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Little Bistro

*LB has been replaced by a not-so-promising looking place called Vivir. (1/06)

Famous last words, "it had better not be one of those barbecue sauce restaurants." Oh, but it was. It's starting to get strange, the Bococa (oh yes, I did) affinity for barbecue sauce. (Or possibly more accurately, James's penchant for ordering items drenched in it.)Realistically, the incidents over the past few years have been few and far between, all things considered, but they tend to stand out because they occurred when we first moved into the neighborhood and were figuring out the dining scene. We had bbq sauce trauma at Pier 116 and Village 247, both addresses-in-the-names joints have since faded away. Perhaps rampant bbq saucing is the mark of a restaurant in demise.

I wish I could remember the exact name and description of our appetizer. It was something along the lines of barbecued shrimp summer rolls. I'll admit, barbecue is right in there, but we assumed by context this meant grilled. Wouldn't that make more sense? But no, the Vietnamese style rolls came with a little patch of mache, a pool of creamed corn…and drizzles of barbecue sauce. Good lord. After that, there would be no way to convince James to ever give another Cobble Hill restaurant a chance.

That rough patch was only exacerbated by the excruciating amount of time it took to present our entrees.  I'm not one to fuss, but it probably would've irritated an average diner. And it wasn't matter of things being backed up, they clearly messed up our order. We were nearly neck and neck with the table next to us and they received, ate and finished their main dishes before we even saw ours. I suspect there was a problem with the veal special. We're opposite, James often goes for the special and I avoid them.

I was mildly amused that when the panko crusted veal finally arrived it was served with "Japanese Worcestershire sauce," which is like one step away from sweet barbecue sauce. one might imagine would be sweet. It wasn't James's night.

To be fair, I quite liked my entrée, which was a plate of sliced duck, massaman curry sauce, two moo shu duck style pancakes, and two sweet potato fritters. A small pile of baby vegetables in the middle consisted of carrots, pattypan squash and green and wax beans.

It's easy to asses the neighborhood's vibe and restaurant's clientele, from the caveats the waiter gave with practically all orders. "The duck is cooked medium, so it's a little pink in the middle. Is that ok?" Yes, that's fine. The shrimp rolls, "That comes with coleslaw, is that alright?" Ok, not a problem. Both female components of the couples who sat on my right (yes, two seatings occurred during our unintended lengthy meal) ordered the salmon with "Japanese spiced cream sauce," and both asked, "Is it spicy?" The waiter robotically replied, "We can put the sauce on the side." South Brooklyn is infested with fussiness.

Little Bistro * 158 Court St., Brooklyn, NY

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