Taking a chef to dinner near Cobble Hill tonite!
So you said Cobble Hill. But a couple of other suggestions aren't quite there so I'll add (what a surprise) Henry's End in Bklyn Heights. The Game Menu is on, Mark has cooked at the Beard house and it's always been well received by other chefs.
In Cobble Hill proper, I wont argue about going to Saul if you can get in and Chestnut is indeed closed; otherwise I'd argue about it being every bit as worth it for a chef interested in another chef's creations.
I havent yet been to Porchetta (I'll be correcting that this week), but cant imagine why it wouldnt also be a good choice.
re: Steve R
went to porchetta on thursday, had great chicken liver mousse, light and airy gnocchi, and a delicious pork belly with cauliflower puree and balsamic soaked figs and raisins. I would add this to the list of possibilities, unless you are concerned about the possibilities of unpredictability in the newly changed kitchen. A well-made Negroni and buttermilk panna cotta with pine nuts, too.
Assuming you are looking for a chef-driven eatery, I will throw out two as-yet-suggested names:
1) Porchetta -- lots of buzz on new chef Jason Neroni (formerly of 71 Clinton Fresh Food) and apparently if he is in the kitchen tonight, he will do a tasting menu for you. Here is blogger foodite's recent meal: http://www.foodite.com/foodite/2006/11/porchetta.html#more
2) Crave -- this place hardly ever gets mention on this board. It's small and it's neighborhood-y, but it is a labor of love of the two chefs running it. The menu is not adventurous but solid. Plus they are in the kitchen (usually) so they might be willing to do a little sumtin-sumtin if you ask.
Last but not least, I agree with bobjbkln that NY pizza in the form of Lucali's might be the thing. Certainly, a visitor from LA would appreciate some decent pizza and remember that even chefs like regular food like the rest of us.
Chesnut is totally solid, and you will have a very good meal.
But for my taste, it's lacking in vibe and the menu has an odd balance,
it's very easy to have an awkward meal there (too heavy, or too light, etc)
Grocery is the way to go. Call, there are always cancellations.
If it's booked, I would suggest Bouillabaisse 126. It's excellent,
the vibe is super chill, and the Bouillabaisse, is well, the best I've
had in NYC. enjoy.
I'm not sure of how many reliable places are open on Monday night. Grocery and Saul are fine choices, but I must respectfully disagree with bobjbkln. The good folks at Chestnut take great pains to acquire fresh, seasonal ingredients. There is an excellent selection of wines. Any respectable chef would be charmed and well-satisfied by the effort Chestnut invests in its preparations. It is, however, not open on Mondays. Try Tuesday.
Grocery is still very good. And so is Saul. Chestnut is not quite chef quality, but it is very good and the Tuesday/Wednesday Prix fixe is one of the best deals in NY. Also Bouillabaisse 126 is usually very good. And if they're into Pizza, Lucali's turns out, IMO, one of the top 5 pizzas in Brooklyn.