Review of Pardes In Brooklyn
Went there over the weekend as we happened to be in Brooklyn and this restaurant was suggested on another thread as a more innovative place. They don't seem to have a website where the menu is posted (although they are on facebook) so i'll provide some info. The menu had a few categories, vegetable appetizers, fish appetizers, meat appetizers, fish entrees, meat entrees and desserts. The menu reads like an upscale non-kosher place where you don't know what half the stuff is i.e. marinated boquerones with red pepper, caper berries, arugula, lemon dressing. Apparently boqueroes is a kind of anchovy.
Anyway, we had the following-
Fries with home made ketchup and mayo- chopped garlic and parsley were sprinkled on them- these were very good.
Salt Cod Crab cake- came with guacamole and tartar sauce- your basic fish cake, kind of greasy and too mushy on the inside. nothing special.
Arugula Salad with Beets- This salad was great. We ordered it as a throw away just to have some salad- but it was a big hit. there was chopped black olive in the dressing and the beets were perfectly cooked. it worked beautifully.
Fried Smelt- I think they were smelt, they were small fish, battered and deep fried. These were good except the sauce looked like thousand island dressing and was too sweet. This needed a lemon/olive type dressing to counterbalance the oiliness of the fish.
Chicken Milanese- This was dissapointing. It was fried chicken fingers topped with some sort of smoked veal (I guess to sub for pancetta) and a tomato arugala salad. The biggest problem with this dish was the sauce on the bottom. Again, it was a thousand island type sauce that was too sweet. A nice savory sauce would have brought all of the elements together and made it more than the sum of its parts but the weet sauce just ruined it.
Brisket Sandwich- Best brisket I have ever had hands down. Even better than non-kosher. It was smoky, fatty, black peppery, every bite was amazing. We discarded the bread which was very hard crusted and then too soft white in the middle. This came with fries. I think if this came more like a southern plate, with a few slices of brisket, mashed potatoes and gravy and some corn- this would be a dish worth travelling for.
Olive Oil Cake, lavendar ice cream and chocolate mousse. The olive oil cake was a total disaster. Unbelievably dry and tasteless. We didn't touch it after the first bite. The chocolate mousse was good. Lavender ice cream was ok.
Pistachio french toast- 2 pieces of french toast with some sort of pistachio flavored jam in the middle. Good, but I can make this at home. The ice cream that came with this was very strange - I think it was fruitcake flavored-it had those little jellies in it. There was also some chopped banana with fresh mint and some sort of lemon on it. That was the best part of the dessert, that banana was amazing.
The portions were a good size and the prices were also good. All of the above came out to about $110. The service was also very good. We were the only ones in there but they were very attentive and especially nice.
I will definitely go back next time I have a special occassion. If I lived closer I would go way more often. Its a very nice break from, shawarma, pizza, chinese food.
After the good write-ups here, we took a drive to Brooklyn to have dinner at Pardes today, and were suitably impressed. We had the following:
Sunchoke Salad, with Fuji Apple, Arugula, Meyer Lemon Vanilla Vinagrette, and Pistachios--I'm not much of a salad person, but the variety of flavors was really nice in this salad. You could really taste the vanilla and lemon in the dressing, which was very tasty on the sunchokes, apples, etc.
Cauliflower-Porcini Mushroom Soup--Creamy, smoky, quite tasty.
Brisket Sandwich--Like azna29 above, I might have preferred this plated rather than in sandwich form, but the meat was very tasty, and it came with a ton of fries, homemade ketchup, and some kind of mayo.
Spring Chicken and Waffle--a very interesting plate of one piece of roast chicken and three pieces of fried chicken, in gravy, stacked--very high--on a waffle, with a swipe of pea puree on the plate.
Fried Apple Pie with Butternut Squash Ice Cream--The ice cream was amazing, the apple pie was diced apples in a closed filo dough crust, which may have been fried, but not greasy or oily like I might have expected something fried to be. It was accompanied by diced fresh (raw) apples.
The Elvis Breakfast--more flavors than you can imagine here: waffles, bananas, peanut sauce, blueberry sauce, "bacon" ice cream.
I was in the ladies' room when the server brought the dessert menu and made recommendations to my husband. He (the hubby) said these two were among the three (of the five desserts on the menu) that she highly recommended. I, myself, might have chosen the lemon meringue pie or chestnut soup, two of the remaining three desserts listed, but we usually take servers' recommendations seriously, and have generally been pretty satisfied. In this case, I have minor regrets about not doing the lemon meringue pie, but what we had wasn't bad, just not amazing.
All in all, I was very impressed with the food, a bit less so with the desserts. The portions were very reasonably sized, but not huge, and the prices were good.
The place was close to empty when we arrived, but it was early. By the time we left, at about 7:30, there was not a seat to be had (well I guess our two were, as soon as we walked out). The servers were helpful and pleasant, and in all, we had a very good time. I look forward to going again, and trying some other dishes.
Finally had a chance to try this place tonight, and it was excellent! I had seen some reviews but it wasn't until I noticed that Moshe Wendell, who used to cook at Mosaica in NJ, was the chef that we finally had incentive to drive to Brooklyn. We are big fans and were regulars at Mosaica before we moved to Manhattan, and he did not disappoint with this new venture!
The menu is innovative, with a nice mix of small plates and larger entrees. We started with beef tartare and the porcini cauliflower soup, both were delicious. The hostess stopped by our table to let us know there was a special beer that had been ordered to match the tartare; I am generally not a beer fan and neither is hubby but we both thought it was very complimentary. We also had the cured olives. In our Mosaica days, the olives were served warm, which I loved. These were room temperature but still very good.
For the main, we had the sea bass (listed as loup de mer on the menu) and the meat pizza, which we saw some tables have as an appeteizer for two. The meat pizza was different than anything I ever had; fresh basil, incredibly flavorful roasted tomatoes, and shredded beef on thin crusted pizza. The sea bass was delicious as well; the crepe that accompanied it had mushrooms, cocoa, and I don't recall what else in it and balanced the fish perfectly.
We were too full for dessert...the portions were good - similar to the original reviewer, we were full but did not need to take home any leftovers.
A few other points - decor is similar to Mosaica; nice but not overly formal. Service is friendly. Our one mistake was not making a reservation, as there was a 30 minute wait for a table. However, I did notice that those with reservations were being seated, so that's the way to go. For those of you in Manhattan - this is right near the Manhattan bridge so not a very far trip. It took us only ten minutes from downtown Manhattan.
Definitely plan on going back again soon, and will post again as I'm sure we'll try some different things.