Archive for the 'fine dining in Brooklyn' Category

25
Feb
14

Chagall Bistro


This past Sunday, a Belgian couple we just met at the Museum of the Jewish Heritage concert, SYR and I, went to Chagall Bistro in Brooklyn’s Park Slope section (330 5th Avenue – on the corner of 5th Street – Brooklyn, NY 11215; Tel: 718.832.9777) for dinner. Walking into Chagall immediately took us to another time, another world, from Brooklyn’s Park Slope straight to old Paris. The ambiance was truly très authentique - a nice surprise – and the first of many more the evening had in store for us.

kosher-scene-copyright-copy22

Chag1

We started our repast with the Duck Pastilla

Chag2

It came with crispy duck cigars with saffron, almond and date coulis. Full of flavor and seasoned just right!

We segued with Chef’s Terrines and Pâté, a rich assortment of duck rillette, chicken liver mousse, veal country pâté, cornichon jelly and basket of greens. The rich taste of these delights brought back memories of my travels through France, memories long forgotten.

But we were not done with the surprises… we followed with two orders of Chagall Duck, for the ladies, and two Specials for the men…

Chag3

The Special consisted roasted rack of lamb, grilled basil focccaccia, parsnip mousseline, artickokes, tomato confit, thyme, sauteed natural jus. The lamb was tender, juicy and full of flavor, the foccaccia still warm from the oven – full of aroma and taste – the jus was better than any I ever tasted. The ladies couldn’t stop talking about the Chagall Duck, it became obvious we would have to taste it… Frankly, duck had never been a favorite of mine, but I’ll confess the Chagall Duck just became one.

We washed it down with a delicious 2013 Rashbi Malbec, from Argentina’s Mendoza region. Artgentina, it seems, is almost incapable of producing a bad Malbec, even in the case of an inexpensive one like this bottle. With plum and black currant on the palate, a hint of smokiness it left with a long finish, this young wine proved a perfect pairing for an exceptional dinner.

Chag4

We crowned the meal with a Chocolate Mousse for my friend, two Capuccinos for the ladies, and a Crème Brûlée for me. My Belgian friend pronounced his mousse the best he ever had, my Crème Brûlée (I’m addicted to them!) certainly was the best I’ve ever had.

As the Belgian said when we were leaving, “After eating in great kosher restaurants all over France, who would have thought I’d get my best French meal in Brooklyn?” A great evening to be sure, nonetheless there was something that marred it for me… looking around the nearby tables and seeing other diners’ choices, made me wish I could have eaten more. Chef Jean Claude Teulade and his stuff have developed the art of French kosher cuisine to heretofore unparalleled levels, which leaves us with little choice but to go back again and again and again.

CS

03
Feb
11

Yummy Grill


It may be small and unpretentious, but don’t let that fool you. This hidden jewel, Yummy Grill (543 Kings Highway – off East 4th; Brooklyn, NY; Tel: 718.375.7557), serves up delicious food featuring Cavcasian and Israeli cuisines.

A partial view...

Chef/Owner Eli Hizkiyahu graduated, as Chef, from Israel’s famed Tadmore Hotel School in Herzliya. He arrived on the American shores about 19 years ago and made a successful career using food as his canvass. From fashioning Tfillin out of watermelons, to birds about to take off in flight – out of fruits and vegetables, he’s done it all as he travelled the length and breadth of the US plying his trade of food decoration at numerous catered and private affairs. About 9 months ago, Chef Eli and his wife opened up their current venue.

My companion RN and I stopped by for lunch, recently. She started out with a Lamb Soup…

Lamb Soup

It was nicely presented, spicy and very savory; in fact, it could have served as a complete meal by itself. It contained a few lamb bones, slivers of lamb and rice. Excellent! She described it as perfect comfort food for a winter day.

I started with an Avocado Salad. I have never been a fan of avocado, but the taste of this one was exceptional. Colorful, nicely but subtly spiced, it contributed to change my mind about avocado.

We then shared a platter of Baby Lamb Chops

Baby Lamb Chops

They were tender, juicy and had a very attractive aroma; came with a side dish of mixed Grilled Vegetables, consisting mostly of mushrooms, onions and peppers grilled to perfection.

We followed with a plate of Baby Chicken Kebab…

Baby Chicken Kebab

Tender, juicy delicious, it also came with those superb Grilled Vegetables (we just couldn’t enough of them!). All was served us in whimsically shaped but practical china, a delight to the eye. I washed it down with an Israeli malt. RN finished her meal with a delightful Tea w/Nana (mint leaves), while I had a coffee.

Ample portions, superb flavors, and very reasonable prices… isn’t it time to visit Yummy Grill?

CS

02
Dec
10

Natural Village Cafe


Warm, welcoming, classy, delicious… these four words give us a faint idea of my impressions of Natural Village Cafe (2 Avenue I – across from Shoprite Supermarket – Brooklyn, NY 11218; Tel: 347.492.5337 or 347. 417.6424). The restaurant is cholov Yisroel and pas Yisroel, with a mashgiach temidi and under the certification of Harav Meir Goldberg of the Va’ad Hakashrus d’Flatbush.

Upscale atmosphere, organic fare, beautiful and healthy in every possible way...

Nina Shapir, who presides over this eatery is truly a fascinating personality, the personal journey that changed her life and motivated her to open this establishment is full of commitment and dedication.

Fourteen years ago, Mrs. Shapir – a very young mother of three – found herself sick and unable to move, unable to cope. It was not a question of being financially overwhelmed, any such concerns were well taken care of. Medical tests and treatments produced no positive results, on the contrary things inexplicably kept getting worse. She met Harav Chay Azoulay, from Herzliya, who told her the real malady was not physical but rather one that affected her neshama. After some thought, trying to make sense of Rav Azulay’s words, she went on a detox diet with the help of healthfood stores, intent on ridding herself of all negative energies. This decision was followed by six very hard weeks before she saw any measurable improvements but soon after she was her old active, curious, intelligent, enterprising self again.

At this stage, Nina decided to help others who, though similarly afflicted, may not be aware of the real source of their health troubles. She went on to study Healing Arts at The School of Natural Healing in Utah from which she graduated. Seven years ago her first organic restaurant opened its doors. Her partner, however, was not frum and it proved frustrating eventually Nina bought her out. In 2008 she moved to the present location which combines her personal philosophy, her exquisite sense of aesthetics and the true love of a foodie for superb fare. She also has an an office adjacent to the restaurant where she treats the many in search of natural healing.

The restaurant sports geometric patterns on its walls and ceiling, with warm earth tones that give us a clue to the owner’s style and personality. Chef Bobby Brabaloni is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America – America’s foremost Culinary School – a fact which becomes obvious when you see the presentation, smell the aromas and taste the wonderful flavors.

My companion and I started our early dinner with a dish of Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

It consists of white mushrooms with sauteed onions, creamy pesto sauce, melted mozzarella and feta cheeses with a kick of chopped parsley. It was a perfect opener to a memorable meal.

We segued with their Village Pizza

Village Pizza

It came in a sesame crust, red onions, mushrooms, two types of mozzarella cheese and their very own red sauce. I know pizza, I’m a pizza addict and I must confess this one ranks among my favorites. My companion also found it delicious.

Next we had their Salmon Salad…

Salmon Salad

A superbly tasting salad fresh romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, grilled salmon, pan sauteed red inions, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms with a subtle teriyaki sauce. A fitting crown to our meal!

Wholesome food, warm ambience, reasonable prices, a nice bakery on premises… I know I’ll be back again and again.

CS

Natural Village Cafe on Urbanspoon

03
Jun
10

Basil – Pizza & Wine Bar


At the edge of Crown Height’s Jewish neighborhood, we walked through the tall glass paned doors of Basil Pizza and Wine Bar (270 Kingston Ave; Brooklyn, NY 11213; Telephone: 718.285.8777). We were greeted by the lovely homey smells coming from their large wood oven, clearly center staged by design, partnered with an open bar and cooking area. Soft relaxing Latin music permeated a high vaulted room adorned with 13 honey jar shaped glass lanterns hanging at variegated heights back-dropped by a glass fronted honey comb wine casement.  Marble top tables and dark rustic wooden chairs filled the room commodiously, seating 45 comfortably.

Partial view of Basil. Clara Perez, the Manager, taking a breather in one of those rare low traffic moments.

The pizza and wine bar opened its doors in late February of this year. Just a few months in, with an extensive gourmet dairy menu created by his predecessor, Chef Adam  (who started his culinary training in Italy’s Costa D’Amalfi – then the restaurant’s sous-chef – was suddenly asked to take the helm as chef de cuisine.  Like the young Luciano Pavoratti in February 1965 – who was asked to replace the regular tenor – in an evening’s fateful  performance (Donizzetti’s Lucia de Lamermoor) at the Greater Miami Opera, young Chef Adam stepped up to the plate prevailing successfully without missing a single high note apparently, for he served up dish after dish of consistently delicious Basil favorites.

We began this, our latest restaurant adventure, with their Wild Mushroom Pizza made with Goat Cheese, Mozzarella and Truffle Oil, we took a side dish of their signature Basil Fries, sprinkled with Fresh Parmesan aside a  Garlic-Truffle Mayo Dip- clearly – not for the faint hearted.  Both were delicious.  The thin crusted pizza dough (made with imported Italian flour) was terrific, as were the wild mushrooms and goat cheese topping. CS predictably downed a respectable number of fries, loving the crispy strips dipped in truffle mayo. We both opted for Tishbi’s Chenin Blanc to accompany our meal. It was perfect for the table fare and the balmy summer afternoon. I had a respectable Arugula and Beets Salad topped with medallions of warm goat cheese sprinkled with pine nuts and a truffle vinaigrette.

CS, gnocchi Gnostic that he is, couldn’t help but devour the Goat Cheese Gnocchi Gratin rich with Tomatoes, Spinach and Parmesan Bread Crumbs. He found it flavorful, authentic Italian Campagna, done to perfection! We sampled three more mains; spinach ricotta dumplings, striped bass, and a saffron risotto.  I went for their Striped Bass, with Charred Fennel, Pea Risotto and Meyer Lemon Cream. Presentation was outstanding as you can see from the pictures below (we had a very, very tough time settling on only three photos of the dishes!).  The charred fennel was set like a sail atop a perfectly cooked striped bass a sea in a gustable green pea risotto. The Spinach and Ricotta Dumplings with Melted Mozzarella were ambrosial- especially with the enfolded Tomatoes  Roasted for 24 hours in Balsamic Vinegar, fennel seeds and just the right touch of chili flakes. Basil buys mozzarella curd and stretches it on location, enhancing the flavor that much more.  The Saffron Risotto with Forest Mushrooms, Grilled White Asparagus, was quite aromatic. The forest mushrooms and white asparagus were savory & toothsome, though at this point we were quite full.

Goat Cheese Gnocchi Gratin

Stiped Bass, with Charred Fennel, Pea Risotto and Meyer Lemon Cream

Saffron Risotto, with Forest Mushrooms, Grilled White Asparagus, Peas and Parmesan

We’ll have to come back and meet their pastry chef, Ehud Ezra; word on the street is that he is an amazing talent.  A graduate of the Institute for Culinary Education, he trained at Oceana in Manhattan and was Pastry Chef for several years at Whole Foods (among other prestigious establishments), before coming to Basil, we tasted his Meyer Lemon Ricotta Cheese Cake served with Turkish Fig Puree and Melon. He’s there at 5:00 am preparing his croissants and other pastries, opening for breakfast service at 7:30 am. Chef Adam also treated us to a tasting of his home-made colorful Sorbet Trio and Basil Ice Cream (made from basil, you read it right!). Yummmm!

Sitting on the cusp of this Lubavitch neighborhood, Basil stands at the edge of new cuisine and ambiance territory.  The reluctant humble yet flight worthy fledgling chef and his team run a successful operation with the help of their warm friendly manager Clara Perez, whose respect and reverie for the Lubavitch community is admirable. The convergence of crossed cultures amongst their staff and the harmonious blend of clientele dining together with Basil’s good food its nucleus, is nothing short of chevlei mashiach amazing. The obstacles were many; it shouldn’t work but it does, remarkably so! Some places are just plain blessed that way.

SYR

Basil on Urbanspoon

07
May
10

Mother’s Day Special!


Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday, the 9nth. Why don’t you treat Mom to a nice dinner, a memorable meal, at a great restaurant?

T-Fusion Steakhouse

Make Mother’s Day a special day!

Offering a Special mother’s Day Three-Course Pre-Fixe Menu.

Complimentary mimosa’s along with a red rose for all the mom’s.

Make your Reservation today to avoid the wait!

Mother’s Day Menu

First Course

Creamy Asparagus Soup
Homemade Fresh Asparagus Soup

Minestrone Soup
Clear Broth vegetable soup with chicken & noodles

Second Course
Orange & Fennel Salad
Arugula, orange, fennel, black olives, citrus dressing

House Salad
Mesculin, tomatoes, cucumber, mushroom, red onion, balsamic vinaigrette

Third Course

Fillet Mignon
Served over sautéed spinach& garlic mashed potatoes

Chicken Francaise
Breaded, cooked with lemon & wine sauce served over rice and sautéed broccoli

Baked Salmon
Cooked with maple & glaze served over sautéed carrots and haricot verts

Dessert

Apple Struddle
Freshly baked in premises served with vanilla ice cream

Chocolate Soufflé
Baked and served hot with vanilla ice cream

Chocolate Soufflé

Fruit Plate
Assorted fresh fruit

*$55 Per Person * Tax & Gratuity not included * No Substitutions *

T Fusion Steakhouse (3223 Quentin Road, Brooklyn, NY 11234 — Telephone: 718.998.0002).

Why not treat Mom to T Fusion Steakhouse, hasn’t she more than earned it?

CS

04
May
10

Savor It!


Savor (2925 Avenue P; Brooklyn, NY 11229; Telephone: 718.338.1353), a newly opened dairy restaurant is off to a running start with a superb menu. It features Mediterranean and Asian dishes, each made in authentic, exacting manner without compromise.

A partial view...

SYR and I had the pleasure of eating here, mid-afternoon today. Lior Saiag, the Chef/owner graduated from the New York Restaurant School in 2000 and has since worked at some of the most prestigious eateries in town, under very demanding famous chefs in the city.

Savor represents sort of a coming home, where Chef Lior can provide the frum community with the exacting cuisine standards which, while de rigueur in the non-Jewish world, have not always been present in kosher restaurants. With a more sophisticated consumer, with a clientele no longer content with the standard fare of the past, Chef Lior family is bringing to Savor a rich and wholesome menu.

We started our meal with the in-house made bread and butter.

A light focaccia served on an oak board

SYR followed with Salmon Stuffed with Spinach and Feta, it comes with herbed orzo and a cherry tomato salad.

Salmon Stuffed with Spinach and Feta

The subtle blend of flavors was perfect match. While SYR, never cared for Feta cheese, combining it with with the salmon and the spinach helped her discover a savory dimension she never before experienced.

I had their Chilli Rubbed Grilled Tuna.

Chilli Rubbed Grilled Tuna

It came with buttery mashed potatoes and lemon scented steamed broccoli. The tuna tasted amazingly like a beef steak. As a potato lover, I found the mashed potatoes incredibly delicious and even the broccoli was delectable (my mother would never have imagined I could ever say such a thing about broccoli!).

A great meal at a restaurant with a very nice Mediteranean décor. The attention to detail in the presentation, in the cooking and in the appearance of the restaurant, make it quite obvious that this establishment represents a labor of love, a chef’s dream come true even as it constantly evolves.

CS

Savor on Urbanspoon




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