Monday, December 6, 2010

Dinner at Lokal

I was recently invited to have dinner at Lokal (905 Lorimer St., at Bedford, 718-384-6777), a Mediterranean Bistro on the Greenpoint/Williamsburg border, overlooking McCarren Park and the Automotive High School. From the outside the place doesn't look like much, and the font of the signage outside is even a little cheesy. But inside is a warm, tastefully appointed space, all blues & greens & warm orange. It's lovely and comfortable.

We started out with the Warm Spinach salad, with pine nuts, raisins, red peppers, caramelized red onions and feta cheese and served with paprika yoghurt. The salad was delicious - slightly sweet, tangy and earthy. The paprika yoghurt wasn't very potent, so didn't add much.

I ordered the special Salmon dish, served over parmesean covered pieces of yellow squash, in a light tomato & red pepper sauce, sprinkled with capers. It was nicely done, well-cooked and quite flavorful. So often a piece of salmon is ruined with either an overwhelming flavor or by being cooked to death, but this was neither.

We also got a Lamb Burger served on a Brioche Bun with grilled onion, tomato and a cucumber & dill relish that was delicious, and it was all topped with feta cheese. It was a nice alternative to beef and had a subtle flavor. The bun was excellent and flaky, and the thick cut fries, sprinkled with salt and rosemary were perfect.

We ALSO got dessert. We couldn't resist ordering the Bread Pudding, and we were impressed with the execution. Served warm, with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, with hints of cinnamon & nutmeg, it was delicious and decadent comfort food. Not overly sweet either, but just right.

So, I'm happy to report that the food at Lokal is really good. It's made with fresh ingredients, well prepared and nicely served. Check it out when you're in the area. The prices are reasonable, and they have a range of items sure to please anybody (pastas, a few pizzas, sandwiches - all with a Mediterranean flavor).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dinner at Brucie

Brucie (234 Court St., between Kane & Baltic Streets, 347-987-4961) is a cute, new spot in Cobble Hill - half restaurant, half country store. The menu lists various pastas and salad, as well as meats and cheeses, while for sale you can find jars of pickled veggies, pasta, sauce, pints of Blue Marble & People's Pops. There's a large room in the back set with two tables big enough for 6 - 8 people, whereas in the front there's counter space and a large table for communal seating. The stools at the counters are made from tractor seats, and the soft lighting creates a warm coziness.

I met a friend and we decided to share a few things. First was an order of Caponata. It was boldly flavored and quite salty, but I liked that. It was also made with golden raisins; an off-beat touch which worked nicely, providing a different texture, and a slightly sweet flavor.

For our main dish we ordered the Goat Cheese Stuffed Rigatoni with mushrooms and vodka sauce. This was made with extra-large rigatoni, stuffed with gooey cheese and topped with plentiful mushrooms and sauce. It was quite delicious, and satisfying. We could have stopped there, but our eyes were bigger than our stomachs and we forged on with an order of the Panelle Sandwich.

Two, large chickpea cutlets topped a large roll, with vinegar peppers, ricotta and honey. The peppers were a nice addition, cutting through the dense, heavy cutlets. The ricotta was creamy, and the hint of sweet enhanced the flavors even more.

At this point, we were so full, we had to stop, despite being intrigued by the Rosewater Panna Cotta with Cherries. Another visit has been scheduled to sample the desserts, which also included a Chocolate Pudding Pie. Yum!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Breaking News! Peter Pan Donuts available at Farmacy!!!

I think it's just a weekend thing, but at 10am today, Farmacy (513 Henry St., at Sackett St., 718-522-6260) had Peter Pan Donuts available for sale, fresh from Greenpoint's most awesomest bakery. How happy this made me! The husband lived mere blocks from Peter Pan when we were dating, so I was able to get them whenever I wanted, but now that we're a train ride away, indulging in the delicious treats is a rarer occurrence (perhaps for the best, but nevertheless, disappointing!). Today we had a glazed, red velvet Old Fashioned (eaten immediately and therefore no photographic evidence exists). It was perfect, especially with a glass of cold milk. Farmacy keeps on getting better and better. Make sure to check it out - it's worth the trip!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dinner at Locanda Vini e Olli

I have a new favorite restaurant. It's Locanda Vini e Olli at 129 Gates Ave., at the corner of Cambridge Pl. (718-622-9202), in the space formerly occupied by the old Lewis Drug Store. Much of the drugstore-vibe has been preserved, with glass shelves showcasing ancient remedies, beautiful wooden cupboards and built-in turn-of-the-century apothecary drawers. It's a lovely little spot - cozy and festive all at once, with friendly staff who make you feel at home right away. And then there's the food. It's divine. Seriously. It's excellent and delicious and made from the highest quality ingredients. Their meats are free-range & sustainably grown and even their take-out bags are 100% recyclable.

We started out with the Charcuterie Della Terra plate for the table (with Venison Prosciutto, Duck & Prune Pate & Cacciatorini, all served with delicious jams and preserves), and an assortment of their Crostini. Everything was incredibly flavorful, creatively & well-paired and delicious. It was great to get all of this and share it among four people.

I chose to get the special Ravioli, house-made, fresh & delicate. Covered in butter & cheese and stuffed with escarole & pine nuts. Fantastic.

My husband got a pasta dish with a seafood mix on top. It's not on their regular menu, and I can't remember the name exactly, but it was a unique combination and had a strong, savory flavor. Also wonderful.

My brother-in-law ordered the Grilled Duck Breast with chick peas. The duck was incredibly tender, so there was no need for a knife to cut through it. But it was the chick peas that really stood out. I don't know what they did to them, but I've never tasted anything so good in my life. We even contemplated getting a side of the chick peas but realized we were too full.

I highly recommend heading here as soon as possible if you haven't yet been. It's one of the best places around and is good for family outings, dates, hanging out with friends, whatever. I can't wait to go back.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Book Giveaway Winner!

OK, so there were fifty of you who threw their names into the ring for this one. An incredible rate of participation, I think. So I put everyone's names into a hat and randomly picked two winners. Congratulations to Millionsuns and BrooklynSourpuss! Please email me and I'll forward your info to the publishers who will send you the books directly. Thanks again to everyone who participated!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Book Giveaway!!!

The Book Giveaway contest is officially over! It's going to take a bit of time to figure out the winners, so I'll post on Monday morning who won, so stay tuned. Thanks to everyone who entered! Have a great weekend!

Hey! I've got TWO copies of The New Brooklyn Cookbook to give away to two lucky readers. This delicious book lists recipes from 31 of the best Brooklyn restaurants that have contributed to the amazing dining experience that is happening in Brooklyn right now.

Comment on this post and tell me what your favorite Brooklyn restaurant is. I'll pick two winners randomly from all the entries. Deadline for posting is 6pm Friday, October 15th. Good luck!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dinner at Karloff

Yay! 160 Followers! Thank you! My goal is to get to 200. Do you think it can happen? I think so, with your help. Spread the word!

A friend and I checked out the new Karloff (254 Court Street, between Kane & Degraw, no phone) recently, and had a really good meal and a really nice time there. It's very casual, kind of open-space barn, country-kitchen feeling, with a counter where you can place orders to go and get ice cream, and lots of blond wood furniture and floor planks. The menu is written on a big chalkboard in front, where there's also a big communal table that seats about 10. There is table service, and our servers were super friendly and halpful when consulted about what was being offered that night. They were out of the pierogis (D'oh!) but that just encouraged us to branch out and try some things we might not have otherwise.

We started with the Beet & Cabbage Salad with walnuts, dill, carrots, cauliflower and red onions. It was fabulous. So many great flavors and textures, bursting with freshness and crunch. I loved it!

We then shared two entrees. We ordered the Chicken Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and found it to be lovely. It was moist, if a bit on the mellow side flavor-wise, and had a good texture - not dense or rubbery at all. The potatoes were ok - again, they needed more butter and salt, but they were passable.

We also got the Beef Stew with Barley which was also very good. Nice, big chunks of meat in a savory tomato-based sauce, with carrots and green beans as well. The barley made for a great combination - slightly nutty and earthy, and hearty. Good for a cold, winter night.

We also got desert. I know, so decadent! We got the Apple & Lemon Blini, a la mode. These were excellent! There were small pieces of lemon rind dotting the entire dish, which provided an interesting balance to the sweet apples. The crepe-y dough was delicate and the ice cream was creamy and had a real vanilla flavor that is sometimes hard to come by.

I think that once Karloff works out the few kinks, they'll be a great addition to neighborhood dining. It's nice to have something different, instead of yet another Thai or Sushi or American Bistro to choose from. Go Karloff!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Brunch at Lilla Cafe

****UPDATE - Lilla Cafe has Closed. 6/3/15****

More Brunch! There are a ton of new places all of a sudden, and I want to check them all out! Last weekend I went to Lilla Cafe (126 Union St., between Hicks St. and Columbia St., 718-855-5700) with a friend and had a really lovely experience. We sat in the backyard, next to a pretty little garden and at one point, the chef came out to cut some fresh herbs! They got lots of points for that! We ordered coffee and juice and relaxed in the breeze.

We started out with the Panzanella Salad, with chunks of bread, cucumber, tomato, roasted red pepper, calamata olives, red onions and capers in a balsamic dressing. It was delicious, with the Mediterranean flavors mingling, the briny capers bursting through and the bread making it dense and substantial. Quite good.

I went with the Egg Sandwich on Foccacia, with cheese and bacon and a small side salad. This was also really good. The bread wasn't too "bread-y" but rather nicely herbed and toasted. The portions were well balanced and made for a satisfying dish.

My friend ordered the Huevos Rancheros with refried beans and spicy tomatoes. She said it was fairly spicy and very tasty, although it could have used a little sprig of something green, or perhaps some avocado for some color. The eggs were well poached too, no runny whites at all. In addition to the beans was a side of cheesy grits. Always a plus!

All in all it was a great experience. Our server was attentive but not intrusive and the menu had a number of enticing options. The menu changes every eight weeks or so, and I'm eager to go back and try their dinner. I hope they make it - that spot has had such bad luck!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brunch at Broken English

I went with some friends recently to Broken English, (68 Bergen St., between Smith & Court Streets, 718-488-3906), one of the newest spots to open up in Cobble Hill, and got a chance to check out their brunch menu. It's a pretty big space, with tables on the sidewalk as well (they need some kind of barrier to separate diners from pedestrians), with mis-matched chairs, exposed brick, and lots of black. We were all a bit disappointed with the offerings, as only three items on the menu were very Brunch-y/Breakfast-y. The service was a bit jumbled too, as it took a few requests for the waiter to bring us milk for our coffee.

I got the Eggs Benedicts (sic) with Prosciutto on Country Bread. The meat was good - slightly thick, well cured and fairly salty. There was only one slice of bread though, and that was chewy and tough to cut with the knife. The eggs were nicely poached and the Hollandiase sauce was good. However, I wasn't a fan of the potatoes, (there was some confusion since the menu listed hash browns, baked hash browns and home fries, but I think all three were the same thing), as they weren't crispy enough.

I shared the eggs and an order of French Toast with my husband. The French Toast was OK, kinda what you might make at home. Thin slices of bread (and only two pieces at that), eggy and fried, with a smattering of fruit on top. Kinda lame.

The only other breakfast-y Brunch item was an Eggs Any Style dish. None of us got that so I can't say how it is, but all in all we were kinda disappointed. Not outraged or anything, but not impressed. I think their dinner menu is better; I walked by one night and saw a delicious-looking chicken dish, so I'll try them again, but not for Brunch. At least for a while.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Breakfast at Pies 'n' Thighs

I think the trick to being able to eat at Pies 'n' Thighs (166 S.4th Street, at Driggs, 347-529-6090) is to go in the morning, for breakfast, when it's relatively empty, but lively with music and preparations for the day. I haven't tried to go for dinner in a while; those impossibly long lines scared me off, but when my husband and I went recently around 9am (they open at 8), the place was ours. And oh how happy we were!

I chose the Egg & Cheese Biscuit, with Bacon, natch. It truly was perfection on a plate. The biscuit was light & fluffy, yet dense and doughy and savory. The bacon was thick-cut, smoky and salty and provided the perfect contrast to the fried eggs with expertly runny yolks. (See above).

My husband got the Hippie, a Fried Egg Sandwich with sprouts, tomatoes, avocado and cheddar cheese on Whole Wheat Toast. This, too, was excellent. Every ingredient was fresh and flavorful and combined to create pure deliciousness. He also got a side of cheese grits, which they douse with tabasco sauce. They were good, but didn't compare to the amazingness of the sandwiches.

The interior of the new(ish) PnT is homey, country in the city, with mis-matched furniture, a chalkboard listing the menu, and accents of red & white gingham. Pure bliss.

Pies 'n' Thighs on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dinner at Mazzat

I recently discovered a little treasure that's been around for a while and I've just overlooked it somehow. Mazzat (208 Columbia St., at Sackett St., 718-852-1652) serves really good, tasty Mediterranean food at reasonable prices. It's a little off the beaten path and under the radar so it's never super crowded either. My husband and I went recently on a mild night, sat in the front where the glass doors open all the way to let the breeze and night air in. We started with a favorite of ours, Grilled Dates wrapped in Bacon. The dates were stuffed with blue cheese and were just divine. A perfect mixture of salty and sweet with a creamy and chewy texture.

We also got a side of Foul Moudammus, Fava Bean Puree serves with lemon, garlic, olive oil & cumin. It was a substantial portion, excellent with warm, slightly crispy pita, hearty and flavorful even if it's not photogenic!

Then we split an order of the Seafood Tagine with shrimp, scallop, salmon, calamari & tilapia stewed in tomato & herbs and served with a side of rice and salad. This was excellent. The stew was nicely spiced, and the pieces of seafood were tender and plentiful. I would have liked more scallops and less tilapia, but it was so good that minor complaint was easily overlooked.

I really liked Mazzat, and plan on adding it to our repertoire of restaurants we go to regularly. It's cozy too so it will be a perfect place to head to once the weather turns colder.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Food News!

I just got an email from the owners of a new business/cafe in Bushwick. It's called Next Door Shipping (78 Beaver St., between Park & Locust, 718-443-7447) and they are a family-run, full-service Post Office/Shipping Center AND Internet Cafe. They offer FedEx, UPS, mailbox rentals, printing & copying, office supplies and a "huge range of specialty packing & shipping services for artists, musicians & freelancers". Plus WiFi and a rotating collection of archival photographs of the history of the USPS. Where's the food you ask? Well, there's also coffee and fresh, home-baked pastries.

There's Babka, Rugelach, Danishes, sweet rolls and Biscotti! It sounds like an awesome place, and an excellent alternative to the sometimes hellish experiences we've all had at the USPS. I haven't been yet, but I'm looking forward to trying some of the Chocolate Babka! Let me know if you've been.

Then, on Septmeber 23rd, Greenpoint Open Studios is holding a Pie Bake-Off at The Diamond bar. It's free to enter and $10 to eat and enter their raffle, which has tons of awesome prizes donated by Paulie Gee's, EAT, Cafecito Bogota and Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, among others. The Grand Prize winner gets to attend a dinner hosted by Edible Brooklyn Social Club. Send an email to: for more information or to sign up!

Greenpoint Open Studios takes places during the first weekend of October and is a three-day celebration of local art-making.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Brunch at Brooklyn Label

It seems like Brooklyn Label (180 Franklin St., at the corner of Java St., 718-389-2806) has gone through a lot in the last few years. From solid neighborhood spot to mediocrity and back again to reliably excellent Brunch food. I went recently with a friend to see if all the rumors were true. I'm happy to report that it came through on all the hype. The menu was enormous, which made it difficult to choose. So many options - Ricotta Pancakes with fruit, Granola & Yoghurt, various Southwest-inspired egg dishes. Phew.

I settled on the Borderline Benedict - two poached eggs on top of chorizo, cushioned by blue-corn bread muffins. The blue-corn bread was slightly sweet and provided a nice contrast to the spicy meat and creamy, salty Hollandaise sauce. There was a large, quarter-sized piece of eggshell in my eggs that I unfortunately bit into, but it's a testament to the tastiness of the overall dish that I got over that shock and went on to finish my meal. The egg-whites were a touch runny too, but that blue-corn bread...Mmmmmm. There was also a slab of hash brown/potato pancake on the side, but that was neither here nor there.

My friend ordered the Cornmeal Waffle topped with poached eggs and gravy. It's a bland looking meal, all beige and yellow, but it was quite tasty. The waffle was very thick, but a nice change from the regular batter waffles. It was not any less filling though, and half-way through becomes a bit overwhelming. Perhaps it would have been better to share and compliment with a side of fruit.

Brooklyn Label proudly serves Stumptown Coffee, as well as a lovely assortment of juices & teas (Passionfruit Mango Iced Tea, Watermelon Juice), and has tables outside on the sunny sidewalk. A nice and solid neighborhood joint that's worth the trip from other parts of Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Label on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lunch at Chavella's

Near the old Jewish Hospital on the border of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights that was converted to apartments about 5 years ago sits Chavellas (732 Classon Ave., between Park Pl. & Prospect Pl., 718-622-3100), a Mexican restaurant with a narrow, wooden front porch that beckons you to come, sit, have some food. I went recently with a friend for lunch and was happy with what we discovered.

We started out with fresh Guacamole (natch!) and crispy corn tortillas. It was delicious - fresh, with chunks of tomato and cilantro sprigs. And the crispy corn tortillas were excellent. It was a bit pricey though.

I really wanted Horchata, but they were all out. Boo. But they did have Fish Tacos! The Pescado was full of flaky white fish, cabbage, pico de gallo and chipotle salsa. Drizzled with a little lime juice and...perfection! I also got the Carne Enchilada taco with pork, cilantro, pineapple and habanero. Whoo, that was spicy. The pieces of pineapple were a really nice touch and the meat was well seasoned, but the spice was too much for me.

My friend got an assortment of three tacos - the fish, Verduras (with roasted zucchini, squash, mushrooms and peppers, topped with lettuce and guacamole) and the Hongos con Rajas (mushrooms, poblano peppers and crema fresca). The veggies were plentiful and tasty, but the mushrooms and peppers was a bit underwhelming. Overall, very good.

It seems like a decent spot if you're in the area, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get there.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Holiday Weekend!

Happy Labor Day folks! Last chance to wear those white pants and white shoes! Cook and eat outdoors as much as possible. See you next week!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Food News!

*I want to thank all of my followers, especially those of you who added Eat It Brooklyn during the time I wasn't positing regularly. That's Awesome!*

So, this Saturday, Mean Red Productions is hosting a South Carolina-style pig roast and sidewalk party in Williamsburg (50 N. 3rd Street, between Kent & Wythe). They're calling it Snout 'N Stout and they'll have craft beers, a whole hog smoker plus DJs and "lazy outdoor lounging". It all takes place from 6pm to 9pm. You can hang out for free, but if you want to eat, a plate of food will set you back $10 - $15. Sounds like an excellent way to spend the last days of summer.

THEN, on Sunday, September 5th, they're hosting their annual Food Truck Festival Parked, this year on Governors Island (I know, not technically Brooklyn, but one of the coolest spots in the city, and just so happens to be where I got married this summer!). The best of NYC's food trucks will be represented (German, Vietnamese, lobster, ice cream and MORE!)! The festival takes place from 12 Noon - 5pm and is free to get to and walk around.

There's also the Salsa Slam on Sunday, Sept. 12th at The Bell House. I believe last year's event sold out fast, so I'm posting now hoping there's still ticket availability. The fun takes place from 4pm - 7pm and costs $12, $15 at the door. This year 5 Burro Cafe is partnering up with Nachos NY to bring you this event. 5 Burro Cafe has been in Forest Hills for 30 years, and recently opened a restaurant on Columbia Street.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dinner at Vinegar Hill House

FINALLY! I made it over to Vinegar Hill House (72 Hudson Avenue, between Front & Water Streets, 718-522-1018) for dinner. What has it been, years? I've been reading at hearing about how great this place is - I even have a friend who lives in Manhattan, uptown no less, who list VHH as her favorite restaurant in the city! That speaks volumes. And we were not disappointed. I went with my husband, and my parents, and we sat in the backyard on a warm night. Thankfully they have baskets full of cans of bug spray to help ward off the mosquitoes that are unfortunately part of any outdoor summer dining. After a few sprays, we settled in and ordered.

I do have one criticism - the chairs were not comfortable at all. The garden is a sweet spot full of blooming shrubs and concrete turtles, but the tiny, metal chairs did nothing to add to the ambiance. Anyway, the food made up for it. We started out with a corn salad with basil and red cabbage that was tender and crunchy and so flavorful, all topped with a sprinkle of paprika that added a little bite.

We also ordered a salad made with Bibb lettuce and Beets that was delicious. Bright colors, bright and soft flavors, topped with tangy grated cheese.

The Oven Roasted Octopus Salad was one of the best dishes though, with zesty octopus, lemon and olives. It was fantastic. The octopus was tender, not chewy at all, and the citrus provided a good pop of astringent flavor.

We also had a Zucchini Tart that was excellent, topped with crunchy frisee and made with creamy ricotta. The crust was wonderfully flaky too.

For a main dish, we ordered the breaded Cod with green and wax beans. The fish was very good - fresh, flaky and tender, with lightly buttered beans for a hint of decadence.

The only disappointing item was the side of potatoes. While nicely flavored with fresh thyme, they weren't what I was expecting. I imagined crispier potatoes, and these were big chunks of creamy potato - not bad, just not what I was wanting. Plus they looked weird.

I really liked the whole experience. Our server was nice and competent, the garden was pretty, the dining room cozy. I'm definitely planning to head back in colder weather to take advantage of the fireplace!

Vinegar Hill House on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dinner at Luna Rossa

***Too good to pass up: Scopello Ristorante in Ft. Greene on Lafayette & Fulton,
will be giving away Cannolis today during Happy Hour from 5pm - 7pm.
Drink specials include buy one get one free as well!
Check it out and let me know how they are!

There seems to be no shortage of wood-burning pizza places these days, which is fine by me, and we checked out a new-ish spot on the Carroll Gardens/Red Hook border recently (and by new-ish I mean less than 2 years old). Luna Rossa (552 Court St., between W. 9th Street and Garnet Place, 718-875-1384) is located practically in the shadow of the Gowanus Expressway, with dark and cozy interior and a large backyard that needs some work. We sat there one recent evening, with the sounds of the highway in the background, and enjoyed our tasty dinner.

We started out with a Caprese Salad, something I'm quite obsessed with at the moment. It was good, with big, round slices of tomato and mozzarella, topped with chopped basil. The mozzarella was fresh and the tomatoes ripe. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar added some bite. While this isn't as good as the Caprese at The Good Fork, it was good.

We also shared a salad from the specials menu, with mixed greens, thinly sliced green apple, walnuts and goat cheese. It was delicious - the tart apple, the creamy cheese, the crunch of the walnuts all combined to make a great dish.

Then there's the pizza. We ordered a Prosciutto and a Rustica. The Prosciutto had slices of the meat, fresh arugula, thinly shaved pieces of Parmesean and cherry tomatoes. The crust was chewy but thin, not soggy and had a slight sourdough flavor. Yum!

The Rustica had mozzarella, mushrooms and sausages. There was a nice balance of all the ingredients, all were flavorful and the crust was again thin, chewy and slightly tangy.

Luna Rossa is a good local spot, without the crowds, attentive service (maybe too attentive at times), and decent, tasty food. Perhaps not a destination from far away, but I hope enough people go here to keep these guys around.

Luna Rossa Restaurant Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dinner at Strong Place

Hey! I'm back! Maybe just part-time for the rest of the summer, although there are a TON of new places that I'm eager to check out, so it's not like I have nothing to write about! Thanks for being patient, but the break was very needed and was quite helpful.

The new Strong Place (270 Court St., between Kane & DeGraw, no website) opened up last Monday, by the chef & owner of Bocca Lupo, (Kenny Tufo and Jeff Lederman respectively) and we took the opportunity to check it out. We also had heard from a photographer we interviewed back in the Fall that her boyfriend was making all the furniture and woodwork, and were curious to see what he made. When you walk in, there is a long, dark bar to your right, the length of which you follow to get to the tables in the back. There are windows on both sides of the space, which is a nice, and rare, touch. The tables are indeed beautiful and interesting. There are two-tops bolted to the floor, and metal fixtures into which you set an addition to expand your table as needed. Very clever.

We started off with some beer and wine. The beer comes in what look like 12-ounce glasses and my pour of wine was quite underwhelming. $11 for a few sips isn't cool. Ah well. Small plates = small drinks? We perused the menu, which is broken up into four sections: raw, market, seafood and meat. We started off with the Fluke Croudo, small slices of fluke with citrus, jalapeño, sea salt and agrumato oil (an olive oil infused with lemon). This was a delicious dish, possibly my favorite of the evening. Light, tender fish, subtle slices of jalapeño and a citrus dressing. It was flavorful and refreshing and topped with slices of pickled red onion.

We also ordered the Grilled Asparagus from the "Market" section of the menu, which came with a mushroom fondue and pecorino. The mushrooms were delicious, a mixture of hen of the woods and oyster in a thin cheese sauce. The asparagus, both green and white, were crisp, grilled just so and wonderful.

We also shared an order of Seared Diver Scallops, with English peas, tasso ham and lemon & honey. There were two large scallops, tender and meaty, over a mash of peas, with a slice of bacon-like ham served with a froth of the lemon & lavender, which had barely a hint of lavender. They were good scallops, nicely done and of good quality.

The dessert menu had a few options on it and for some reason the Upside-Down Pineapple Cake called out to me. This is not something I've ever ordered before, or have found appealing, but the description: with Brandied Cherries, Almond Cake & Lavender sounded intriguing. And it turned out to be one fantastic dish. The pineapple was sweet, the almond cake provided a nice balance, the cherries were earthy & tart and the slight floral addition of the lavender evened it all out. I'll definitely be back for this - perhaps at the bar with some red wine.

So, the food was pretty great, the servings of alcohol were on the small side, but the service and atmosphere are top-notch so I think this place has got a good chance of doing well.