Sunday, July 15, 2012

Just stepped out for some smokes

And came back six months in honor of Bastille Day! Which also happens to be the day that the BF and I met back in 2007 in the Penn Station food court. We celebrate our anniversary on this day because it's easy to remember and all the French restaurants have dinner discounts. Big Island Rachel keeps it classy.

This year we went to a restaurant in my neighborhood that I've walked past every day for two years but have never actually entered. It's expensive and looks fancy, but it's always packed with people, many of them in jeans and slippers, so I always assumed that it must serve delicious and well-prepared but still user-friendly cuisine.

Instead, it turned out to be the art house movie equivalent of food: confusing and hard to swallow.  There was a goat cheese and yellow watermelon salad; hazelnuts in the fish; mint and purple wild rice in the grits; something called "Korean barbecue style brisket." I looked at the tower of food piled up on my plate like a church steeple and softly wailed, "What is this? I don't understand!"

And for all its weirdness, the food just felt, well, a bit old-fashioned. Strange combinations of disparate ingredients arranged in tower formation on huge plates--how fifteen years ago. This is Brooklyn, or nuBrooklyn as the BF likes to call it. We've got a sort of gourmet mac'n'cheese and locally sourced meat loaf thing going on right now. Dining in nuBrooklyn is all about the most basic post-war Americana cooking, just made with local, organic and artisanal everything instead of processed cheese-product and factory farmed beef.

On a related note, visit our newest sign of the end times, a store that in Prospect Heights that sells only artisanal mayonnaise. Finally.

Want to learn more about artisanal Brooklyn? Read this New York Magazine article on the Brooklyn food revolution, and pay special attention to the section at the end that talks about the Dominos Sugar Factory that's been in Brooklyn since the 1950s.

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