If you know me at all then you’d know that while I don’t watch TV or listen to the radio, I am wired enough to recall the names of random shows and celebrities. So I can tell you that the chef at Talde was in Top Chef, though I can’t tell you what Top Chef is exactly, other than it’s a popular contest show about cooking. Plus Dale Talde is Filipino, so that immediately put Talde on the map for me as a restaurant I needed to try. The Filipino presence in Brooklyn is extremely lacking, so any attempt is worth my attention. Talde called itself an Asian-American Restaurant & Bar, and I hoped it wouldn’t be fusion-y. I hate that!
Fortunately the chef (recently named by Food & Wine as New York’s Best New Chef) did his homework enough to maintain an authentic Asian feel to his dishes without transforming it into the fusion-like mess that I hate, when a dish that is commonly served family style in large undecorated quantities suddenly becomes miniscule, pretty, but lost. I like my Asian food Asian, not French. Continue reading
We were going to ignore this restaurant by the highway during a trip to Andalucia last November. It was off-season, and if this place was popular in the summer it definitely did not look appealing in the dark, deserted on a highway roundabout. But I heard a lady take the time to thank our resort’s front desk for the suggestion one evening, so I kept it in mind. One night after driving back from Seville, we decided to give it ago and we were so pleased that we even went back a second time.
El Playa Faro is a quiet restaurant that is not flashy or touristy, but with offerings that were at par (if not better) than a lot of more popular places in Malaga area. Continue reading
Only by serendipity did we arrive at Faro, a Greek restaurant in our hood whose facade does not do its interior and food offerings any justice. We ignored it for this reason for many years, nudging each other when we passed by and saying that we ought to try it soon.
It was Christmas Eve and we wanted to be spontaneous (why is that so impossible in New York?), so we thought we’d walk into a Park Slope restaurant and even set our sights on one that recently opened and was impossible to get into. It was closed, of course, and after being rejected at the average but overly snooty Convivium once more, it started to rain. We were in front of Faros so in we went, where they accommodated us and sat us in the best seats right beside the fireplace. It was a perfect evening.
A cousin was caught in a photo of Marea when it was named #1 Best Restaurant in America in GQ, which is where we heard of it for the first time. That cousin, the creator of the Avanzato Feast of Seven Fishes, raved about it as his latest favorite restaurant, so we knew it would be good. But in the way things go by the wayside in NYC, we still never made it out there until a work perk forced us to.
And it was divine. The server was friendly and tolerated my wife’s question on whether the beautiful dish on the website was in the menu. (It was not. It was merely an image from their photo shoot.) We ordered what we thought was a modest selection of two appetizers, a pasta dish and an entree, and ended up stuffed anyway.
Ricci – Sea Urchin, Lardo, Sea Salt Crostinis
The sea urchin wrapped with lardo could very well be your last meal at deathrow. I could do without the lardo as the urchins were meaty and melted in your mouth, the lardo upping the whole combination to another level of indulgence. What is lardo anyway? To me it just sounds like cured fat. Continue reading
Back in the day this restaurant was Royal Video, a VHS and DVD rental store where we spent time in the ancient practice of choosing a movie and renting it for a dollar and change. The store was old but it had the largest selection of movies in the neighborhood, including a secluded adult section in the back I was always scared to enter because of any creeps that might keep my company.
The Daily Meat Smokebox – Pork Belly
As in all large, too-good-to-be-true real estate locations in Park Slope, all good things come to an end, and Royal Video moved across the street to a tiny location to cater to their small but still existent clientele. Along came a large construction project in that old area that aroused “the Brooklyn crazies” and their petitions to which we owe the dulled down Woodland restaurant that was originally rumored to be a three-level gentelman’s club. Thank god for the noisemakers! Continue reading