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Sue Perette (on Smith between DeGraw and Sackett)

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I had no idea it existed, but, after seeing a movie last week, and being very hungry, we passed the old Cafe Dore space and saw a new French/American restaurant in its place -- they were still serving at 11 pm (though I don't think the kitchen is open much past that.) They've only been open a week or so, and they are slowly adding items to the menu -- there were three entrees available when we arrived. We started with a tasty lentil salad, and for an entree, I had the roast pork, which was falling off the bone and quite good, and my friend had the fish (grouper?) which she also liked very much. Entree portions were large, and prices are in the $17 - 22 range. The owners, a French couple, are very friendly. I look forward to seeing how this place develops.

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  1. I was unimpressed with their menu consisting of 3 apps and 5 entrees and a long -list- of entrees "coming soon". If you are going to open a restaurant, at least have your kitchen together to the point that you can actually offer some goods! As well, these apps and mains were on the expensive side, so it had better be good is all can say.

    I'll give them a try but I'm shocked at how casually they are taking this.

    3 Replies
    1. re: CGeats

      Hmm I'm of mixed opinion on that. I do think it's odd that they would have a list of entrees which are 'coming soon' -- if I can't order it, I don't really want to know about it. That said, when restaurants open, often times they're plagued with inconsistency. I would rather see a handful of dishes, well chosen and perfectly prepared, while they work the kinks out. If the options are compelling, I think 3 apps and 5 entrees could be plenty to open a new place with. They should leave all the 'coming soon' nonsense off and maybe just call the menu a 'preview' menu and note that a more extensive menu will soon be coming.

      That doesn't say to me they are taking it casually necessarily...quite the contrary if they are doing it so as to focus on quality and consistency before taking on too many choices.

      Edit: http://cobblehillblog.com/archives/2685 is this the menu? I don't see anything listed as coming soon. And what is listed sounds fantastic. Glad to see that, despite it being yet another french place on smith st, it's not the common bistro fair of the others. I'll definitely be dropping in.

      1. re: Nehna

        I'll be droppingin as well.

        Note: the menu on the CHB has been updated. Recent menu posts have the "coming soon" message.

        1. re: CGeats

          Yeah I saw a later pic of that. Please do post if you go in...I'm in the midst of cooking for a dinner party tonight, hoping to drop in over the weekend. Someone on yelp called it a sleeper hit of Smith? ;)

    2. The food is terrific. Don't know what the "coming soon" items are about - they weren't on the menu when i went - but after going to Sue Perette it's clear no one is taking this casually. Lentils appetizer is delicious, and both the pork shank and duck were perfectly executed. Service great as well (the owners are the servers). The whole experience was lovely.

      1. thought this was a play on Joe's 'Perette a few blocks down on Smith; funny.

        1. I'm not sure where to begin (or how not to sound like I'm shilling) to say how blown away I was by the meal tonight at Sue Perette...our first of what will be many in days to come. Wow. This is the sort of food my husband and I aspire to cook whenever we have company over and which they entirely nail. All the more impressive for the fact that the chef is american while the owners are french.

          Our server was the french owner, Benoit, and a very sweet man (we met his wife too). We were one of few customers as it was early on a a wednesday night.. We asked loads of questions of the owner to really sort out a perfect meal and ended up sharing all of our dishes (as they seem to have intended)------a trio salad (with celery remoulade, wine braised leeks, mushrooms), the Pastifret (which is a cross between pate and rillettes and absolutely delicious), the berkshire pork shank (stunningly good, pork falling off the bone, delicious cauliflower and greens, and the 'Double Duck' (breast, braised duck leg, brussel sprouts), and the fromage blanc with berries, honey and lemon zest (?) for dessert. They serve PORK FAT with the bread. Need I say more?

          They were also very sweet to our little boy, 1 yr old. He sat in a high chair and sampled a very tasty mac and cheese with ham from the kids menu (gruyere cheese I believe...I would have gladly had this as an adult meal)

          It's really rare (as anyone who has read my others posts) that I gush about a meal. We were so utterly in love with the food that we planned our birthday dinner there with a menu that we're designing with the owner. Get there asap....this place needs to survive on Smith St. Enough of the generic french bistros.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Nehna

            now that you're chummy with the owner, maybe you could ask and post the answer to a nagging question i have about this place:

            What's with the name?

            1. re: missmasala

              pretty sure it's a play on "superette", ex a mini supermarket.

              1. re: the_state

                yeah, i got that--but i still don't "get it."

                1. re: missmasala

                  There is a unique place a few blocks away on Smith (as mentioned above) that has a sign that used to say JOE'S SUPERETTE. But some of the letter fell down and were never replaced so it now says JOE'S PERETTE. It is famous for delicious fried proscuitto balls. It is rather odd and I assume the owners of SUE PERETTE may be paying homage to JOE'S. Or maybe they just like the term superette and thought it sounded like a woman's name.

                  1. re: Carol Gardens

                    Actually the sign reads JOE'S S PERETTE.

              2. re: missmasala

                Hi, My name is benoit. I am the owner of Sue Perette, with my wife Melanie. Thank you all for all your posts. So what is it with the name?
                First It's not linked with Joe's Superette.
                We named it Sue Perette as a play of words with superette, wich in France is a little countryside supermarket where you can buy local produce, homemade charcuterie and so on. That's for the obvious because we do sell our homemade preserved and pates. Why make it two words ? We offer our grandma's country style cooking and both my grandmother were named Susanne...
                So we decided to make a person out of it and there you have Sue Perette.
                Please visit our website, for menus, art events, blog and name explanation of course at sue-perette.com
                Once again thank you very much to all of you who took the time to review us. That is the most rewarding thing for us.
                Benoit

                1. re: benoitrouan

                  I love Brooklyn

              3. re: Nehna

                Sue Perette just started serving brunch this weekend --- we enjoyed very much this afternoon. Had Piperade Eggs, Croque Madame, scrambled eggs for our little boy with bits of ham, and Fromage Blanc as a shared dessert (w/ honey and strawberries).

                This continues to be our favorite restaurant in the neighborhood since discovering it (~4 meals there), definitely the most consistent kitchen around here alongside Saul.

                1. re: Nehna

                  I also went to Sue Perette this weekend for brunch and thought it was great. We had the avocado to start -- which was very fresh and well dressed. The Piperade Eggs and the Oeufs Coccotte w/Ham were both spot on. I've also had 4 meals there (3 dinners, one brunch) and completely agree with Nehna that it's an absolute standout in the neighborhood. Terrific cooking.

              4. Just inserting a dissenting view, fwiw. I found this a pleasant, warm place, with ok food of the quality you'd expect to see at a dinner party hosted by a competent but not particularly talented home chef. No gaffes, but no flair or soul. No layering, no subtlety, no real deliciousness. Just pretty good home cooking.

                And there's a use for that sort of thing. I LIKE charming, ingenuous cooking. But not for $50/person (one drink, dessert skipped). Definitely not for that price.

                I won't go dish by dish, because there's really no need to. Everything my companion and I ingested fit the description above. No stand outs and no clinkers. Everything kind of not bad.

                I do like that they serve lard with the bread. Quite good lard, too. That was the highlight.

                30 Replies
                1. re: Jim Leff

                  When did you go Jim? They recently transitioned to their permanent chef (with the original chef now consulting to keep the quality consistent). If so, I'd give it a few weeks and go back once he settles in. We went on the weekend though, during the transition and had a very good meal. The braised pork dish was as solid as ever. They had a lobster cassoulet (new addition the new chef is playing with) and while it really had nothing to do with cassoulet in a traditional sense, it was never the less quite tasty lobster. The liver mousse was as always, superb.

                  Perhaps it's just personal preference -- solid home cooking of the French variety is something I'd happily pay a premium for, particularly as hard as that is to come by in this neighborhood. It remains a place that we continually return to as frequently as possible.

                  1. re: Nehna

                    I ate there recently. And the kitchen seemed nicely settled-in. Again: no gaffes, no problems, no inconsistency. Just an utter lack of subtlety, talent, and soul. Consistently decent, uncontestably competent. Period.

                    I tried that braised pork, and found it.....competent. Not soulful. Not delicious. But nothing wrong. Like everything else we tried, it tasted like it had been prepared by an untalented, unloving but decently experienced home cook.

                    I like home cooking as much as you do. Things needn't be gussied up to earn my esteem. But whether it's home cooking or restaurant cooking, it's got to be good. It's got to be either soulful or interesting. This is neither. Not one bite was soulful OR interesting.

                    Is it good for Smith Street, and a difficult type of cuisine to find in this part of Brooklyn? Sure. But is that sufficient to rave publicly about? Is this something people ought to venture to from elsewhere? If not, I find no such caveats among any of the raves.

                    1. re: Jim Leff

                      Again, I respectfully disagree. I've had that pork dish at least 4 times and it keeps me coming back for more. I like to think my husband and I have pretty well educated palettes to speak from as well. I don't really know what to say if you found the dish soul-less. I have met the chef on numerous occasions now when we dined in and have experienced his off-menu creations including seared duck livers w/ a cognac reduction, cassoulet (the real one) for 4, fried sweetbreads, etc -- point being they've been graciously accomodating when we've asked them to do dishes especially for us on a birthday occasion.

                      And yes, I do think its worth venturing from elsewhere for.

                      To each his own though, sorry to hear you only found it adequate.

                      1. re: Nehna

                        I wasn't doubting the education of your palate, and I agree that tastes differ.

                        But FWIW I did not find it "adequate" at fifty bucks/person.

                        1. re: Jim Leff

                          Okay, I live around the corner from this place and was planning to try it based on all the raves, but now i'm a little confused. I think I need more details. Let's take that pork dish:

                          Nehna: What is it you like about it so much? Is it the way it's cooked? the sides? the flavors and aromatics? Anything unique or offbeat about it?

                          Jim: What is it that underwhelmed you about the pork? Was it the wrong texture? Undercooked? Overcooked? Lacking seasoning? Poor or boring sides? Not different or unique enough? How would it have been different in the hands of a loving, talented home cook?

                          Just trying to get a handle on what the food is like. I'm intrigued, and I don't get out for that kind of dinner enough to just go and try it myself without more info.

                          1. re: missmasala

                            I'm not sure one can account for what, precisely, makes a dish fail to wow. It strikes me as an impossible thing to ask. And I've already stated close to a dozen times that there were no flaws or problems.

                            Really, you ought to go yourself and make your own opinions. Though if you're having trouble seeing how a competently rendered dish without mistakes could fail to inspire, I'm guessing we see things pretty differently, and your opinion will be quite different from mine. Which, of course, is perfectly ok!

                            1. re: Jim Leff

                              Oh no, I can totally see how a competently rendered dish without mistakes can fail to wow--it happens to me a lot. But I guess I was hoping for more specifics--ie. "It was decent but I like mine crisper, more tender, more flavorful, less salty, with more sauce, etc.
                              However, i guess I understand if you can't get more specific.
                              The way I use this board, I try to see if the poster's tastes line up with mine. Maybe I just don't know enough about your tastes to know if mine would line up with yours or Nehna's.

                              FWIW, I have never found a restaurant on Smith St that totally wowed me. I was hoping that Sue Perette might be the one, but perhaps not.

                              And in these tough economic times, I'm reluctant to drop $50 a head on meal that less than wows, which is why I don't want to just go and try it myself. As I stated in my above post, I don't get out for that kind of meal very often, so I want it to be a good one, and I count on chowhound to help me find a good place.

                              1. re: missmasala

                                It's been a long time around here since "soulful" was the key to a CH rating. I havent been to Sue Perette yet, but this thread is providing the push I need to get me there. Since I have noticed that Nehna and I similarly like/dislike a # of places, I'm anxious to see whether we've resigned ourselves to competent cooking (at any price) and given up basing our posts on whether the food is Mina, Arepa Lady, Dom, Ali type inspired cooking.

                                Jim - not that you love dropping the cash, but have you tried Chestnut, Applewood or al di la in the last couple of years? I'd be curious to hear your thoughts, as I find the chefs at each to be what you look for, albeit at the higher cost range (for Bklyn/Queens).

                                -----
                                Applewood
                                501 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                1. re: Steve R

                                  Steve R -
                                  I don't mind paying up for good food. I just find, like most non-hedge fund managers, that I don't have lots of social opportunities for such meals; most of my dinners with friends are more informal and jocular.

                                  I've been meaning to try all three of those, so will make it my business to rise to your challenge. Any absolute must-eats in those places?

                                  Finally, I can't imagine why you'd ever "resign yourself" to anything, gastronomically. You're living in a city that's flush with greatness. And you're someone who's had his eyes openned to how great it can be. So....why settle?

                                  1. re: Jim Leff

                                    Chestnut - go Tues/Wed for $30 fixed price 3 course meal... at least you'll get better value if you wind up not liking it. Daniel (chef/co-owner) makes everything there, from the breads to the ice cream (both of which are very good imo). The gravlox and the soups are usually my go to apps, but keep your eyes open for recited specials. Pork entree (whichever he's featuring. Ice cream dessert.

                                    Al di la - Anna Klinger is one of the most under-rated Italian chefs in NYC right now imo. The swiss chard malfatti and the rabbit/polenta are two of my regular favorites. Try not to ruminate on the prices and remember to compare it to Batali places, not hole in the wall places.

                                    Applewood is the one of the three that I recognize the talent but it's not my style so I have no favorites to recommend. Peter ("Peter in the Heights"?) on CH has written a lot about the place so I'd listen to his suggestions. When I recommend this place people think that I'm taken by the careful sourcing of the food & the philosophy of the place (both of which are admirable). But, frankly, those are just nice touches to me... the chef/owner gets real depth of taste out of the material and you can feel the heart going in. I dont know why I dont crave it more, the way I do other places. Of course, I'm not running to Blue Hill Stone Barn either and that's the expensive version of what they're going for here (I think).

                                    Have fun.

                                    -----
                                    Applewood
                                    501 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                    1. re: Steve R

                                      Thanks. Last question: are you recommending them as places you've resigned yourself to trying to like (and are looking for corroboration), or as places you believe belong in the firmament?

                                      1. re: Jim Leff

                                        Cute question. My list of those I've resigned myself to liking enough to eat at would be pages long. These are the ones that I believe have artists at work in the kitchen. Of course, you may disagree, "Which, of course, is perfectly ok!". Some like Clapton more than Jerry Garcia.... go figure. :-)

                                        1. re: Steve R

                                          Thought I'd add my two cents:

                                          Never been to Chesnut, but have been to the other two (tho only once to each--as I've stated, I don't get out for these kinds of meals much)

                                          Al di la: had heard so many good things about this place and was prepared to love it, but was totally underwhelmed. Had the beet ravioli, which had been lauded on this board, but, as my SO said, it was like a beet dish for people who don't like beets. Poppy seed pasta thing also wasn't for me--I'd rather have my grandma's poppyseed strudel or cake. Then we had carpaccio, which was downright bad--the beef was sliced too thick and was unbearably chewy. Would like to give it another chance, tho, and am hoping to go for lunch--a time when I am more likely to have this kind of meal.

                                          Applewood: I kind of have Jim's take on Sue Perette with this one. The dishes tasted good and were competently executed, but they just didn't wow me. Partly I think it's that their menu is made up of the kind of food I can sort of make for myself at home. (perhaps not quite as competently, but an awful lot more inexpensively)

                                          -----
                                          Applewood
                                          501 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                          1. re: missmasala

                                            Al di La - Ive liked the meats and salads better than the pasta thing at al di la - have had some very fine, rich meat dishes there. I think of this as sort of babbo-esque italian (tho Ive never been to babbo). For some reason the pasta dishes are all in the same vein- one night we had three filled pastas and all had the sage-butter treatment. They have some wonderful good priced wines which we really enjoyed. All in all a very fine place but I think they ought to work on their pasta menu.

                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                              I'm with you about the pastas-the two pastas we ordered had same sage-butter treatment--but the pastas are often the things i hear the most raves about there.
                                              next time i go--and i'm hoping it will be soon, tried last week for lunch but they're not open on tues--i will focus on meat and salad.

                                      2. re: Steve R

                                        Steve-

                                        Thanks for the shout-out. And nice to see my opinion of applewood hasn't gone forgotten even thought I don't think I've posted about in several years.

                                        I'm actually fans of all 3 places you mention (Chestnut, al di la, and applewood) and would recoemmend that Jim try every one of them at least once. Chestnut I'd say try on the Tuesday/Wednesday prix fixe special -- it's good insulation from the unevenness. Al Di La is a GREAT destination for a late lunch (they're open for lunch now).

                                        Applewood? Well, I held the rehearsal dinner for my wedding there so clearly I hold them in the highest regard. Someone asked what they do well. I'd say everything, but if pressed I'd say any braised meat -- short ribs, goat, venison, veal, pork. And lately, any fish on the menu.

                                        Is it soulful? Does it still impress? Yes and yes. Applewood is one of the few restaurants that still makes me turn to my companions with a "you *have* to try this."

                                        And yes, the food is expensive. Trust me, they're not trying to rip you off -- they live very far from high on the hog. I think the cost comes from trying to pay their staff a living wage and to pay for the highest quality and most ethically correct ingredients in the city. Is it worth the price? That's something only you can decide.

                                        Happy eating Jim!

                                        -Peter (in the Heights)

                                    2. re: Steve R

                                      I'm a longtime fan/defender of Al di La, and also of Chestnut, although I have recently "resigned" myself to the fact that Chestnut is pretty uneven such that I wary of recommending it anymore (although I may stop in for a bite at the bar from time to time). But I'm curious why, if it's true, that we've "resigned ourselves to competent cooking." I do notice what you say, I've seen the suggestion that one might be too critical --something I don't think I'd have seen on Chowhound in the past.

                                      There is a galaxy of amazing things in to eat in this city, and my waistline and schedule mean that my list of places I want to eat is longer than the list of places I get to eat. So I don't think it's a shortage of things to eat that's causing any sense of resignation.

                                      I understand the urge -- I live near the culinary wasteland that is Smith Street. There are many things that will do in a pinch, but few things that I crave or look forward to. But I don't want to resign myself to that -- I want to keep saying that these places are ok, competent, decent, unexciting, or whatever is true, in the hopes that some day we'll get some more places that actually care about food. (Restaurants, not stores, I mean -- there are many wonderful places to shop for provisions on Smith and Court Streets).

                                      But I've read your posts forever, Steve, so I'm curious as to the sense of resignation you suggest. I do know that feeling of "brownstone Brooklyn "d isappointment -- where each next great thing turns out to be more of the same with a big dose of Brooklyn inflated hype thrown in -- is that what's getting you down?

                                      1. re: Elaine Snutteplutten

                                        ------
                                        "that feeling of "brownstone Brooklyn " disappointment -- where each next great thing turns out to be more of the same with a big dose of Brooklyn inflated hype thrown in -- is that what's getting you down?"
                                        ------

                                        Hey, it'd get ME down...if I didn't summarily ignore it, as I do much of the over-hyped noise out there. You have to always ignore the magician's misdirection!

                                        1. re: Elaine Snutteplutten

                                          Nail on head, Elaine. We dont cook at home (well, once in awhile). Our schedules are such that we eat out about 5 nights/week. We manage to get to the truly good places enough that I'm not really complaining, and the "resignation" I spoke of in my post isnt so acute that I worry about it. Since most of the others arent bad and provide enough entertainment and social interaction to make them ok, I'm fine. But your "each next great thing turns out to be more of the same with a big dose of Brooklyn inflated hype thrown in..." is pretty much it. That and watching some of our absolute favorites bite the dust (ie; Tempo) and others make adjustments to stay in biz. Getting old, I guess.

                                          I dont mean to sound depressed about it because I'm not... places that have competent cooking usually have a couple of "better than that" things thrown in &, all in all, it's really kind of stupid to complain about having this kind of discretionary income. If Tanoreen's unevenness (my equivalent to your complaint about Chestnut (which I, thankfully, havent personally experienced) & trying some interesting places that fall short (ie; last week's sojourn to The Vanderbilt) is the worst that I'm thrown, I'm fine with it. I know Jim's theory is that life's too short to eat anything less than magical, but not every hit is a home run (and some are even strike-outs) when building a World Series year.

                                          So... what do you think of Henry's End (my favorite place, but one I am absolutely NOT sending Jim to try)? How 'bout Redhead or Hearth in the Outer Borough of Manhattan?

                                          1. re: Steve R

                                            Tanoreen's uneveness? I'm going to ignore that comment as I owe myself a trip there. Its one of my favorite places in Brooklyn. Uneven alert?

                                            -----
                                            Tanoreen
                                            7523 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

                                            1. re: CGeats

                                              In the last two or so years, Rawia first tried to get a liquor license, which temporarily stopped the "bring your own" policy, attempted to move across the street to a better location, and then (even on the current website) "The Bishara family is currently exploring possibilities for expansion to a second location and development of gourmet food products". I assume that all of this "business end" stuff (plus a knee problem) took her out of the kitchen quite a bit (she was not present during at least 2 of our dinners) and I think the result was on the plate. Nothing poorly done, just lighter on the zing of the main courses (the salad case items still seemed fine). A little tired on some previously outstanding dishes. Wont stop me from returning. Please go and report back.

                                      2. re: missmasala

                                        missmasala -

                                        My suggestion is you go in for a quick bite. Single course rather than the full blowout. I'm a big fan of triage when uncertain!

                                        Remember, you're eating for more than one. Your opinions are of use to the rest of us. And my opinion on this place is currently kind of lonely. Of course, you may find you strongly disagree with me...but that's cool! :)

                                        1. re: Jim Leff

                                          We've had very nice brunch there. The baked eggs were great. We went back for a nice dinner another night. The place is very pleasant and the service is very sweet and attentive. The wine selections are spare but good. I can highly suggest the polenta fries with aioli, which were really inventive and delicious. The duck was deemed excellent by my fiancee. I found the trout a bit slimy, but that may just be the nature of the fish. Didn't enjoy it that much. But I would welcome the addition of some other seafood items to the menu, and definitely go back.

                          2. re: Jim Leff

                            I admit when I read this post, I didn't quite understand it -- it seemed a little too nebulous and not really descriptive of the food served at the restaurant. Then my husband and I had dinner at Sue Perette this weekend and we totally got it. I have to say I agree with Jim.

                            The food was perfectly fine. Not bad, but not terribly interesting. Everything was competently executed, but nothing stood out, and the dishes just lacked a little something that would make it seem more impressive than something I would cook at home. A little acid, a little spice, a little je ne sais quoi.

                            The service was warm and very accommodating, if a little slow. The owners seem like genuinely nice people. The wine and beer list are pretty good and well-priced, and the place looks great. But for the price we paid (about $110 for 2 with a drink and an app apiece, no dessert), I'd expect something a little more delicious than something I could whip up at home myself.

                            1. re: oolah

                              Well that makes two of you, so I probably won't be trying it soon. Tho someone did just rave about the place (in person) to me today.

                              It's the "whip up at home" comment that convinces me. When I eat out, I usually don't want to eat something that I can whip up at home, unless it's a transformative, unbelievably delicious rendition of said dish.

                              The chicken 65 at Southern Spice is a good example of this. Since I'm comfortable making Indian food I went looking for a recipe to make chicken 65 at home, but none of the ones i found even came close to having the complexity and deliciousness of SS's.

                              1. re: missmasala

                                Well, the other night Po was too crowded and Chestnut was closed and I finally ended up at Sue Perette.

                                I agree with Jim and Oolah, though I think perhaps they are being even a bit kind.

                                Leek and Potato soup--no discernible leek flavor, just salty salty salty
                                Some of the bread in our basket was totally stale
                                pastifret--salty and sour—it may be homemade, but storebought pate is better
                                polenta fries—tasted like they were fried in bad oil and the insides were dried out, so they were like large fried cottony puffs
                                crabmeat and asparagus canneloni—pasta was tough and dish needed some acidic balance
                                black olive gnocchi—these were actually good--light and you could taste the olive, but the spinach they came with had an off fishy taste.

                                Service was nice and friendly, but at those prices, the food needs to be better.
                                As I've stated before, I don't go out for those kind of meals often, and I was kinda sorry to have wasted one on this place.

                                1. re: missmasala

                                  After all the talk here my wife and I had to try Sue Perrette. My meal there was a month or so ago so the specifics of what we ordered escaped me.

                                  What does stick with me? The distinct impression that they were trying hard but utterly short of the mark. My wife and I both commented (and then reiterated when the monthly credit card bill came) that we've never paid so much for such an underwhelming meal. ($130 for 2 people, barely any wine, and quality aside, not even enough food to fill us up.)

                                  Hopefully there will be some changes in the kitchen and some adjustments to the price. If so, I'll give it a second shot.

                                  Peter
                                  http://www.flashlightworthybooks.com

                                  1. re: Peter

                                    "we've never paid so much for such an underwhelming meal"

                                    but...

                                    "Hopefully there will be some changes in the kitchen and some adjustments to the price. If so, I'll give it a second shot."

                                    What bizarre voodoo explains the hypno-ray clouding the thinking of Smith Street dining enthusiasts?

                                    1. re: Jim Leff

                                      No voodoo, just an open mind. I'd hate to think that me or my work would ever be judged by a single interaction -- so I like to extend the same courtesy to others.

                                      Don't get me wrong -- they won't be getting my money again until I hear numerous reports of notable improvement.

                                      Peter
                                      http://www.FlashlightWorthyBooks.com

                                  2. re: missmasala

                                    Ah, at last someone has given convincing details. Thank you missmasala. A real help.

                            2. Many months after reading this read (and even chiming in), I finally made it to Sue Perette, albeit only for brunch. However, brunch was pretty disappointing, and I'm not inclined to try it for dinner. The Bloody Mary (although enormous) was clogged with thick clumps of horseradish, and had no discernible other flavors. My eggs -- the eggs of the day, poached in red wine, w/ shallots and lardons -- were very bland and suffered from a serious conceptual defect -- the eggs were drowned in an enormous soup of wine broth which quickly absorbed and dissipated the runny egg yolk when the egg was punctured.
                              Because the bread provided was useless for eating this broth -- wafer thin stale-ish baguette slices -- and it wasn't yummy enough to be eaten as soup, most of the broth and the lost yolk went uneaten. Instead of the frites listed on the menu, the eggs came with side of flavorless and slightly cold breakfast potatos. The only highlight was the small handful of greens served with a bracing viniagrette.

                              Service was indifferent to say the least. No mention was made, for example, that frites were not on offer. There was apparently one salt and pepper shaker available for the entire dining room -- it was not offered to you -- and my eggs got cold(er) while I tried to get someone's attention to get some salt and pepper.

                              Brunch is brunch -- often comforting, seldom great -- but this performance left me dubious about dinner. It seemed so half-hearted and even cynical about the fact that success on Smith Street can be had with so very little attention to the food. Disappointing.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Elaine Snutteplutten

                                Hmm. They seemed perfectly competent to me, at dinner. Soullessly, inspirationlessly, unexceptionally competent. Sorry your brunch dipped well below that level.

                                1. re: Jim Leff

                                  You must feel very strongly about this, considering how many posts you've made. Most folks would have voiced their opinion and moved on by now. You're a real junkyard dog with a bone!

                                  I really enjoyed the lard with the bread at Sue Perette.

                                  1. re: captainspacefood

                                    No, I just follow, via MyChow, all the threads I've participated in, and pipe in if I feel moved to comment on new posts as they appear (like Elaine's, above).

                                    I don't, in fact, feel very strongly about mediocre food. But I, too, enjoyed the lard at this place. It was the only thing I enjoyed.

                              2. I've been back to Sue Perette a few times since my original posting, and after having sampled the full menu, I am sorry to say that, while the food is good there, it is unexceptional -- solid but simple. But the prices are killing me -- over $60 per person with tax and tip and one or two glasses of wine. Unless the prices drop or the cooking picks up, I don't see myself going back.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: jpbelmondo

                                  I’ve been reluctant to try Sue Perette based on the underwhelming views on this thread. Since its fall and we’re in Bklyn on weekends more often than not, we’ve been venturing out for dinner in the neighborhood more. Last Saturday we wanted to go and try out Seersucker but we had no desire to wait an hour and 45 minutes for a table so we hoofed it back north on Smith Street. As we passed by we looked into Sue Perette and glanced at the menu and decided to try it. For all those who say the food is no better than what a competent home cook can do, you must be one hell of a cook. The food was fantastic. I had a terrine of brussel sprouts and duck which while very nice was nothing to write home about, but the frisee salad my wife ordered was one of the best I’ve tasted in a long time. Our son had the poached foie gras which was fantastic. For my main, I had beef cheeks with what tasted like cheesy mashed potatoes fried into clouds. Spectacular. If you make food like that at home, you must be beating uninvited guests away from your door at dinner time. My wife had seared magret which was expertly cooked and my son ordered the cassoulet which while not prepared in the classic way, was extremely tasty. Service was a little haphazard but very friendly. Dinner for 3 with a bottle of wine with tax and tip was $170 which I think is pretty much average. Overall, we were very happy with the meal and intend to return.

                                  -----
                                  Sue Perette
                                  270 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                  1. re: Bkeats

                                    We had a wonderful meal at Sue Perette recently. I am so happy that I found this place. I've spent quite a bit of time in France, and have been longing for a reliable, comfort-food type of French bistro that is so easy to find in France but so darned difficult to replicate here for some reason -- Moutarde and AOC Bistro being prime examples of places that should fit the bill from the looks of things, but that have disappointed me on several occasions. Everything we ate at Sue Perette was either terrific -- especially the Magret of Duck, perfectly cooked and served with an unctuous sauce that had hints of espresso -- or fine/acceptable -- lentil salad could have had a little more oomph; portions of the trio of crudites were a little skimpy but hey, how many places in NYC serve celeri remoulade??? I was just happy to have this dish without having to peel and shred the thing on my own, which is what I usually have to do when I have a hankering for it. Desserts were great, service was friendly/chatty, we had a great bottle of St. Joseph to wash the whole thing down - in all, a lovely meal. I thought prices were fair. I will definitely be back.