It seems like lately I’ve been spending time dining in the borough of Brooklyn. I’ve mentioned before, and I’ll state it again, Brooklyn does have some seriously good restaurants…from my visit to Allswell and Traif in Williamsburg, to Rosewater and Franny’s in Park Slope and Prospect Heights. Brooklyn can hold its own in the restaurant and food world. But the other weekend, with a lovely friend from Toronto visiting, we ventured into the city for all of our dining adventures. I must say, we did quite the good job of choosing our spots…we researched for MANY weeks leading up to our weekend together as my friend wanted good food just as much as I did (well, almost equaling my obsession). After trading e-mails back and forth, we finally decided on our spots.
Friday night dinner took us to The Dutch. I had previously been here for brunch and was pleased but definitely not WOWED and I feared this restaurant would not live up to all the hype…I had to call exactly a month to the day to book this dinner. Being named one of the top restaurants in the city by some, many recent reviews have shown it to be a bit of a let down. I am here to tell you, The Dutch is churning out some pretty darn good food…overpriced? Definitely, but delicious, oh yes!
There was also some extremely moist and buttery complimentary jalapeno cornbread consumer in lieu of a bread basket. The oyster sandwiches were such a fun way to start…crispy oysters, a squishy and soft bun, and creamy mayo…the perfect two bite app. The salad was so fresh and screamed of spring and the creamy dressing mixed with a sweet balsamic drizzle was the perfect touch. And these scallops….cooked just perfectly with the salty/smoky bacon jam, sweet kumquats, and spicy jalapeno…the perfect mix. Was the salad worth the 16 dollar price tag? Probably not. But it was definitely a very good salad and a pretty good way to start off our eating weekend together! The next day we met up with some more friends for brunch at one of my favorites, Cookshop. How do you know it’s a favorite? Well, this visit was my third time there…breaking a major rule for me. But when food is this good…
Cookshop definitely shines in their inventive and perfectly cooked egg dishes. The pancakes, I was not a fan. So definitely Cookshop is still a favorite…but my suggestions, unless you want that delicious pastry board, go for an egg dish and save the pancakes for the experts! Another great thing about Cookshop (besides the food), is its proximity to the highline. And after this brunch, a good stroll was in order!
The perfect day for an outdoor stroll…it was also the perfect day to finally try The Doughnut Plant. And it was only fitting my first DP experience was with my TO visitor as we also shared my first Dough experience together on her last visit.
Dough was good, but we both agreed this yeast based square DP version takes the cake! It literally melted in our mouth and the banana cream was so fresh, it actually tasted like REAL bananas. And it was surprisingly light for a deep-fried treat. This is definitely a place I need to return to so I can taste their cake based variety as well. You’re probably thinking, with all this eating we had a light dinner that evening? Well if that’s the case, you really don’t know me that well!
This would be the scotch egg from April Broomfield’s The Breslin, a restaurant in the Ace Hotel that is known for their meats. Being my first scotch egg I don’t have much to compare it to, but it was certainly quite delicious! Crunchy outside, moist meaty inside, oozy yolk…could there really be anything bad about this? My friend and I met some friends to finally tray the Breslin’s famed lamb burger. After a one hour wait at the beautiful bar, we were finally seated. Our waiter was very helpful and informed us that the lamb burger was quite large and we could probably share it, since we also wanted to try her version of a caesar salad. And thankfully, ignoring our grumbling stomachs and after downing the scotch egg, we took his advice and split the salad and burger down the middle.
Now you see why he thankfully suggested we share?? That burger was HUGE! I normally find lamb a bit too gamey tasting for me, but this burger had just the right amount of “lamby” flavor. It was really complimented by the salty feta, cumin spiced mayo, and crusty bun. That caesar salad also held its own…topped with fried parsley and perfectly creamy dressing with a nice and nutty anchovy flavor. Definitely not a restaurant for vegetarians or fish lovers as our waiter informed us “do not order the fish, we are known for our meats!”
Needless to say, we were quite full from our gluttonous day of eating…but dedicated to my cause of trying to eat at as many restaurants on my VERY long list as possible, my friend was a trooper and the next morning we awoke and headed out to The Little Owl for brunch. A cute and tiny spot in the West Village, they are known for their sliders, meatballs, and whole wheat pancakes. Well…I felt it was my duty, even after eating my weight in meat last night, to order their slider that was on almost every other table in this little restaurant. Pancakes and sliders make the perfect breakfast, didn’t you know??
The pancakes were mentioned by Alton Brown on my favorite show “The Best Thing I ever Ate” as the best cakes he’s ever eaten. They were hearty and light, less cake-like and more “healthy” tasting, but still very moist. Dousing them with maple syrup was necessary as they weren’t that sweet but I didn’t mind that! That meatball was perfectly tender, probably due to the mix of all the different meats. My one quibble would be that the bun was a little hard…but who needs a bun really when you have pancakes instead! I think I’m off to a good start in my quest to eat my way through this city before I depart…wouldn’t you agree?