Friday, May 7, 2010

Dinner at Verde

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I eagerly awaited the opening of Verde (216 Smith Street, between Butler and Baltic Streets, 718-222-1525), the newest spot to open on Smith Street, closely watching it's progress over the last few months. I had the opportunity to go last night with a friend to check it out. I actually walked by earlier in the week one evening and noticed the hostess standing expectantly at a podium that was basically placed on the sidewalk, while the restaurant was totally empty. It struck me as totally desperate and I logged it as Strike One.

The open, glass front is nice, and the wooden fixtures and hanging plants are appealing. The backyard garden is also a draw, especially now that the weather is so perfect. We headed straight back there and surveyed the menus. I ordered a Mojito and she picked a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. The wine wasn't chilled enough, but the mojito was minty, slightly sweet and very tasty. The hard, wooden chairs were uncomfortable though. For my meal I ordered the Penne with Mozzarella, with capers, olives, pignoli nuts, cherry tomatoes and Tarali breadcrumbs. There's a lot going on in that dish, and there for the most part everything worked well together. The proportions were nice, and the mozzarella was smoky, which was a nice & unusual touch. I didn't like the Tarali breadcrumbs though - they were too sweet and were chunky, almost like pretzel nuggets. I would have preferred it to be saltier instead of so sweet.

My friend ordered the Filet Mignon with Polenta, Spinach & Mushrooms. The polenta was a joke. It didn't seem homemade and was a small rectangle of stale & tasteless cardboard. The rest was good though - the meat was cooked to order and the veggies were flavorful, although there was too much lemon thyme used, which gave the entire dish a citrusy overtone that just wasn't right.

We were too full for dessert, but I was intrigued by the Pineapple Ravioli which is a thin slice of ravioli stuffed with vanilla ice cream, frozen and topped with coconut cream. Sounds interesting. So, I'm not so sure about this place. They do have a 2 for 1 Happy Hour weekdays from 4 - 8 pm, but there's also a giant flat screen TV at the bar, that's also back-lit with bluish fluorescent lighting. I'll stick to the backyard, or keep walking to another place.

Verde on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I felt the same about this place as I walked by every day in anticipation of its opening. It seemed to hold some promise with the cute front and planters. Then...the hosteess. You are so spot on. It was comical. She, standing there in her lemon yellow Audrey Hepburn coat in front of a blank piece of paper and an empty restaurant. Nice review. I will check it out at least once too.

Eat It Brooklyn said...

Hey Haute, Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you liked my review. Unfortunate, yes. We shall see. Nice blog too! LOVE biscotti!

one step ahead said...

this restaurant is amazing

Eat It Brooklyn said...

Really? What did you have? I was so disappointed, it's going to take a lot for me to go back.