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May 5, 2009 05:44 PM

Anyone Been To Saul Lately?

Did a search of this Board and read the January 2009 and September 2008 posts.
Going for the first time this Thursday.

Anyone been lately? Your thoughts? Any "must haves" or dishes to avoid?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I went early winter, so not necessarily more recently than the January 2009 thread. Had some of the best service I have ever received in a restaurant, and it resulted from an anti-recommendation. Don't get the mackerel (it was chock full of tiny bones, and didn't hold up well to the kitchen filleting it after we asked)--that said, once the issue was noted (not because we complained--the waiter spontaneously noted that the dish wasn't being eaten with gusto), our waiter went above and beyond to try to make it up to us throughout the rest of the meal (extra courses, etc.). None of this was expected or necessary, but we left there knowing that the restuarant had been completely committed to our enjoyment of our meal. Additionally, even before this had occurred, our waiter initiated a nice discussion with us about the wine we had selected (not a "name" or pricy bottle).

    As to the menu, I remember people at our table being happy with the foie (ask for extra toast) and the pork belly salad (which was ordered sans octopus) and the squab and ribeye entrees. Of the desserts, I think the pistachio parfait was the least successful--the espresso gelee didn't, well, "gel" with the rest of the flavors. The apple dessert was lovely, however.

    3 Replies
    1. re: planetjess

      Thanks so much, planetjess.

      We will report back on our experience.

      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        I think you were mentioning to RGR on another thread that you're not thrilled about having to eat out later in the week--while, IMO, Saul is not going to give you a life-altering culinary experience, I think I can reassure you that it won't be hectic like many restaurants get as the weekend approaches. It's very soothing in there.

        1. re: planetjess

          Thanks, planetjess. Just into food, not noise or a scene . . .

    2. Had dinner at Saul for the first time last night. The restaurant is a small, neighborhood place. It's the kind of place you would seek refuge and a good meal on a cold, winter night. Tables where we sat were close together, but we didn't have anyone next to us. A comfortable place to unwind after spending my day with 1st graders. Service was perfect - knowledeable and attentive but not intrusive or over-friendly. They have a prix fixe, we ordered ala carte. Now on to the food:

      Bread was very good (fresh, crusty, country bread) and butter was soft enough to spread. Amuse was a mushroom soup with truffle oil and a chive garnish. Very good.


      Hudson Valley Foie Gras - cold terrine with pistachio and a chamomile gelee. There was
      something orange and the sauce was delicious.

      Duck confit on grits with ramps - my friend thought it was gamey, I didn't. Really liked the dish.


      Seared scallops with kale and bean puree. They left the chorizio out for me. Very good.

      Short ribs with garlic potato puree, etc. - my friend enjoyed these very much and even took some home. I don't eat red meat so I didn't taste these.


      Warm apple brown betty with ice cream (forgot what kind - something with a liquore flavor?) and garnished with a dried apple.

      Baked Alaska with ice cream (forgot what kind) on a dark chocolate cookie.

      Coffee (they do not have espresso, but do serve French press)

      I had 2 glasses of wine with dinner. Total including tax, and a 20% tip was just over $180.

      The food was very good and we would definitely go back, depending on how often they change the menu. Like so many of my favorite restaurants the menu is limited. Not eating red meat leaves me fewer options, though I appreciated that there were 4 fish entrees on the menu. BTW Saul has one Michelin star. Not sure how a Saul gets a star and Falai doesn't . . .Planetjess, thanks again for your suggestions they were very helpful. PS The mackerel is still on the menu.

      10 Replies
      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        It sounds like you had the experience I would have expected, and I'm glad. Have you been to The Grocery? I had seen it hyped along similar lines (higher end local place, careful food) as Saul, but enjoyed Saul quite a bit more. Also, for that matter, Applewood, if you're ever inclined to have a similar dinner in Park Slope. Places to have very nice meals without breaking the bank or braving the crowds, but neither cheap nor, in the end, outrageously exciting.

        1. re: planetjess

          It was a very nice evening. Thanks again for your help. planetjess, have not been to The Grocery. Been to a Turkish place nearby years ago. I'm sure we will venture to Brooklyn again. Wish Red Hook was easier to get to. What do you think of Dressler? It gets a lot of positives on the OB Board but I've heard it's more of a neighborhood, comfort place then wow food. Park Slope might be harder for us to get to without a car. Saul was so easy via the A/F.

          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            I haven't been to Dressler, but it's on my shortlist of places that I want to make a special effort to try (not because anyone heralds it as a destination restaurant, but because I fear missing out on a lot of neighborhood gems (ultimately my favorite type of restaurant) if I don't have a "non-destination" destination restaurant list).

            If you're handy to the F, by the way, Applewood couldn't be easier--it's three very short blocks off the 7th Ave. stop. I'm with you on Red Hook--it's about five minutes away for me by car but by public transportation is a long haul. A few Red Hook places are also on my "non-destination" destination list.

            1. re: planetjess

              I was pretty impressed with Dressler the last time I ate there (about a month ago)-they have an amazing $45 -5 course meal Sunday to Thursday...every course was a winner. Very good service as well-
              It can get a little loud, so I'd recommend an earlier reservation if possible.

              1. re: David W

                Thanks. Definitely plan to explore more Brooklyn dining options just across the river.


                1. re: David W

                  I went to Dressler last week for my wife's birthday. We both had the 5 course tasting menu. There were two options for each course, so we each ordered one and tried all of the options. It was definitely a very good value, but I can't say that every course was a winner. The duck confit course was especially sub-par. Rather than confit, it seemed more like a dried out fried piece of duck which was oversalted. Disappointing as I love duck confit.

                  However, the ambience and service were lovely, as were many of the course. Definitely worth going back to.

                2. re: planetjess

                  ditto what was said about Applewood. -- The taste of their Lobster Broth (it is really more a bisque.) That taste is gonna be in my mouth on my deathbed as I whisper "Rosebud" and remember the days my kids were born.

                  1. re: hambone

                    Thanks, hambone. We'll report back after out next Brooklyn dining adventure . . .

                  2. re: planetjess

                    What places would you recommend as "non-destination" destination in Red Hook. I've only ever been to Hope & Anchor, and while I enjoyed it (not only because of the Karaoke), I wouldn't put it on that list.

                    1. re: elecsheep9

                      The Good Fork!

                      The Good Fork
                      391 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

            2. If this inspires anyone, Saul has a great tasting menu!

              1. Went last night for the first time. What a lovely, serene place. Great service and some of the best food I've ever had in a restaurant.

                1. We returned to Saul recently for the first time in around 5 months...8 month old baby has cramped our dining out style ;) We had a wonderful time with my in-laws and sister-in-law. The 5 of us had originally gone expecting to do the new $40 / 4 course menu (which is a great deal I must say...) but only one of us ended up ordering that. The rest of us saw too many other things we wanted on the main menu and on special. I had a special app of pasta with oxtail ragu and poached egg (I'm a sucker for anything w/ a poached egg). It was superb. But VERY heavy. Glad my main was a bit lighter, the sweetbreads from the menu, which were absolutely delicious too. Saul continues to be one of the most reliably great restaurants in brooklyn. My other favorite being Applewood.