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Posts from the ‘Ditmas Park’ Category

Eaten, Barely Blogged: Not In My Backyard

Recette As payback for picking me up a handful of Jason Wu for Target items in New Jersey on Superbowl Sunday, I vowed to treat to a friend to a fancy dinner (I owed her $150) but not like Per Se or Eleven Madison Park fancy. I don't really hear much about Recette, and hate to imply that the creative (and yeah, a little pricey) West Village restaurant isn't worth discussing in greater detail, but this was a case of eating, drinking, talking, hanging out without over-thinking everything on the plate, an approach to dining I've been embracing more lately. I did still take photos of the five-course tasting, however, so peek if you wish. For nearly each course we were given two different dishes, so the variety was great.

Recette 0
PINK GRAPEFRUIT MARGARITA, Hornitos Añejo, Fresh Pink Grapefruit, Lime Juice, Espelette/KUMQUAT OLD FASHIONED, Bulleit Bourbon, Poached Kumquats, Blueberry Bitters/Uni amuse

Recette 1

BEEF CARPACCIO, Burrata, Tomato Jam, Porcini Purée, Basil, Watercress/MARINATED ARCTIC CHAR, Oyster, Crunchy Salad, Bonito Broth, Bottarga

Recette 2

GRILLED PULPO, Black Garlic, Olive Oil, Lemon, Fennel/"ONION SOUP", Onion Espuma, Oxtail, Gruyere, Consommé

Recette 3

BLACK BASS, Potato Gnocchi, Pancetta, Roasted Salsify, Seafood Nage/ROASTED SCALLOPS, Artichokes, Thumbelina Carrots, Caviar Beurre Blanc

Recette 4

ROASTED FLUKE, Shellfish "Congee", Leeks, Sauce Bouillabaisse/BERKSHIRE PORK BELLY, Rock Shrimp, Turnips, Romesco, Sherry Caramel

Recette 5
a pre-dessert (the banana chocolate real dessert photo didn't turn out)/"SMORES", Graham Cracker Ice Cream, Toasted Marshmallow, "Hot" Chocolate Ganache

Ox Cart Tavern As an experiment, I traveled from my office to Ditmas Park during a Friday evening rush hour. 4/5 at Bowling Green to B/Q at Atlantic Ave. to Newkirk Ave. Forty-five minutes wasn't so bad considering it frequently takes me 40 minutes going four stops from Carroll Gardens (it certainly did this morning) even though  no one believes me. My potential new neighborhood livability test doesn't take dining into account, though, because Ditmas Park couldn't win on that count. There are like two young people bars (I investigated a third for old-timers and almost got my iPhone stolen by one of the many  middle-aged–truly middle-aged, not 40–alcoholic women) and four restaurants. But really, it's doubtful I'll go to Momofuku Milk Bar or whatever new thing opens this week anytime soon (I am interested in La Vara) but there is something comforting about knowing they're there just in case. No matter, we have a car and always go out of the neighborhood to eat and drink on weekends anyway, and would do so on weeknights if we had a garage and driveway to come back to, which we would in Ditmas Park. Ox Cart Tavern is the kind of place that has Sixpoint Sweet Action in cans, sloppy duck sliders, lots of small children on the early side and waits for tables as the night progresses. It's average, but the disproportionate ratio of potential diners to seats implies the neighborhood is restaurant-starved.

La fusta mixed grillLa Fusta Like I said, weekends aren't spend dining around Carroll Gardens. We wanted steak and to try St. Anselm, but Williamsburg on a Saturday night didn't seem wise (unless you're going someplace non-hyped like Taco Chulo where I went the previous Saturday and there was still a wait). Argentine parrillada is nothing like St. Anselm, I imagine, but you do get some offal and weird bits (no goat head and hearts, sadly) when you order the mixed grill. The skirt steak and Korean-cut ribs are good, but I genuinely love the creamy and chewy intestines sitting on top of the pile of meat and the mushy morcilla buried beneath (I get all the blood sausage in exchange for giving up the not-that-exciting-to-me chorizo that is more similar in flavor to a breakfast sausage) and not just to show off. The intestines are nearly like those rolled wafer cookies you find at Asian grocers filled with chocolate or pandan, but I probably don't want to know what makes-up the meaty interior stuffing–it's certainly not shortening and sugar. Previously on La Fusta.

Taco Chulo Hey, it's better than San Loco.

The Farm on Adderley

Three-and-half-hours is a long time to wait for a table by anyone's standards. More so in a non-prime neighborhood like Ditmas Park even if said neighborhood got The New York Times' Living In treatment, "Moved for the Space; Stayed for the Food" (sounds good on paper) the very same Saturday you decided to poke your head in Purple Yam, their first Saturday in business.

Who knew there was such a clamor for upscale Filipino fare along the Q line? Tocino sliders on purple pan de sal would have to wait.

Still wanting to see what Ditmas Park was morphing into (I'd never stopped in the stand-alone-homes-with-porches enclave in the 11.5 years I've lived here) we settled for The Farm on Adderley, the type of rustic, dangling filament bulb restaurant that has overrun the northwest corner of Brooklyn but is still novel in the bulk of the borough. With their refined casualness, these bellwethers of a neighborhood's status are exactly the places I would avoid in my 20s for being too adult and prohibitively priced yet are now embraced by 21st century 20-somethings. Maybe that's a recent shift in taste, maybe that's just New York City. Do Middle American 24-year-olds dine on $20 organic roast chicken and drink bottles of biodynamic wine?

Farm on adderley apple tempura

Apple tempura is certainly not something clogging the menus like homemade pickles, sausages and pork belly, though. A true novelty, the crunchy, lightly coated slices of mellow red apple sat in a porky broth dashing any notions that a fruit focused starter would be either vegetarian friendly or healthy. Autumnal, to be sure.

Farm on adderley artic char

Meaty Artic char with lentils and beets clung closer to tradition. Pickled garlic was a nice touch.

Already having Buttermilk Channel and Chestnut walking distance from my apartment, it's not likely I will return to Ditmas Park for this satisfying yet not hard to find American style of cooking anytime soon. I am curious about fancified lechon, however, so Purple Yam it will be when the wait times simmer back down to normal.

The Farm on Adderley * 1108 Cortelyou Rd., Brooklyn, NY