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Brooklyn Fare

If you have not eaten or are not planning to eat at the Brooklyn Fare, you are making a huge error. Cesar Ramirez is making some of the best food the city has to offer. This may be one of if not the best dining experience in not just Brooklyn but also Manhattan. And for $90 plus tip and tax (plus BYOB), this place is a steal.

The canapes ranged from an exquisite cucumber "soda" which tasted like cucumber air, to spectacular toro tartare, flash fried frog legs, kumamoto oyster topped with oyster gelee, flash fried peekytoe crab, sardine wrapped in a potato chip, a tiny bite of perfect veal, and king crab topped with pineapple, and a few other i am now missing.

And then the mains, even better than the opening salvos. Thick slices of just dug scallops, topped with micro greens; a phenomenal crispy medai with ramps, crazy good rouge with crispy leeks, a beautiful duck ravioli in duck jus, foie gras with perfect spring peas, and a cote de boeuf topped with pan drippings on top of melted onions and next to an eggplant splash that tasted like the essense of eggplant.

And finally a rhubarb parfait, braised rhubarb under a vanilla wafer, rhubarb puree and vanilla bean whipped cream.

Together with great company (a single table of 11 in the prep kitchen a few doors down from Brooklyn Fare), fantastic wine, and an amazingly personable and engaging chef, this place should be a must on any food lover's list.

Please, go now.

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Brooklyn Fare
200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

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  1. A few questions before I go, if you don't mind, and I realize the menu will probably have changed by the time I get there,
    "just dug scallops?" I know what scallops are, but just dug? As in just dredged?
    What is medai?
    "eggplant splash?"

    Just curious.

    Thanks.

    8 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      sorry, should have said just dredged, or more accurately, just opened and still alive and then cut a little thicker than carpaccio style.

      madai is a japanese red snapper.

      the eggplant splash was i guess an eggplant puree. thicker than a babaganoush (which i probably just mangled the spelling of) and darker.

      you're right though, the menu will probably change. we were told on monday there would be a black cod dish and a lamb dish but apparently the chef was not impressed with the product he had and made a last minute substitution, probably for the better.

      1. re: jon

        Ok, thanks so much. I'm looking forward to going, I've heard very good things about the place, and have a birthday coming soon; perfect for that, I would think.

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          there have been a few prior threads here on the bklyn board about Cesar's kitchen table dinner at brooklyn fare. suffice it to say, it is one of the most memorable (and fairly-priced) dinners around. if you have a reservation, don't forget to bring your own wine. don't economize on wine: you can get your menu a day or so in advance and pair wines with individual dishes. it is difficult, however, to pair wines with individual canapes, as they tend to come out pretty quickly and each are bite-sized. so, a good white wine, such as a white burgundy, chardonnay or riesling pairs nicely with most canapes.

          if you don't have a reservation, be aware that they are booked through the summer and both the price and format will change sometime this summer.
          they expect a wine license and intend to charge around $150 per person for the meal and $95 per person for wine. Whether that kind of expense is worth the pleasure of Cesar's meal will be an individual decision.

          if you don't have a reservation, you should call and ask to be put on the waiting list. seats do open up from time to time and Heidi is very reliable about calling wait listed guests.

          1. re: famdoc

            Oh well, good to know, I figured as much, regarding the booking. I'll start saving immediately and thanks for the wine recs, also.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              according to the chef the other night, they are actually only booked through june and haven't started taking reservations yet for july. in july the space will be redone, with a horseshoe shaped 18 seat bar and nicer furnishings. and the menu will be $125/person plus $95/person for wine pairings. that said, the menu is going to be about 20-25 dishes long or so as opposed to the 15-17 dishes per night now.

              at $90/person (which it is now), it's a no brainer. at $125/person, it's a no brainer also. the food here is some of the best the city has to offer.

              1. re: jon

                I agree about the value of the meal. However, with wine and tip, you're talking about $450 per couple. That's not an insignificant amount for most of us.
                As for a menu of 20-25 items, that is excessive, in my opinion. I've been several times and we never finished the meal before 11:15, always stuffed beyond belief.

                I'm Cesar's biggest fan and consider my visits to Brooklyn Fare among my most memorable meals. I have valued the ability to bring fine wines from my cellar and share them with friends. I'm just not sure he's going to attract the same profile of diners with the $450/couple price tag.

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                Brooklyn Fare
                200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                1. re: jon

                  According the Jay Cheshes' review in Time Out NY, the price tag is now $115.
                  It was still BYO at the time of Cheshes' visit.

          2. re: jon

            "Japanese Red Snapper" is amadai. Or more correctly, Japanese for red snapper is amadai.

        2. I just went last evening and I was not impressed. Several of the amuses were quite good (although one was a horrid combination of pineapple, coconut, and beautiful king crab - why would anyone want to have pina colada with lovely crab?) - but I found all of the mains to be from just all right to bad. There were truffles shaved on top of a lovely piece of halibut, but the truffle taste never appeared and the fish was overwhelmed by a bacon-y sauce - the best thing about it was the peas (lovely fresh peas). The last entree a beautiful thin piece of prime rib was just absolutely covered in a sauce that reeked of 1980's microwave salisbury steak - when I removed the sauce completely I found a lovely piece of meat underneath.

          No one seems to mention how uncomfortable the room is - it's industrial, slightly cold, with fluorescent lights gleaming down at you - just really not a nice room. Also, backless stools for 3 hours ... And you better hope that you get a good group, because I did not. The chef was not at all engaging - he just introduced each course as a waiter would.

          I have to say there seems to be a lot of emphasis on the value of the meal for $115 - but the price point is right in line with Ko, the Spring tasting at 11 Madison, the farmer's feast at blue hill. I would recommend all of these over this experience. BYO is nice, but so is ordering $30 bottles and having it poured for you.

          1. Just got a call from Heidi who informed me that they have openings for July (I think she's reaching out to people who have requested to be put on a waitlist). She also said that the increased seating would be in place by then and that Cesar would be increasing the number of courses for a price of $135. They have applied for their liquor license but don't expect to receive it until late summer / early fall and therefore it's still BYOB.

            my first experience with BF was wonderful. If I have a similar experience at $135 (vs. $95 per person when I first went) then I will still consider it a good meal at a reasonable price given that it's BYOB. If the price increases further and there is an optional wine pairing (but no more free BYOB) then it changes the value proposition altogether and I'm afraid that, from a price point perspective, BF will be compared against EMP, Per Se and some of the other fine dining establishments in NY. Given the "room" and overall dining experience, I don't think this comparison falls in BF's favor. They should really stick to doing something that is more price appropriate given location, decor and food. Moreover, they don't need to keep a full staff or incur the same overhead as a normal restaurant so it would seem unecessary to hike prices to NYC levels.

            2 Replies
            1. re: chewbie

              Thanks for the update. Certainly the price is fair, particularly with the BYO still in place.
              By the way, on two of our three visits, we requested a cheese course, which was gladly provided for an additional $10 pp. Highly recommend others consider this.
              Chewbie, I agree with your price/value assessment. But, let's not sell short the effort Cesar and his staff expend on the experience and the quality of the ingredients.
              I look forward to one more visit, perhaps giving my kids the chance to experience the evening at BF with us.

              1. re: famdoc

                Heidi made a point of saying that for $135 a cheese course will be included.

                I wasn't trying to minimize the experience that Cesar and his staff provides in any way. In fact, I am a huge fan of the semi-educational, Q&A format. Cesar is clearly intent on making sure that his diners have a great experience and is keenly interested in feedback. My point was simply that no matter how you slice it, it just doesn't cost as much to run BF as it does some of the restaurants that it will invariably be compared to if/when they increase the price and remove the free BYOB option.

            2. is this a fair comparison to Ko? sounds like it'd be just as good, but less stressful the reservations; anyone been to both?

              just saw this:
              http://www.gq.com/blogs/the-q/2010/01...

              8 Replies
              1. re: bigjeff

                I can't compare as I haven't been to Ko, but the reservations are very difficult to come by. At least on short (read: under 3 months) notice.

                1. re: bigjeff

                  i've been to both. brooklyn fare is better and more congenial. plus the chef isn't a dick like the ones at ko. don't get me wrong, the food at ko is good, but not as good as at brooklyn fare and certainly not as fun of an experience. at ko, there was very little talking between diners and absolutely no interaction with the chefs. completely opposite at brooklyn fare.

                  1. re: jon

                    BF was very congenial. By the time the third amuse had arrived, we were sharing wines with the rest of the table. Good stuff.

                    1. re: chewbie

                      this place was awful. not only was the price exorbitant but the chef was extremely rude. If i am paying 115++ for your unoriginal and uninspired tasting menu (that by the way left my husband hungry enough for a slice of pizza on the way home) then the least you could do would be cordial. the chef was extremely condescending and obnoxious. i could give specific examples but there are too many. i'm sorry dude, but take your ego elsewhere. i've been to mokofuku ko and it blows this place away. for 10 dollars more you can get the tasting menu at Bouley where the environment and service far surpass Brooklyn Fare. In short i really would say to save your money and go elsewhere. the hype on this place is misplaced.

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                      Brooklyn Fare
                      200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                      1. re: DRLCH14

                        Definitely sounds like your experience was an outlier. Cesar was far from condescending/obnoxious and spent time after the meal chatting with diners, telling us about his experiences and future plans for the place. And the food was some of the best I've had in NYC but I guess that's a more subjective matter. Again, can't speak to Momofuku as I haven't been but was very happy at BF.

                        1. re: chewbie

                          @chewbie- I don't think mine was an outlier experience. If you see the review for Cody2 above (which I wish I would have seen before I wasted $115++) it seems this is recurring. it's mediocre food served on fancy plates designed to make you feel like you are taking part in something exclusive. however, anyone who spends money or their time here is wasting it.

                          1. re: DRLCH14

                            fair enough. i'm just saying that i didn't have that experience. quite the opposite in fact and i've eaten at all of the other restos that cody2 listed. i can't speak to anyone else's palate or preferences, nor am i a food critic, but i personally enjoyed it a great deal.

                            i do agree that when you get into the conversation about value, it becomes muddled. i paid 95 when i went and i counted 21 different amuses/plates in total. of those, i probably thought 2 were just "good" and the others were "exceptional." as someone who has a decent wine collection, i'd rather bring my own and pair vs. paying inflated prices if i'm given the option. as i've stated in another post, the overall decor, small staff and communal dining table should warrant a discount to the city's other premier restos. however, i can't ignore the sheer number of courses (all of of which i enjoyed to varying degrees) when evaluating one against the other. i think a good comparison for BF is degustation (which i also enjoyed a great deal). again, it goes back to personal taste as BF is more seafood-focused and i felt that the interaction with the chef and his staff was more intimate (a good thing for us).

                            1. re: chewbie

                              Oh that's such an odd comparison to me personally as I just adore Degustation (and it's cheaper) - I take friends there for their birthday - they place is lovely and warm (an amazing contrast from Jewel Bako). I get to Spanish the whole time (which is really funny because I've never heard one member of the staff actually say Degustacion). I was sat late once and they gave me a bottle of Cava on the house. I've never heard anyone ever say anything bad about that place. But, BF - I hear people say that they like it - but I just really don't get it at all.

                              They were quite rude to me too at BF...

                              I've been 3 times to Ko - I don't think the ressy's are really that hard to get. One chef at Ko did not seem happy to interact with the public, but we were chatting up the rest.

                2. Is it still byob? I can't seem to find any mention of an update on this in recent months.

                  16 Replies
                  1. re: mari mac

                    According to today's grubstreet, Brooklyn Fare has not yet received its wine license.
                    You can confirm this by calling their reservationist.

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                    Brooklyn Fare
                    200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                    1. re: mari mac

                      According to the website, they're still BYOB. My understanding from my last visit was that the tasting menu would cost around the same and that there would be an optional wine pairing available. I don't think that's in place yet.

                      1. re: chewbie

                        I'm going in a couple of weeks. Brooklyn Fare is still BYOB, the price is now $165 for about 20 courses. I'm pretty excited...

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                        Brooklyn Fare
                        200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                        1. re: fm1963

                          I went about a month ago. It's pretty amazing. the amount of detail that goes into each dish is remarkable. Without being overtly Japanese, it reminded me a lot of the time I had an omakase dinner at Soto a couple of years ago.

                          1. re: egit

                            Wow you're right, Brooklyn Fare was amazing. The parade of seafood canapes was extraordinarily inventive and delicious. The composed plates were all seafood as well, with just one meat dish (lamb), as well as cheese, sorbet and dessert, all of which were great.

                            Ramirez is such a nice guy, so dedicated to his craft, and he made it a point to converse with each diner. He mentioned that the restaurant might be getting a liquor license soon. Personally, I thought Brooklyn Fare was a lot more refined than Momofuku Ko. I'll definitely return soon.

                            -----
                            Brooklyn Fare
                            200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                            1. re: fm1963

                              Glad you enjoyed it. They've been threatening to get a liquor license for quite some time now. I'll believe it when I see it, honestly. For their sake I hope they do because they'll be more profitable.

                              My take on Chef Ramirez, and his possibly mercurial nature may be controversial. I also really liked him, and he spent probably 10-15 minutes after our dinner talking with DGF and me. I think what makes him "tick," what gets him out of bed in the morning to do this, is the Adulation. He's plying his craft which he's trying to elevate to an art form (is food ever art? an open question, i suppose). He wants you to pay attention to what he's doing. What I think makes him angry is when he has boorish, drunken buffoons who spend a lot of time chatting, laughing, talking on the cell phone, taking pictures, taking notes... essentially *not paying attention*.

                              I think what he wants is for his diners (his audience) to appreciate what he's doing. It would be like Horowitz strolling into a local piano lounge and ripping into some Rachmaninoff. He'd expect you to pay attention. He'd be annoyed if you didn't.

                              1. re: egit

                                Jeez, if Horowitz strolled into my local piano lounge, I'd do more than pay attention...I'd start praying.

                                The liquor license is definitely in the works. The young woman who is involved in serving is an experienced sommelier. No doubt, she'll be the wine person when the license arrives. There had been some mention of the price of a wine-pairing being an additional $95 or more per person during a discussion a few months ago. That would make the experience $600 per couple, including tax and tip. You can draw your own conclusions about the impact of that price on most diners. I've been a faithful customer, but could not continue to enjoy the BF experience at that price. Hopefully, a nominal corkage fee might be instituted for those who still wish to bring their own wine.

                                As I've said before, I've never seen anything but professional behavior from the chef and his staff. He was tolerant of, and seemed to enjoyed, some good humor from some of my friends during a visit last year. I agree: if you want to behave like you're in a bar or a strip joint, go to a bar or a strip joint. The BF experience merits a different demeanor than those type of places.

                                1. re: famdoc

                                  My guess is that the limit of 18 diners has largely to do with the arcane NYS liquor laws which legally allow BYOB in restaurants with less than 19 seats. If they get a license, they may also add another half dozen diners per evening which would also add to their profits.

                                  1. re: famdoc

                                    Brooklyn Fare just earned three stars from Sifton. Congrats to Ramirez and his team. Very well deserved! The food is simply astonishing and I'm looking forward to returning soon.

                                    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/din...

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                                    Brooklyn Fare
                                    200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                      1. re: peter j

                                        I called for a reservation yesterday morning and had no luck. I guess getting a reservation just got a lot harder.

                                        1. re: peter j

                                          I also had a great dinner at Brooklyn Fare and am happy that Cesar Ramirez got such a wonderful review.

                                          The price will go up to $185 in June, a fair increase of $20 given the quality of the food, but I think that Brooklyn Fare is now among the three most expensive restaurants in the NYC area, along with Masa and Per Se?

                                          http://ny.eater.com/archives/2011/04/...

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                                          Brooklyn Fare
                                          200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                          1. re: H Manning

                                            I was going to say Momofuku Ko is up there and then I went to look. It's $125 for dinner... and $175(!) for lunch! They say it's a 2 hour dinner and a 3 hour lunch so I suppose they serve you more at lunch.

                                            1. re: Peter

                                              Yes, lunch at Ko is 16 courses for $175, and lasts about 3 hours. Dinner at Ko is 10 courses for $125, and lasts about 2 hours.

                                            2. re: H Manning

                                              With the price increase, Brooklyn Fare isn't quite a clear cut #3, but it's in a nice little group. It's price peers:

                                              Daniel's 8-course tasting is $205
                                              Rosanjin has a $200 Kaiseki menu.
                                              L'Atelier's tasting menu is ~ $190.
                                              Le Bernadin's Chef's tasting is $190
                                              Momofuku Ko lunch is $175

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                                              Brooklyn Fare
                                              200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                              1. re: deepfry7

                                                Looks like a lot of restaurants increased their prices recently. Eleven Madison Park now charges $195 for their tasting menu.

                                                Then again. there's the $2,000 ten course meal prepared by Mario Batali and Masa Takayama to benefit the Japanese relief efforts on May 23.

                                                I've never been to Masa, but am I wrong in thinking that Brooklyn Fare is a less expensive, more fusion-y version of the same concept?

                                                -----
                                                Brooklyn Fare
                                                200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                            2. What is the dress code? My confirmation email said: "Dress code: Business Casual" but I was under the impression that nice jeans would not be out of place?

                              17 Replies
                              1. re: H Manning

                                I wore nice jeans with a somewhat dressy top and think that everybody else was dressed similarly.

                                1. re: H Manning

                                  nice jeans would be totally appropriate.

                                  1. re: chewbie

                                    Great, thanks mari mac and chewbie.

                                  2. re: H Manning

                                    Keep in mind the room itself isn't very fancy. So it's not like going to EMP, Daniel or something like that where you'd feel like a schlub if you were grossly under dressed. But yeah, as long as you look reasonably well dressed they're not going to kick you out. Nice jeans and a decent shirt are absolutely fine.

                                    1. re: egit

                                      I'd like to revive this thread long enough to say that Chef Ramirez' kitchen table dinner at Brooklyn Fare remains a superb dining experience. Back for my sixth visit in the nearly two years since he opened, I again left full, intensely satisfied and impressed with the command Cesar has over his ingredients. He continues to source some of the finest fish from around the world, sparing no expense. Some of the canapes from previous visits remain on the menu: an oyster, this time in a Granny Smith apple gelee, the sardine/potato "chip", , the madai (Japanese snapper), the soy skin, the soup that starts the meal (this was a butternut squash/yogurt soup). A few new discoveries included salmon roe over a creamy foam over salmon, a simply prepared rouget and the scallop. I lost count, but I think we had 18 canapes, 7 mains, sorbet, cheese and dessert. The only weakness was the cheese: a thin slice of a non-descript cheese covered in salad. I might suggest they instead present a small piece each of a cow's, goat's and sheep's milk cheese without salad.

                                      The experience remains one to be enjoyed with friends and loved ones, although social barriers often break down early in the evening and you will find yourself chatting with your fellow food and wine lovers, exchanging impressions and, perhaps, phone numbers and email addresses.

                                      There are three seatings on Friday and Saturday: 7 PM, 7:45 PM and 10 PM. I think, if you have a choice, the 7:45 is preferable, as you would like just a few more minutes to digest, compare mental notes with fellow diners and toast the chef before being asked to make room for the 10 PM diners.

                                      The wine license, as of this writing, remains about 4 weeks away. Certainly, the price of the meal with wine pairings may put The Chef's Kitchen at Brooklyn Fare into another stratosphere, one which will be out of reach for many of us. Perhaps they will have a favorable corkage policy, allowing guests to bring their own, but pay a nominal fee for the privilege.

                                      So much has been written and said about BF. I'll just say what Sifton said at the conclusion of his review, quoting another diner at one of his visits: “It’s best if you let it just happen to you.”

                                      -----
                                      Brooklyn Fare
                                      200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                      1. re: famdoc

                                        Since you are such a devoted and passionate fan, you might know the answer to my question: does the chef accommodate requests such as "no mammals" (e.g., seafood and poultry is ok)? It seems that I have secured a reservation (didn't see any confirmation yet, was told that I will receive it 2 weeks prior - is that a regular policy?) but after 45 minutes of non-stop redialing and then a long time on hold when it seemed like the call was dropped, I was too unnerved to ask...
                                        Is 4 weeks for wine license definite or could be more? I don't want to think what the price tag for wine pairings will be... keeping the fingers crossed for the BYOB...

                                        Thanks in advance!

                                        1. re: bkbk1969

                                          You can request not to be served meat. You will end up (like me, by the way) with 22 seafood dishes. A delightful prospect.

                                          Confirm your reservation by calling on a non-Monday and speaking with the reservationist, who is a very nice young man and won't be annoyed by your call.

                                          The four-week estimate until wine license comes through has been given before.
                                          But, it seems to be a more likely prospect than in the past. They've indicated that the wine pairing will be $95 per person in additional to the $185 for the dinner.

                                          Keep us informed of your experience.

                                          1. re: famdoc

                                            Thank you for your response! I'll call to confirm. Do you think this very nice man will get annoyed if I start asking about no meat, etc.? When I asked this question over the e-mail, after being told "feel free to ask any questions", I received NO response... I also read in several reviews that diners with dietary limitations were not served... maybe an exaggeration... but it appears that the chef gets easily offended "because he takes food seriously" if something is not his way (e.g., "Madam you have to eat it in one bite")...
                                            So, on one hand, I don't want to come across as too difficult in advance. On the other hand, my dining companion can easily forgo a few meat dishes and still eat poultry but I don't want any scenes during dinner: it's a special occasion and it would be extremely unpleasant to be reprimanded during dinner...

                                            1. re: bkbk1969

                                              Don't sweat it. Call the reservationist, confirm your reservation, inform him of your dietary preferences and enjoy the experience.

                                        2. re: famdoc

                                          I'm really happy to read this as BF is one of my favorite places and I've been plotting a return visit. Just had the chance to visit ko this past weekend and would put them on par with one another. Where BF is very seafood / raw focused, ko leans more toward cooked non seafood / meat dishes. This may be a differentiator for some. On the subject of price, my wife and I did lunch and had a total of 3 glasses of wine for a total (incl tip) of about 550. Excellent meal!

                                          1. re: chewbie

                                            $550 for lunch for two? I feel an Occupy Ko movement in the offing.

                                            1. re: famdoc

                                              Wow, I've been to BF about 4 times, but they had a BYOB wine policy. Sorry to hear they serve wine now. The price also went up substantially. I guess 3 Michelin stars will raise the price anywhere

                                              1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                Check with reservationist, but I think they're still BYO. Wine license anticipated soon, but don't think it's reality yet.

                                                1. re: famdoc

                                                  They've been expecting their wine license "soon" for about a year. When we were there back in February it was supposed to be "in a couple of weeks." I'm not sure what the holdup is, but hopefully the hold off until my next visit! (as yet unplanned).

                                                  1. re: egit

                                                    Amen! Lots of us feel the same way. With an intended price of $95 pp. for wine pairing, this would go from an expensive (but clearly worth every penny) meal to one that can only be enjoyed by those with $650 to spend per couple.

                                                    The other wish I have is that they allow BYO with a small corkage fee (say, $10 per bottle).

                                                    In any case, as the Times review said, they have hired a wine professional who is acting as a head server now and is forced to nod her head in tacit approval of everyone's wine choice, even when they bring in plonk or poorly-matched wines.

                                                    1. re: famdoc

                                                      That wine professional does let you know when she really likes the wine. I always offer her and Cesar some wine. I usually bring very fine wine there.

                                                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                        Before we went we actually called the restaurant for recommended wines. The funny thing is when we went into the nearby store (Brooklyn Wine Exchange on Court St) they knew exactly what the story was. I guess a lot of people do that.

                                      1. re: Riverman500

                                        Any tips on calling to get a reservation? I've tried twice and haven't been able to get through. How long should you hit redial for?

                                        1. re: secondbecky

                                          If you can't get through on a Monday, call on another day and put your name on the cancellation list. Cancellations do occur.

                                          1. re: famdoc

                                            EaterNY reports that the price increases to $225 on 1/1/12.
                                            BYO ends 1/12.

                                            http://gothamist.com/2011/12/21/five_...

                                            1. re: famdoc

                                              Ryan Sutton reports that once The Chef's Table begins wine service, they will still allow BYO with an as-yet-undetermined corkage fee. Thank god.

                                              http://thepricehike.com/post/14619256...

                                              1. re: famdoc

                                                That's an obscene amount of money for a meal there. Plus you won't be able to bring your own wine. So now you are talking French Laundry prices, and this is not even close to the French Laundry experience. I guess I will pray that my favorite restaurants never get Michelin stars, it seems to double the price. You used to need tables, table cloths, good service, ambiance, and great food to get Michelin stars. So sad.

                                                1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                  I've only been there once, and I really did love it. One of the things Cesar said was he appreciated the fact that "locals" were coming to Brooklyn Fare, and not just fancy-pants Manhattanites. I think he was mostly just BS-ing, and I don't think he *really* cares that much where his customers live. But certainly what he does appreciate is when people enjoy their meals, appreciate the food and the amount of skill and work that goes into it.

                                                  Sadly, with the popularity, the price increase, and now the inevitable extra expense of the wine, I'm quite sure it will be a long time before I will be able to go back there. Any meal that's far north of $600 for two is a once a year indulgence for us, at the very most.

                                                  1. re: egit

                                                    Agree with you completely.
                                                    Let's just hope the corkage fee isn't excessive. I can see a once-a-year visit if I can still bring wines from my cellar and not spend a fortune on corkage.

                                        2. Looks like they're opening a new restaurant and supermarket on the west side of Manhattan: http://gothamist.com/2012/03/10/brook...

                                          1. Would love to eat at Brooklyn Fare... unfortunately I'm from out of town and when I travel on business I always dine solo. Found out today (the hard way, unfortunately, after 35 minutes of calling and finally getting through - could have avoided this by examining this board a little more closely, but live and learn) that solo dining at BF is not possible, and for me paying upfront and then trying to find a dining companion is too much of a hassle. They had a 2-top on the exact night and time I wanted too... aargh...

                                            11 Replies
                                            1. re: gourmandish

                                              I suggest you just show up at Bklyn Fare. I have eaten there solo. Sometimes parties of 3 or 4 have one cancellation the last minute. There are no 2 tops, or 4 tops, its a counter with seats all around it. No tables. You can catch a break and get in if you try.

                                              1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                It's silly for restaurants to not permit solo dining. Even one of my favorite restaurants, Momofuku Ko, permits solo dining. Since it's counter seating anyway it's not like they'd be left with a half-filled table and lose the revenue.

                                                1. re: ellenost

                                                  I agree that it's silly. I guess their rationale is they want to be sure the fill ALL seats every night. If they have 8 couples and ONE singleton, then they have an empty seat if they don't find another single.

                                                  I ate at Ko as a single not long after they opened. And there was another solo sitting next to me. I can't imagine it's that hard to fill a solo seat at BF.

                                              2. re: gourmandish

                                                I agree that the rules BF has about the size of parties belies reason. I have tried to book for three or five and been refused.

                                                You have a few options. I would NEVER suggest, as foodwhisperer has, to simply show up. One option is to call Joel, the reservationist, on a non-reservation day (ie, NOT a Monday) and explain your situation. He may be able to help you. The other option is to book for two and then come back here and offer the second seat to a fellow chowhound. Several people have successfully visited BF this way, most recently a young man who used Yelp to find a dining partner.

                                                1. re: famdoc

                                                  While I fully understand and appreciate the reasoning when looking at the policies of Next as an example, it does not translate to a restaurant without seating at traditional 2 or 4 top tables. I frequently dine alone in NY and I suppose was lucky that I was able to do this at BF early on.

                                                  1. re: famdoc

                                                    I seriously thought about taking the reservation for two... I was reluctant due to having to pay upfront, though surely there are people on this board who would jump at the chance to eat there. In the end, I decided that there were too many other restaurants in the New York area that I wanted to try to bother jumping through hoops (it's been a few years since I last visited).

                                                    Thanks for the advice famdoc, will try to call and see what happens.

                                                    1. re: gourmandish

                                                      @gourmandish: A meal at BF is certainly one of the most unique and pleasant meals you're ever likely to have. I hope you have an opportunity to eat there in the future.

                                                    2. re: famdoc

                                                      If I have to call , I call Heidi the owner's wife. I have booked 4 people , 6 people, 2 people, and showed up by myself. I didn;t think there was a set number that was allowed. But perhaps even numbers is what they want. But sometimes a foursome loses one of the people, and a single does open.

                                                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                        Any chance you want to share Heidi's number? ;-)

                                                        1. re: Peter

                                                          Heidi hasn't handled reservations in nearly a year. It's now Joel. You can reach him at the number on BF's web site.

                                                          1. re: famdoc

                                                            She handles reservations for people that know her.

                                                  2. Updating the prices (this is probably the most useful thread, even though started in 2010).

                                                    Now $225 per person plus tax plus 20% gratuity - charged 1 week in advance.

                                                    Wine pairing is $150 (++) per person, and if chosen MUST apply to all members of the reservation.

                                                    Corkage is $70 (++) per bottle and bottle cannot be on winelist - probably not an issue as winelist is not that extensive (by similar price-point restaurant comparison).

                                                    Wines by the glass are very limited.

                                                    9 Replies
                                                    1. re: estufarian

                                                      Thanks for the update, estufarian. Last I heard, wines were available by the bottle and not by the glass, nor had I heard about the wine pairing. Do you recall any of the wines on the list and their approximate price? Also, corkage was $50 ($100 for a magnum) last time I inquired, so that's a price hike. Seems fairly unwise to bring a bottle, unless it's a DRC or similar special bottle.

                                                      So, it seems as if the minimum cost per couple is $750 now.

                                                      1. re: famdoc

                                                        I was disappointed with the winelist (available online)

                                                        http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0148...

                                                        Wines by the glass were 'not cheap' - around $35 for a Burgundy from 2010. And not particularly large list either.

                                                        I did notice that, the night we were there, NOBODY ordered the pairings option! My thoughts were that, unless this is just a selection from the 'by-the-glass' list - then one is possibly getting 'leftovers' from the previous night - this is just speculation, not knowledge! Certainly I don't see them going through 4-6 servings of each on a single night, so I feel it fair to speculate on what happens to the unused wine.

                                                        If I were to return I would definitely bring my own wine - the list just isn't up to 3* standard (IMO). But at current prices I think there are alternatives in NYC that are better value (I have no problem with the quality of their ingredients - just question the value of the whole experience) - For example I would be more likely to choose both Momofuku Ko and Atera over Brooklyn Fare (both have similar formats i.e. counter seating) - and are an equally difficult reservation!

                                                        1. re: estufarian

                                                          This makes me feel much better since I frequently (okay not so frequent this year) dine at Ko, and have a reservation for Atera in a few weeks. Do not understand why Brooklyn Fare doesn't permit solo dining, and why (if I did my math correctly) they are charging almost Per Se prices without the Per Se luxuries.

                                                          1. re: ellenost

                                                            Please try the beverage pairing at Atera - it's sensational!
                                                            And I was also disappointed with wine pairings at Per Se!
                                                            IIRC last time at Per Se the corkage was $90) - and that was a bargain considering their typical markups!

                                                            1. re: estufarian

                                                              Thanks for the recommendation about the wine pairings, but I generally find that there is too much wine for me with pairings. I usually order a half bottle of wine instead. I studied Atera's wine list, and they have a number of half bottles that interest me.

                                                          2. re: estufarian

                                                            Wow! They've certainly come a long way from the early $59 per person prix-fixe BYO.
                                                            That's a fascinating wine list. On first glance, it is very similar to many other 3* wine lists, although heavily weighted towards Champagne, Burgundy and Rhone, with a smattering of Germany mixed in. The mark-up is a fairly standard 300%. There's a DRC on the list for $1000. The familiar Chateauneufs are there as are many familiar Burgundy vineyards. Sure would like to see some small-production wines or little-known surprises mixed in.

                                                            My impression, based upon my several pre-wine list visits, is that you would need to have studied the wine list before you visit. Once the first plate hits the table, the subsequent courses come pretty fast. If you hope to wine pair say a champagne early in the meal, a chablis mid-meal, a red burgundy late in the meal and a sweet wine with cheese and dessert, you'll be drinking and eating rather fast. Accordingly, I might agree with your idea of paying the corkage and bringing my own. I'm sure Michelle has had to bring on additional wine professionals to take wine orders, pull bottles, uncork and serve.

                                                            As I've said (perhaps too many times before), my meals at Brooklyn Fare were among the most memorable of my life, the current price, plus the cost of wine, just puts another visit out of my reach, until I win the lottery or make a rich new friend.

                                                            1. re: famdoc

                                                              has anyone compared the experience back when it was under $100 to now? is there more that they're doing to merit the price tag, or do we have the exponentially heightened demand to thank for the price hike?

                                                              i'm so sad i had missed the boat when they were cheaper and easier to book. i'd been trying to get a table back when i could email Heidi directly - but i was traveling a lot and was never in town when they had openings.

                                                              1. re: waxyjax

                                                                The number of courses has increased exponentially. My last visit was in November, when the price was $185 and it was still BYO, but I had 22 courses.
                                                                More recent visitors have reported on a whole fish entree...don't know whether that's a regular feature or was a one-time deal.

                                                                1. re: waxyjax

                                                                  I went to Brooklyn Fare when the price was about $160. There were about 18 courses then. I thought the food was fantastic.