Picket Fence, Ditmas Park
Last night my husband and I, bored with the restaurants in our Park Slope/Prospect Heights neighborhood, ventured out to try Picket Fence. I know initial responses on Chowhound were mixed, but the menu online looked good, so we decided to check it out.
We were pleasantly surprised. I started with a very generously sized watercress salad with corn, bacon and pecorino-romano cheese. It would have easily fed two or three people, and my only complaint was that the watercress was in long stalks, which meant a lot of cutting up the stalks in order to have a manageable bit. My husband had the summer vegetable gazpacho, which he declared he could have made into his entire meal. It was smoky and spicy, with nice chunks of veggies, and very refreshing for the warm night.
For our entrees, I couldn't resist the smoked gouda mac and cheese side dish that came with the fried chicken, even though I'm not a fan of fried chicken. Anyway, I ordered it and found the chicken to be crisp and not too greasy, although I thought the buttermilk batter was a little too dark.
The mac and cheese, however, served in a little ramekin with a deliciously crunchy crust of grated cheese, was incredible. My husband and I shared it (it would have been way too much for one!), and it was soo good, with a nice smokiness offsetting the creamy blandness of the gouda and the richness of the cheesy sauce.
Husband had the scallops, on the waitresses' recommendation, and they were as fresh and sweet as can be, served with capers, vegetables and a poleta cake that was crisp on the outside, creamy and soft inside.
For dessert we shared an apple crisp that was satisfying but otherwise unremarkable.
The total, without tip, was $68 (drinks were a beer and a lemonade). Which seemed a bargain, considering that our tab at Brooklyn Fish Camp two nights earlier was just slightly less, for just 2 lobster rolls and one beer, no apps or dessert or additional drink.
We're certainly recommending Picket Fence to our friends who are bored with the dining in our neighborhood!
I think you went to Picket Fence with the right mindset--reasonable expectations. I find it kind of hit or miss, both food and service-wise. I've been there three times for brunch, and I guess that the upside it has over the Slope is that it's not as mobbed. It can be very good, but not consistently so.
Comparing PF to BK Fish Camp seems kind of like a stretch, as BFC is so widely known to be on the overpriced side. I've always thought of PF as being kind of like an upscale, hipster-fied diner, and therefore it doesn't compare favorably to more-interesting, good value places on 5th ave in the slope, IMO.