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Oct 30, 2006 10:24 PM

Chestnut on Smith Street

After researching the Outer Boroughs board for good restaurants, I recently went to Chestnut on Smith Street and had a very good meal. I took the advice to go on a Tuesday/Wednesday to catch the $25 3-course fixed price menu. It's really quite a bargain. Definitely worth checking out. Everything was well-crafted, carefully cooked, and delicious: homemade ravioli and gnocchi, tenderest hanger steak. Service and wine advice were also very good and we were treated well. If you are in Carroll Gardens on a Tues/Wed, go to Chestnut for a tasty and affordable meal.

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  1. I agree -- to be safe, I will add to the post to make a reservation :)

    1. Chestnut impresses me for its attention to quality and obvious concern for the food. The servers seem genuinely informed and enthusiastic about the menu. I recently went there for brunch for the first time. While the menu is limited, all 4 of us had different entrees (from huevos rancheros to roasted egg, greens and codfish hash) and were quite happy.

      1. For me, Chestnut was just ok. It was good, not overly exciting. 25 dollar price fix is good.. Destination, no. I would be happy if its in my hood, but have walked passed it many times when visiting my buddy. This place gets too much attention for what it really is.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Daniel76

          I dont think anyone claims its a destination restaurant. Saul's prob. the only one in that category in cobble hill. Rather what it is, is one of the most reliably solid restaurants in the area. Well prepared food, local seasonal ingredients, pleasant service, great prices and not typically difficult to walk in and get a table. They also have the best brunch in the area with freshly baked scones and biscuits to start off with.

          It's the sort of place you stop in at any night of the week you feel like it, without it needing to be a special occasion and know you'll be well satisfied. Exactly what Smith St. needs more of.

          The only restaurant in the immediate area that I'd put above Chestnut is Saul. Grocery is too inconsistent and overrated for me, though its been a while. [Lunetta promises to be another realiably great spot when they work the service kinks out]

        2. Went last night and had the prix fixe.

          Shhhhh! Don't tell! This could be the best restaurant in Brooklyn for the money. I've been to Grocery twice and Saul about 8-10 times. Chestnut is a cheaper, humbler, homier version. Truth be told, if given a choice, I'd pick Chestnut over either Grocery or Saul.

          T/W prix fixe for $25 is a bargain of bargains.

          1. Just had an very good meal last night at Chestnut.

            I started with the very tasty salt cod, which was a slightly more indulgent take (more cream?) than the salt cod at al di la. both are great in their own ways. I then had the pork wrapped in bacon which was also very good. The pork was very juicy, even in medallion form. Nothing worse for me than really tough pork.

            My wife had dishes, that were perhaps more pleasing for their ambition than overal execution. The melon with the calamari didn't necessarily go but I appreciated it as a palate cleansor. The quinoa stuffing, however, was excellent. And the ravioli seemed to need about 5 minutes after serving for the strong flavor of the greens to blend with the pumpkin/poppy filling. Once it did, I thought it was a real winner.

            Must say that my dessert of the "root beer float" was a bit tough to eat. The frozen root beer was liquid nitrogen cold, which killed some of the flavor of the root beer. Plus, the ice cream would melt in my mouth before the root beer did so I felt I never got the blend down.

            Regardless, for $25 a pop, this is a fantastic deal and the service was, as always, fantastic.

            3 Replies
            1. re: gangly handful

              Overall this place was a little dissapointing. Not bad. Just a little dissapointing. I guess I was just unimpressed for one reason or the other. Can't really put my finger on it. But I guess I need to since this is a forum and people want answers.

              Patio table and chairs: uncomfortable
              Bread just didnt taste that good. Decent dipping olive oil.
              Negroni was fantastic. And her fresh OJ margarita was fantastic.
              Haystack shrimp. Fine. Like wrapped in hay. Cilantro dipping sauce was meh. Sorry.
              Whole wheat pasta with fiddle heads. Overcooked. Not a bad dish, just dissapointing. Overcooked pasta really dissapoints me. Low flavor dissapoints me.
              Stuffed pork chop with figs, polenta. Overcooked chop, and some what flavorless stuffing. Poor example of polenta, but I'm a polenta snob. It's not hard to make.
              Service was fine. Pleasant and just a little absent, just how I like it.


              1. re: brickscoli

                We've been underwhelmed as well. When we visited a few times over the past few months, we never had anything even approaching a great meal, and when we visited to take pictures, the meal was an absolute disaster.



                1. re: brickscoli

                  the only time i've been disappointed at chestnut was when i ordered the pasta with fiddleheads. i don't think i'd recommend this place for vegetarians, because the time's i've been super impressed has been with fish or meat. i had a salmon last time that was divine. plus, they make great cocktails.