I first heard about Northeast Kingdom (18 Wycoff Avenue, at Troutman St., 718- 386-3864) a few months ago when a friend told me she had Googled "Chicken Pot Pie Brooklyn" and was directed to the cozy restaurant deep in the heart of Bushwick where they're written up in many places touting that they offer some of the best pot-pie in town. Before I even walked in I loved it, as it looked so cozy through the big windows facing the street. Located on the corner in a half-industrial, half-residential section of the neighborhood, it's all country-cabin and rustic inside with miniature mounted deer heads, small lamps on every table, each with a different shade, and lots of dark wood and booths. There's the regular menu which offers classic comfort-food standards like soup, pate, meatloaf and the famous pot pie. There's also a specials menu, written in chalk on a board by the door offering variations on the fare with Mexican or Indian twists. All the meat is naturally raised, organic and seemingly local, from farms within a 200-mile radius. The cocktail list was also intriguing; I'm already planning my next visit.
On this particular cold, rainy night, we settled into our booths and prepared to be wowed. We started with the Goat Cheese Croquette with organic beets & English cucumber. It was so delicious. Warm, peppery goat cheese lightly breaded and fried with fresh beets & tangy, slightly pickled thick-sliced cucumbers in a light vinaigrette and topped with frisee.
For my entree I chose from the specials list the Pork Loin with applesauce, mashed potatoes and glazed brussel sprouts. I was impressed with the substantial cut of pork I was presented with. It was wonderfully and delicately flavored with salt and pepper, remained juicy and went perfectly with everything on the plate. The applesauce brought a touch of sweetness, the mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food and the fresh, bright green brussel sprouts offered a nice veggie counterbalance to the heartiness of the meat and potatoes. The piece of pork in the photo is obscuring the mound of potato, just so you know there was a lot underneath!
My BF ordered from the specials as well and picked the Steak and Kidney Pot Pie with a side salad. The dough was deliciously flaky and poofed up and over the lip of the earthenware bowl. Inside was a steaming center filled with big slices of steak, chunks of tender kidney (sort of like liver in that slightly metallic way, but more tender and subtle) and carrots and celery in a hearty brown sauce. It was so good.
I had a drink called the Gin Bramble with gin, lime and Creme de Mure which is a blackberry liqueur. It was light, not syrupy, and really tasty. A bit sweet and bit tart and still the flavor of the gin shone through. We also got an order of the Banana Cream Pie to go for later since we were so full from dinner. This was a bit disappointing. The crust was a bit hard but the cream was thick and lots of slices of banana were interspersed throughout.
There's also a lounge in the basement where you can sip your drink while you wait for a table or just hang out. They also serve Brunch on both Saturday and Sunday. I'll definitely be back!