REVIEW: Brooklyn Fare
I had the pleasure of dining at Brooklyn Fare on February 5th. Since photographs, note-taking, and cell phones are not allowed, this is all from memory. I think I got almost everything, but it’s certainly possible I made some mistakes. Also, I’m not entirely sure on the order, as one course often ran right into the next. If anyone else was there that night, feel free to correct.
The space was cool. For those that don’t know, the kitchen is an 18-seat horseshoe-shaped bar that surrounds the kitchen. It reminded me of Degustation or Momofuku Ko, but shinier. Everything was polished chrome, and dozens of copper cookware hung from racks above the kitchen.
On to the food.
1. Butternut squash and tangerine soup with yogurt foam. This was a great way to start the meal - smooth, creamy and tangy.
2. Fluke sashimi with pickled daikon. Foreshadowing for a lot of the meal. A lot of fish with citrus. If I’m being particularly picky, the vinegar from the pickled daikon might’ve slightly overpowered the sashimi, but it was still quite delicious.
3. Hamachi (I believe, I’m not 100% on the fish) sashimi with crispy leeks. The leeks were shredded hair-thin and deep fried. Delicious, and a great contrast in texture to the sashimi.
4. Kumamoto oyster over lemon gelee. A fine showcase for a fine oyster. Like most of the things we ate, tastes exactly like it sounds.
5. Egg (I believe it was egg, although the word used to describe it was something else, “Ovo” perhaps) with soy sauce. This was a very soft poach swimming in soy sauce. Not too salty as I might’ve expected, the was smooth, salty and delicious.
6. King salmon sashimi topped with trout roe. An excellent piece of sashimi, which contrasted nicely with the salty bursts of roe.
7. Spanish mackerel sashimi with blood orange supremes. The sweet tang of the blood orange complemented the smooth sashimi very nicely.
8. Burrata over red grapefruit gelee. This was topped with a green dressing. Possibly basil and olive oil. One of the few vegetarian dishes of the night. It was almost like a twist on a Caprese salad, all in a single spoonful. Creamy, tangy, wonderful.
9. Cod croquette with tartar sauce. The most delicate serving of fish and chips I’ve ever eaten.
10. Sea urchin with black truffle on toasted brioche. This was a tiny tower of decadence. A creamy piece of sea urchin, on top of a thin circle of black truffle, on top of a square of buttery, toasted brioche. Fantastic, and one of my favorite dishes of the night.
11. Grilled Portugese sardine on sage potato chip. Simple and delicious. One of the few dishes I’ll probably try to replicate at home. I could’ve eaten a dozen of these easily.
12. Alaskan king crab in kataifi with tzatziki. Alaskan crab made a quick stop in Greece. The kataifi was hot and crunchy, the crab was moist and flavorful, and the tzatziki did a great job of cooling it down and bringing it all together.
13.Bluefin toro sashimi with hot mustard and crispy ginger. The ginger, like the crispy leeks from earlier, was shredded hair-thin and deep fried. The heat of the mustard and the texture and flavor of the ginger balanced beautifully with the fish.
14. Langoustine croquette with saffron aioli. Another brilliantly executed croquette. Possibly served slightly too hot - I burned my tongue a bit biting into it. But the flavors were, again, dead on.
15. Grilled octopus with hearts of palm. Circles of octopus alternated with circles of palm hearts. Very pretty, and a lot of fun to eat, as they looked quite similar, but tasted quite different. The octopus was some of the finest I’ve had. Perfectly grilled, but still incredibly soft. The hearts of palm were a great pairing with it, adding a nice texture and flavor.
16. Sweet maine shrimp. I’m not sure exactly how these were served. They were swimming in a citrus (possibly lime) sauce. Another excellent sashimi/citrus combination.
That concluded the canapes, and now it was on to bread service. They had ciabatta, olive bread, and whole wheat. I sampled all three. They were good, but nothing special. Luckily, the main courses began soon, and the bread didn’t matter much at all.
17. Kampachi sashimi with radish and microgreens. This was essentially a big brother to all the sashimi dishes we had been served in the prior courses. Larger portion, more elements, but fundamentally the same, and equally delicious.
18. Sturgeon fillet topped with caviar. I’ve never had sturgeon filet before, but I certainly loved this preparation. It was soft and buttery, and the caviar went beautifully with it.
19. Black bass fillet and Alaskan king crab in veal broth. This was one of, if not the, best dishes of the night. I’ll start with the weakest part, which was the king crab - it was a meaty chunk of crab, and it was absolutely delicious. But everything else on the plate was even better. The fillet was cooked perfectly, soft and delicate. It was served skin on, and the skin was treated brilliantly - as crispy as a potato chip. To top it all off, the veal broth, which was covering the whole plate, had an almost foam-like texture, and was absolutely BURSTING with flavor. Once I finished the crab and fish, I used the bread to soak up every last bit of broth. By the time they took my plate, it looked as though it had just been washed.
20. Ricotta raviolo in a mixed mushroom truffled cream sauce with sauteed escarole and chanterelle mushrooms. The raviolo was cooked slightly past al dente, but that was my only complaint. The ricotta filling was creamy and the sauce complimented it nicely. The escarole and mushrooms were simply prepared and very tasty.
21. Wagyu beef over Parmesan-Romano cream sauce. This was a soft little square of beef - I probably could have cut it with my spoon. I usually prefer my steak without sauces so I can really taste the beef, but the cheese sauce underneath worked quite nicely.
22. Cheese course. There were three cheese, and unfortunately, I can’t remember which they were. One was served with a honeyed cracker of some kind, one was a camembert, and one was served with a jelly. They were all good.
23. Coconut ice cream, banana ice cream, passion fruit tapioca, gold leaf. Nice tropical flavors, a good palette cleanser. The gold was pretty but didn’t add much except a sense of a extravagance.
24. White chocolate tart, rum ice cream. There was also a somewhat savory fluffy cheesecake and a bitter citrus sauce. I found the flavors of the dessert to be somewhat strong compared to the rest of the meal. The citrus sauce slightly too bitter, the tart slightly too sweet. Probably my least favorite course, but after the first 23 being so spectacular, it’s hard to complain.
25. Mignardise - a chocolate truffle. I barely remember what this tasted like, but it was a good chocolate and a nice note to end on.
Overall, a fantastic meal. I can’t wait to go back.
200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
I'll second the praise for your memory. I had dinner there on Nov. 20 last year with my daughter, and the meal was just a blur afterward. However, I saved and scanned the Bill of Fare, which just listed the mains with one-ingredient identifiers. I recall there were 12 "canapes" and 9 mains, though the dessert course had two or three components on one plate.
Thanks for all the praise. I can't remember a phone number to save my life, but I seem to do ok with food. Also, I'm sure I'm missing elements of some of the dishes.
I found it to be pretty different from Ko (which I also like very much). For one, definitely more of a seafood and sashimi emphasis at Brooklyn Fare. While both restaurants draw from a lot of influences, Brooklyn Fare seemed more heavily weighted towards Japanese. (Cesar Ramirez even remarked at one point during the meal, "I LOVE Japanese food).
Ko also seems to also be more, to my taste, riskier - bolder, more experimental flavors. Brooklyn Fare seemed to be more about showcasing quality ingredients in a very subtle (but delicious) way.
Does that help?
200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201