Dinner at Kevin's: Red Hook
We hadnt made plans for dinner last night and several places we've wanted to try were slammed when we called them around 7:30pm. But, when we called Kevin's ( http://www.mooreparties.com/ ) on Van Brunt in Red Hook, they were having a slow night and said "wide open". So, we went with high hopes and low expectations, given how many "next best thing" places we've already been to (and been disappointed at) in Bklyn. Since just about anything previously written on CH was about their brunch ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/596244 ), that was no help either. We were told it was byob, so we brought a Pinot Noir. It's mainly a seafood place and we knew that, but we like reds with just about everything so we didnt care.
There were only 3 tables filled the entire time we were there and this definitely changes the experience, especially for weekend dining (at least I believe so). It was also too brightly lit, which made it less of a weekend fine dining place as well. There was one waiter and Kevin was in the kitchen (it's visable from the room), making everything and not part of the scene.
The above are the only negatives I can find &, although they are negatives, they wont prevent us from returning. Actually, since the website references CH reviews, I hope Kevin sees this and dims the lights (the customer base will take care of itself I'm sure... we drove by late this morning on the way to Fairway and it was full with brunch-ers). At any rate, the food is hand prepared by Kevin and it's very, very good.
We were given caponata (eggplant) bruschetta as a comp to start & it was nice. I ordered the crab cake ($12), which was dynamite and plated with a greens mix that was just what it needed. Ginny ordered the lobster crepe (also $12) and man was that good. Fresh lobster and a mild saucing inside a very fresh crepe (made from scratch in the kitchen... I could see this). For mains, she had the paparadelle with whole large shrimp in a cream sauce ($19). Again, it's a mild sauce but rich with cream... we both liked it and took home some. I had the Saffron- infused cioppino (fish stew over rice) ($20) which was full of fresh fish and shell fish and outstanding. For dessert, one pumpkin pie (shared) and coffee. Total after tip was $100 and worth every penny.
While eating, I remarked to Ginny that the place reminded me of a couple of our old favorites, Acadia Parish and Petit Crevette (original on Atlantic Ave)... very chef driven. So, after finishing, I asked the waiter if this was Kevin's first place and does he mind customers walking back to the open kitchen area to thank him. It's not his first place and, talking to him, it turns out that Kevin was the owner of Sammy's on Henry St (2 blocks into C.Hill from Atlantic) 10 years ago, a CH favorite and unfortunately short lived. He hired Neil Ganic (owner of Bouilliabaise and P.Crevette) to cook there for awhile and also cooked himself. Small world. This place is a gem. Just turn down the lights & fill it up. We'll be back.
Gah! Don't torture me with a mention of Peter's Ice Cream Parlor. God, how I miss their chocolate decadence and their whipped cream (not to mention that whale of a cat.)
Worst of all, they auctioned off all the fixtures when they closed. My name is Peter and I make a lot of ice cream. I *wanted* that neon sign but I was out of town and a friend who went for me didn't want to bid as high as it went (even though I totally would have in the heat of the moment.)
At least we have Blue Marble to partially make up for the loss (better ice cream, not as good a funky vibe).