Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >
Oct 7, 2012 05:27 PM

The Pines

Ate The Pines tonight, thought it was spectacular. We had a group and got almost everything on the menu. Standouts were the prosciutto, jicama (this was crazy good, just chunks of jicama in a light coconut dressing with some crispy pancetta), pici with trotter ragu, pork shoulder and the short rib. Desserts were good too.

Anyone else been?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Just wondering, how can jicama be crazy good? It has no flavor, just crunch. The dressing and pancetta must have been what put it over the top.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Sluggo1407

      Yeah, somehow the jicama dish as a whole was more than the sum of its parts. Everyone at the table thought it was amazing. The "lettuce" dish was also delicious. I think many of the chef's dishes appear deceptively simple, but a lot of care and thought and technique goes into his preparations.

      1. re: Sluggo1407

        I absolutely agree... The ingredients seem simple, but behind the scenes are absolutely complex. The understanding of hitting all the flavor notes is incredible. I can't say enough good things about The Pines and the chef, it's crazy good. And... My favorites aren't even listed above.

        1. re: Sluggo1407

          im with you Sluggo, how can jicama be crazy good. On yelp they say the lettuce is amazing and it's worth paying for the bread. Sounds stupid. I was thinking of going tonite, figure the snow will keep people away. But I dont see anything on the menu that lures me in. Hmmm maybe Apples,,,yeah apples sounds like an amazing meal <cough>

        2. Ate on Thursday night.
          Great restaurant! Plan to go back plenty.
          Delicious food, great value, nice servers, plenty of atmosphere that works. Menu is interesting, highlights unusual items that turn out great (cherry husk? delish). Pretty plating is an unexpected bonus. Backyard space looks nice too (cold & rainy when I went). Neighborhood feels totally remote but is actually only an avenue away from Park Slope.

          We had jicama and the headcheese (delish) to start. Had geoduck, pork shoulder (could not be cooked more perfectly, slow roast 24 hours or something), and the apple dish. All great, interesting, wondering what they did it or how they did it.

          We spent $50 pp before tax & tip; cannot beat that; in NYC $80 pp for crap is normal. If you are seeking a good meal somewhere in Brooklyn, this is a top contender. I guess the chef was the chef at Masten Lake, which I understand people liked and I meant to go but never did.

          Wife likens it to Isa when it first opened. I think the food is much better here.
          Perfect place for a date. Worth a trip from Manhattan.

          1. How big a place is this? Do they take reservations and should I make some if I'm going?

            4 Replies
              1. re: egit

                Pan: I don't think there is a big line. Call them or try it.
                egit: Funny to take a pic of the space that is washed out and in bright daylight. Think the space was intended to be seen at night, its dark & atmospheric.

                Article does mention "funky" wines. Wife's dolcetto was fine. I got the grenache, it was very "funky", the server recognized that and offered to swap it. I stuck it out. I won't be getting that grenache again but others may like it. I respect that they'll take chances with their wine list.

                1. re: egit

                  Thanks for the link. I thought it was The Pines in the Bronx, which is a good family style "red sauce:" place. Interesting they called it by the same name ,,but i see this one is in Brooklyn and sounds fantastic

                2. re: Pan

                  Went again last night (a Thursday night) and there were plenty of open tables. Had the oxtail agnolotti in crab brodo topped with a little buddha's hand zest. So awesome. They have a cocktail menu now too, haven't tried those yet. Had a glass of the dolcetto which was excellent.

                3. 2nd visit. Bit of a reality check.
                  Went on Friday around 9 pm. Crowded w a fashiony crowd, which I'll say is a good thing. Fun vibe, chef and staff seemed to be enjoying themselves too.

                  Food-wise, apps great again.
                  Lettuce w guanciale, dill, egg yolk (made into a light cream in the shape of a yolk), $12. Light, tasty.
                  Sweet potato w buttermilk, mini-anchovy instead of tobiko, $14. Very tasty.

                  Entrees - not as good as the apps or other entrees we've had
                  Pici w trotter ragu, $18. Wife said pasta was overworked so gummy and heavy. She's eaten at quite a few of Milan's best restos. Sauce was ok.
                  Tilefish w maitake, $26. Fish was salty and kind of fishy. Maitake was too salty.

                  Will return for more.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: tkny123

                    ive had his pici with trotter ragu when he was cooking it at masten lake. felt the same...very gummy and the ragu was quite weak and boring.

                    ive been meaning to try the pines but havent found myself in the area yet. i loved his duck entree at masten lake and there's some creativity there. hopefully, ill enjoy the new spot.

                    1. re: sam1

                      By the way, it's at 284 Third Avenue (near Littleneck; between President and Carroll Streets).

                      1. re: parkslopemama

                        I hate to be a naysayer, since the people were so friendly and the kitchen is trying so hard.... BUT I was really turned off by the somewhat bizarre combinations, obscure ingredients and heaviness of the food. The greens with guanciale were extremely heavy and salty, swimming in the warm brown pan juice "dressing," and the egg yolk only weighed the dish down with more fat. The pasta with mussels and lobster brodo was also very brown, heavy and unappealing. The amuse-bouche was a god-awful teaspoon with way too much black lava salt. The pork shoulder was the best dish we had, but even that was too salty and fatty. Didn't like the "funky" grenache. Couldn't understand why I was left with the taste of cucumber in my mouth (which I really dislike) until I realized that they had submerged a big "artistic" cucumber piece in each pitcher of water. Blech, I thought, why do they have to add a "clever" twist to everything? What's wrong with good old H2o? I found myself eating a home-made chocolate chip cookie immediately after the leaving the place, just to enjoy a simple pleasure! I can see why some people would like the place but, but it was just too overwrought for my taste.

                  2. I thought this restaurant was not good.
                    The Jicama dish that everyone is raving about below was very weird; overall the food was too weird/too sweet/too salty to be served... and all the dishes evoked breakfast. Sweet potatoes with sweet foam, Pears with vanilla yoghurt, Jicama with coconut... Even the Pork somehow ended up with a cloying breakfast cereal like after effect...
                    I was very disappointed with the food, after having heard it was good. And because I do enjoy Littleneck very much.
                    I will say that the atmosphere at Pines is lovely and they have done a great job with the decor. It feels very Brooklyn and warm. The cocktail list read as interesting, but the one cocktail I had was absolutely awful.
                    They did serve a complimentary soda, I assume house-made. This was the best part of the night.
                    It's time for this chef to rethink what he has been doing for years all over Brooklyn, sorry...