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I bought The Farm on Adderley, Ditmas Park

Poindexter Jul 18, 2006 12:53 PM

I sampled the Farm On Adderley, the latest restaurant on Cortelyou Road (near Westminster-ish) and it was fab--a great and somewhat more grownup than Picket Fence addition to the neighborhood.
The cold asparagus soup was bright and piquant and held together nicely with a still-warm poached egg floating in the middle like a happy kid in the cool green H2O of a favorite swimming hole.
Next was the sublime Chicken-in-the-Hay. I'm not a chicken guy when I eat out, but this dish looked too intriguing to pass up--chicken roasted over alfafa hay and served on a bed of quinoa with dollops of farmer's cheese mixed into the grains and some nice greens on top. It was, quite simply, the tastiest and moistiest version of chicken I ever tasted.
It being a heatwave and all, I didn't even look at their wine list and instead stuck with tap beers, starting with an Ommegang wheat beer from upstate NY, then a Chimay, which I had never seen on draft.
This is a fantastic addition to the nabe and, to the extent it gets locals used to eating in Ditmas rather than driving too the Slope or Cobble Hill, should be good for other standouts like Picket Fence and Cinco de Mayo. Now if only Gerry would get some pub grub going down at the jazzy Cornerstone, we'd be on our way to Fifth Avenuedom ...

  1. Xiao Yang Jan 3, 2008 10:23 AM

    I had a nice brunch there when I was visiting my daughter, but what caught my eye was your somewhat startling post title. "He bought the farm" is an old American expression meaning "he died". The reference is to collecting life insurance. I was wondering if you were posting from beyond the garve ;-)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Xiao Yang
      Poindexter Jan 3, 2008 02:03 PM

      The double entendre tagline was intended, but only meant to catch readers' eyes rather than suggest I was posting from the other side. Though after knocking back a few of the Farms Old Man Sazarec cocktails I did have a near death experience. Glad you liked the place. It remains one of my faves. And we locals are all quite excited to see what the Farm's owners will make of the new French bistro they plan to open on Newkirk in the coming weeks. The neighborhood goss is that it will be smaller, and more refined than the Farm.

    2. h
      Hondo3777 Jan 3, 2008 10:13 AM

      We ate last night at The Farm & the food was delicious. The pork chop was dense, tender & delicious. It came with sweet potato gnocchi, kale & a parmesan sauce that was great. My wife had the sea bass, topped with roasted red peppers, raisins & something else. She could not rave enough on how tasty it was. The hanger steak with spinach, smashed potatoes was very tasty, but the spinach was a bit bitter. The home made focaccia with seasoned olive oil was first rate. The owner Gary brought over a few french fries after I told him that I was told that they were supposed to be great & they do live up to their reputation. Seved with a curry mayo, they are salty & very flavorful. I know they are french fries & not truffles, but they do sing. The upside-down chocolate banana cake with coconut sorbet is very good too. A nice list of beers.

      1. vicki_vale Dec 19, 2006 07:19 PM

        I've eaten twice so far at the Farm on Adderley, on Cortelyou, and it's been great. The ingredients are interesting, fresh, and tasty. I had a very savoury mushroom strudel, and some memorable roasted fall root vegetables. My friend loved the grilled hangar steak, too. And the prices are so reasonable, I hope these guys can stay in business.

        From the prior thumbs-down reviews of the desserts, I wonder if there has been a change in the restaurant lately. All the desserts I tried a few weeks ago were awesome. We had some kick-ass moist and dense gingerbread, and something else with butterscotch sauce that was really good. They were all demolished, and I would have licked the plate it was so good.

        1. s
          sam1 Nov 13, 2006 05:04 PM

          Just wanted to chime in. I had dinner here on Saturday night and thought the food was excellent and a bargain for the money. The cheese plate was definitely big enough for 2-3 people to nibble on. The hangar steak was perfectly medium rare and delicious. The broccoli rabe and potatos with it were excellent. We ordered a side of fries with the steak and they were excellent as well. The milk chocolate mouse with salted cream was amazing but ultra rich.

          Service was good though it took a few minutes longer to between appetizers and entrees to get our food. Sweet staff though. They were also very full. Prices were excellent.

          Definitely up there with Applewood and 360 for me.

          1. f
            foodpyramid Aug 9, 2006 03:44 PM

            Thought I'd throw my own recent experience in the ring, since I saw that the Farm received a fairly glowing review in the Times today, and I went there for the first time just last night...

            I concur with all those who have mentioned the wonderful atmosphere; my friend and i sat outside and it was very comfortable, extremely relaxing, not too crowded-feeling, even though it was full. The waitstaff was also very attentive and friendly.

            The food was less solid. My friend had the salad with peas, which he enjoyed, but my poached shrimp appetizer left much to be desired; too spicy (hungarian paprika or something) and the watery liquid it was in made the presentation as well as taste somewhat slimey and not all that appetizing. For main dishes, my friend's porkchop was a huge amount of very good meat for a incredibly decent price, and while my chicken on the hay could have been more flavorful, it was juicy and tasty nonetheless. The real bummer of the meal was the dessert; the trifle was so bitter and rhubard-overloaded that neither my friend nor I took more than a few bites...wish we had chosen differently there. (I did, however, enjoy washing those bites down with their "Unity" tea, which was a really yummy blend of decaf teas together...)

            Also!! The house beer deserves to be mentioned! For $3, a pint of this stuff is a great buy and really quite delicious.

            As others have noted, it's still in its infancy, and will no doubt improve. And given its prices, atmosphere, and general vibe, it seems unlikely that I won't be making repeat trips there...but, as the Times review mentioned, I'll be a little more discerning when it comes to the menu!

            1 Reply
            1. re: foodpyramid
              r
              Rob_Steffens Oct 17, 2006 01:03 AM

              My wife and I went from Ft. Greene on Saturday and loved it. Great room, very solid comfort food (I had the double cut porkchop and she had the hanger steak), the service was decent and they were clearly trying hard and interested in our feedback. The price was right as well, we'll be back!

            2. e
              edean Aug 9, 2006 02:02 PM

              These posts on The Farm have been of great interest to me. I live in the neighborhood and am glad to have another restaurant choice on Cortelyou Road. But, I have to say that if it weren't in my neighborhood, I wouldn't be tempted to eat there again.

              The food that I had was average at best. The asparagus soup (which I was so excited about) was completely bland. The gigantic portion of pate had okay taste--but was just too meatloaf like. The entrees were seasoned nicely--but way overcooked. My salmon, which the waitress said, "the kitchen cooks to medium" was completely dry. The chicken--also nicely seasoned--was so dry it had to be washed down with gulps of wine.

              The desserts were okay.

              What was good? The atmosphere is beautiful. The wine list is nice--and inexpensive. The food is also very, very inexpensive (almost too inexpensive for what they are offering--made me wonder how they could be making ends meet and still using farm fresh ingredients). The waitstaff is nice and very professional.

              It isn't the worst restaurant in the city...but has a long way to go before becoming a destination spot.

              1 Reply
              1. re: edean
                r
                reddruby Aug 11, 2006 04:56 AM

                I'm sorry you had that experience. I've been there several times since they've opened and have had nothing but the best food. The owners, Gary and Allison are eager to please and have expressed their gratitude several times by buying us drinks and desserts and always end the evening by saying " I hope you come back." True, we have waited a bit between apps and entrees but soon, I'm confident they'll perfect their timing as they have everything else. Not only is it great to have another restaurant in the hood, it's great to have one where the food is great, the service is great and the atmosphere is great. Please give them another try and not just because it's around the corner.

              2. r
                redherring Aug 8, 2006 10:03 PM

                I went to The Farm last weekend with two friends. We arrived at 8pm and got on the list and were told "20 minutes". Well, that turned into 30, and then we kept getting the "It'll be a few more minutes" thing. When the host gave us another "few more minutes" refrain we informed him that we had movie tickets for 10pm. When we were finally seated at about 9pm, we told the host again that we have to leave in 1 hour and asked if that would that be time to eat. He looked surprised but said yes and told the waiter that we were in a hurry. We ordered immediately and two of us ordered the cold asparagus soup thinking that it would be quick. Well, it didn't arrive for almost 20 minutes. Then we waited, and waited, and waited. We reminded our waiter that we had to leave. At 9:55 we still had not received our entrees (1 hour after sitting down) and we had to leave. So we never ate dinner. They asked us if we wanted it in a To Go box...which I thought was ridiculous. It's too bad because the food looked good. I wish they would have just said that they were too busy that night to seat us and get our meals out in the time we had so that we could have gone to another place for dinner. Instead I ended up eating a big bag of popcorn for dinner. Very disappointing.

                5 Replies
                1. re: redherring
                  Poindexter Aug 9, 2006 12:49 PM

                  That's terrible. I think you would have been within your rights to leave a ten spot on the table and skip out of there to make your movie; I hope you calmly let the owner know about your ordeal b/c he seems like a very earnest guy who will respond to constructive feedback and I hope you give it another try.

                  1. re: redherring
                    t
                    tarotphi May 31, 2007 01:56 PM

                    Well it is understandable to believe that the restaurant should have told you that they were busy but also--if it was 8pm you should have eaten somewhere you absolutely knew would be quick in order to have a dinner that satisfied you and enjoy the show on a full stomach. Not fair to peg the restaurant for your ill planning don't you think?

                    1. re: tarotphi
                      r
                      redherring Jun 21, 2007 01:59 PM

                      How is it "ill planning" to allow 2 hours for dinner?
                      I'm sorry, but that's more than a reasonable amount of time.

                      1. re: redherring
                        Poindexter Jun 22, 2007 06:17 AM

                        Imminently reasonable, IMO. But I hope you've gone back. After nearly a year in business, they've ironed out the service and the food remains spectacular. The highlight on my most recent visit was a velvety borscht with a perfectly dente mound of steaming hot yukon spuds in the middle. Also not to be missed: the best artisinal cheese plate around, though I prefer it as desert rather than a starter.

                        1. re: Poindexter
                          r
                          redherring Jun 26, 2007 03:08 PM

                          Sounds delicious. I haven't gone back, but I'll put it on my list of things to do this summer. Thanks for the update.

                  2. d
                    DPresident Aug 6, 2006 02:36 PM

                    My husband and I had dinner at The Farm on Adderley last night and we were pleasantly surprised by how good it was. We started off with their appetizer special of fried soft shell crab over a black bean pancake - wonderful. For our main courses, we each had the roasted chicken over quinoa. It had a smokey taste and was very moist. We would definitely order it again. For our dessert, we ordered the chocolate mousse and blueberry/peach crisp. Both were average and paled in comparison to the rest of our meal. Additonally, the pinot noir and the blueberry ale on tap were fantastic.
                    As 1 yr. residents of Ditmas Park, we are ecstatic that a restaurant of this caliber has finally arrived. Hopefully, other restaurants in the neighborhood will rise to the same level of service and quality of food.

                    1. pitu Aug 3, 2006 01:26 AM

                      rachel fran . . .
                      a 5 year old can't be expected to wait a half hour for dinner, but that *is* a reasonable amount to time for a higher end restaurant to take to cook your food.

                      1. r
                        rachelfran Jul 30, 2006 05:58 AM

                        i went to the farm tonite for the first time with my husband and my 5 year old...

                        i had the aforementioned cold asparagus soup and my husband had the shrimp appetizer and both were quite good.. the shrimp was actually the best dish we had by far....these appys came quickly but we waited more than 1/2 hour for our entrees - and our 5 yr old wasnt too happy about that... i asked both the busperson and the waitress to bring his meal early as he was getting impatient and it still took awhile for his noodles to show... when they did i worried that he would finish eating before our entrees arrived but luckily that didn't happen...

                        my husband got the artichoke ravioli - which we liked and i got the trout - which had a very dull appearance on the plate and tasted a tiny bit too dry... We also ordered the aforementioned peach & blueberry crisp a la mode which had very little crisp to it and didn't taste like peach at all - we thought it was rhubarb, in fact.. .we brought it to the waitress's attention - as neither of us liked it and she thought it looked like rhubarb. She returned w/ the check and had deducted the dessert but said the kitchen said it was indeed peach and blueberry.. FWIW it didn't even taste sweet to us - save for the ice cream on top.

                        regardless of this review - we love the space and the idea of the restaurant - we will probably return if nothing but the support our local businesses and chalk up the delay to the recent opening ... a table of four near us all got burgers and were in after us and out well before so perhaps that's the key (if only i ate red meat).

                        1. d
                          DeeDee Jul 29, 2006 01:30 PM

                          Thanks for the review of the Farm on Adderly. I'll definitely have to try it out. Two small points -- Chimay White is very widely available on tap both at restaurants and bars around town including at Olea in Fort Greene. Also, I heard that Gerry left the Cornerstone several years ago and is now working as a bartender in Manhattan so I think that place is doomed to serve bad beer forever.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: DeeDee
                            Poindexter Aug 2, 2006 10:09 PM

                            I am virtually certain Jerry still owns Cornerstone--he certainly did last time we spoke, which was prolly about 3 months ago.
                            But you make a very good point: Whatever the exegencies that are compelling him to work at bars other than the one he started are outweighed, IMO, by the salutary effect his presence could have at the Cornerstone. The music is a great addition and the current bartender, though he doesn't really know how to pour a cocktail, is better than the others they've run through (there was one guy last summer who was way to liberal with off-the-cuff drinks, which is not a complaint I ever thought I'd level, but I cringed watching any profits Jerry might have realized going down our collective gullets!). Far be it from me to suggest he "double down" on what has perhaps been a disappointing investment to date, but I think Jerry needs to rustle up some grub and stop moonlighting--Cornerstone is on the cusp of greatness and if he does that, he just might make a go of it.

                          2. b
                            benobserver Jul 28, 2006 08:42 PM

                            Cinco de Mayo isn't so good at the things that are easiest to order -- bad burritos -- but has great, great simple soft tacos with meat. Also the horchata -- a sweet white drink -- is fantastic.

                            1. j
                              JackS Jul 26, 2006 05:14 PM

                              This neighborhood has LOTS more authentic -- and good! -- Mexican food than Park Slope. Mexico Lindo y Que Rico on Coney Island Avenue just south of Albemarle has wonderful tacos al pastor and, on weekends, barbacoa (goat). The cemitas and tacos at Taquieria Poblano on Church Ave & East 8th rock. I'd also recommend La Huasteca, on Church between Westminster and Argyle for nicer dining, although the food is not as tasty as the other two.

                              1. r
                                rebecca2180 Jul 25, 2006 06:01 PM

                                hey all - had a great meal there recently. the owners are very cool folks from the neighborhood, and like someone mentioned above, have obviously put a lot of thought and effort into it - they even have ouzo at the bar!

                                the best thing i had was the milk choc mousse with salted cream. the salted cream was very salty, and mixed with a smooth milk chocolate, it was HEAVEN. i highly recommend you order it - and even ask early in the meal - they ran out the other night!

                                1. b
                                  bkfoodie Jul 25, 2006 03:45 PM

                                  The Farm on Adderley is a very welcome addition to the area! The food is very good... I've only been there once when they first opened, so I'm sure there will be updates, changes, etc. as there are always a few minor bumps at an opening. The space and the general "energy" of the place is indeed fabulous and well-worth the wait! The owners are friendly and it's obvious they put a lot of detailed care into this warm and upscale venture. I love the small, cozy lounge in the front and brick wall inside. The outside garden has been beautifully transformed including side benches with flower boxes set in. My only gripe was that people enjoying a drink would come out there and kind of hover nearby--a bit distracting to an otherwise pleasant meal.

                                  My friend and I had the chilled wild shrimp appetizer and the pate appetizer. Both were delicious, even if the pate was quite a large slab that seemed difficult to finish as an appetizer. The shrimp was tasty with the vinegared cucumber and avocado. My trout was very good and my friend had a nice hangar steak. We shared a peach/blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream which was delicious, but again, a bit on the large side. The ice cream melt quickly on top of the dish, leaving a rather gooey mess around the dish. I know some would love the larger portions, so it's a minor detail.

                                  All in all, this is what I've been craving in the neighborhood and I am also happy the bar is open late (til 1 am). It's nice to know there are people around when coming back home in the area. It's great to have another restaurant join the ranks of Picket Fence (still fabulous!). The fact that Picket Fence was always crowded shows the neighborhood is ready (craving) for these places! I wish The Farm the best success and plan to be going there often with friends! Can't wait until they open for brunch!

                                  Now.. if we can get more varieties of restaurants in the nabe.. I'd be really happy! :) Would love to see an Olive Vine, thai, japanese, tapas, indian, korean (come to think of it...I have yet to find a good korean restaurant in brooklyn... even in carroll gardens or park slope, which is a bit strange. I could use a good dolsot bimbibap once in a while.) :D

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bkfoodie
                                    b
                                    baldwyck Nov 14, 2006 02:25 PM

                                    I've had some really bad dishes at Picket Fence. One that comes immediately to mind was a steak (I think hangar), served with horseradish foam. The foam sounded unappetizing, and I contemplated asking for it to be left out; sure enough, I found it vile and regretted not speaking up. (Does anything taste good foamed?) But the steak, the steak -- I've never had such a flavorless piece of red meat. The texture was all there, but I think that made its absence of flavor all the more pronounced. Of course, I've had some good dishes, as well -- the black cod they're currently serving and the arugula salad with duck (which I don't think they serve anymore) come to mind.

                                    Coney Island Avenue is a repository of some pretty good, and pretty authentic restaurants. There are quite a few Pakistani, Indian, and/or Bangladeshi lunch-counter-style restaurants (I don't remember names). There's an Afghani place, I think called Bahar, close to Newkirk. There's Famous Pita, which is kosher (meat) Middle Eastern. I know the street looks pretty iffy, but I'd recommend a stroll up and down anywhere between Beverly and Foster -- lots of good finds.

                                  2. j
                                    jillkg Jul 18, 2006 01:52 PM

                                    Thanks for the review of the Farm - I've been eagerly anticipating it's opening.

                                    Your comment on Cinco de Mayo intrigued me. I've gotten takeout from there a couple of times and it's been so-so. I once got a chicken mole than was so bitter I had to throw it away. Maybe I've been ordering the wrong things. So, what do you recommend I order there?

                                    When I lived in the slope, I went to the Taqueria on 7th/Berkeley on a regaulr basis, and really miss it. I'd love to be able to get good Mexican takeout locally.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: jillkg
                                      Poindexter Jul 18, 2006 02:12 PM

                                      Cinco is more authentically Mexican than the Cali-inflected Taqueria, which I also frequented and liked.
                                      I think Cinco does a very credible cheese enchiladas with "mole," which in their vernacular is a dark sauce with chocolate and probably peanuts, as opposed to their "red sauce" (all Mexican sauces are moles, as far as I'm concerned, but why quibble?), which is spicier, but less complex. I also think their plain sopes, which are very thick corn tortillas, are nice. Other neighbors are less enthusiatic about Cinco than I am, but I'm from a border state and ought to know: I'd give them another try (but hit the Farm first!).

                                      1. re: Poindexter
                                        j
                                        josh L Jul 25, 2006 04:35 PM

                                        Cinco may be more authentically Mexican than the Cali-inflected Taqueria, but the time I tried it, everything was really lousy, no vibrant or fresh flavors.

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