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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!