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
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.
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
I told you about Lucali’s right? And I believe I also told you about all my other pizza loves - Grimaldi’s and Patsy’s and DiFara’s. Lucali’s is definitely my new love (Beyonce and Jay-Z agree), but sometimes the 1-2 hour wait is not convenient. In that case, you should head over to Giuseppina’s over in South Slope, for something just as nice. The owners of the two restaurants are brothers after all.
Large mushroom pie. Extra garlic please!
Our Lucali fanatic friends insist that they can taste a difference between the two restaurants, but I surely don’t. Their calzones are just as crisp and light. The pies are thin, brick oven-baked, and not watery like Grimaldi’s often gets after a few minutes. The downside to Giuseppina’s is that they are not BYOB, so you don’t save on the booze, but our favorite Montepulciano is about $30, not bad divided by four or six. Being able to sit upon entry and even make reservations (What? In New York?) makes Giuseppina a convenient and more predictable pizza joint without the hassle.
691 Sixth Avenue (20th Street)
South Slope, Brooklyn
Have you ever fallen in love with a restaurant? It happens to me sometimes, not very often, and especially for places I would have otherwise ignored if not for someone else’s feedback or my own curiosity.
Chicken Satay and Peanut Sauce
Sky Ice is one of those places. Looking mostly like a dessert place, the ice cream counter overshadows its meal offerings we only realized existed after reading reviews online.
Cozy interior of this family-run joint.
Asian food always makes me suspicious, and I personally come up with a very biased set of criteria which includes whether a particular dish is something I could easily replicate at home. If I can make it, you’d better not charge me too much for it, or else you’d better blow me away. This is why we were disappointed in the last famous Thai restaurant we tried. Maybe my judgement is just flawed. Everyone else seems to love that place, except of course all the credible Asians I’ve asked. Continue reading