicken cilantro soup was great.

I would skip on the sweet blue corn drink next time though: it was an intoxicatingly sweet concoction ordained with very finely chopped apples and fruit, which proved ultimately irrelevant given the fact that the ice in the glass prevented one from accessing the fruit :wacko:

Dessert at chocolate room, duh.

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I had two recent meals in Bay Ridge this week I thought deserved mention here:

India Passage

7404 Third Avenue

I don't know much about Indian food, but I do know that I enjoyed my meal here more than any other Indian I've had in the US as best I can recall. The curries were very flavorful, and while perhaps a bit milder on the sheer heat, the flavor was all there. Definitely worth a go.

La Maison du Couscous

484 77th Street

Wow, really good Moroccon fare. Tried the harrira, another vegetable soup I can't recall the name of, the couscous with lamb, raisins and onions, and the lamb tagine with artichoke hearts and peas. Everything was delicious. The lamb was so tender you could eat it rigtht off the bone with a spoon. The couscous was surprisingly sweet and very nicely spiced. Washed it all down with a pot of mint infused green tea. So nice. The decor is lacking a bit, but don't let that scare you off. This place is great.

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