** Austria Wine Month started a few weeks ago and continues until November 22. Restaurants in Brooklyn and Manhattan will be offering special prix fixe menus, pairings and select rare Austrian wines by the glass. Boozy NYC has the complete list. Stay tuned for my write-up of my trip to Thomas Beisl! **
I was all set to love Fort Defiance, (365 Van Brunt St., at the corner of Dikeman, 347-453-6672) based on what I had read, the cool sign on the outside proudly displaying its name in cursive, with its nod to Brooklyn history and its presence in Red Hook, one of my favorite neighborhoods. Plus, the eggs are free-range and organic and the cocktail menu is extensive, creative and intriguing. Alas, Brunch did not lead me to love. (Added 11/11/09 - It has come to my attention that Sam Filloramo (the chef mentioned in the write-up on Brownstoner that I've linked to) left Fort Defiance four weeks ago).
We started with some drinks - the Bloody Mary (which you can get with gin, vodka or tequila; I chose vodka) and a Mimosa. I was interested in a Tiepolo, a drink with Prosecco and Strawberry puree, but the Bloody Mary swayed me. It was nicely spicy, not too tomato-y and just strong enough to create the lightest of buzzes. Don't they look pretty on that awesome fig oilcloth?
The Eggs Benedict sounded good, with two poached eggs, ham and Hollandaise sauce. But, the sauce was too acidic, as if whoever made it had a heavy hand while pouring the vinegar, and the ham was like boring, tasteless cold-cut deli ham, not a thick cut of something quality and savory. The bread was boring too, not even an English Muffin and a bit dry. The eggs were also a bit underdone which led to raw whites oozing out with the runny yolk. Boo. I was also disappointed in the presentation - that's it? No little salad or some potatoes? Just a julienned strawberry. Double boo.
My boyfriend and I split the eggs and an order of Yogurt, Granola & Fruit. The granola was on the light side, full of flaky bits instead of crunchy oats, but the yogurt was thick, creamy and tart, just like a good plain yogurt should be. The thinly sliced green apples were a nice touch, but I could have used a few more berries, slices of banana or something. Honey was drizzled on top which contributed nicely to the dish.
We also ordered a side of bacon (North Country Bacon - not so special, but with a special name; it's not organic or anything). It did have a good, meaty flavor, but it was served in a puddle of grease. Not very appetizing.
Our friend ordered the Red Beans on Toast with two fried eggs. It was OK, with a touch of southwestern flavor, but it wasn't spectacular, only decent. It could have used a little more fire.
All in all I was quite disappointed. Add to my reaction to the food was our waitress who seemed like there were a million other things she'd rather be doing. I don't need a lot of attention, I just like someone who is a little friendly, smiles once or twice, and makes an effort to engage while interacting. I'll definitely give it another try, maybe for an evening meal, but I don't have high hopes anymore.