Saul at the Brooklyn Museum
We were there last weekend and, I'm sad to say, did not enjoy it at all. Having been big fans of the Smith St place over the years, we had high hopes. The service was, if anything, overeager -- we were served by no fewer than five different people over the course of the evening. No real complaint there, but we did end up answering the same questions multiple times. A little coordination would be nice, but we chalked it up to the newness of the staff. No biggie.
The real problem was the food. My dining companion ordered the sunchoke soup, and it was beyond question the saltiest thing I have tasted since swallowing a mouthful of ocean water this past summer. Completely inedible, and it never should have left the kitchen. She sent it back, and they apologetically took it off the bill without question. Fair enough, but then she had no first course. We shared the octopus I had ordered, which was cooked quite well but was nothing special.
The entrees (lamb for her, scallops for me) were both well-prepared. Not extraordinary, but solidly in the "very good" zone. The issue here was that the portions were tiny. Tinier, maybe, than the tiny portions when Saul was on Smith St. Not good when we ended up sharing just one starter. At that point, we decided to cut our losses and skip dessert. We left, having spent over $100 (with a glass of wine each), feeling as though we hadn't eaten dinner. We went and found something else to eat.
A couple of incidental non-food quirks too: When we showed up, despite the big Saul sign emblazoned on the front window of the museum facing Eastern Pkwy, the security guard in the lobby told us we couldn't enter the restaurant through the museum. He told us to "go around." Huh. So we wandered around for a while and eventually figured out that we had to walk down the driveway to the right of the museum entrance, around the back by the parking lot, to find an entrance where we could get to the restaurant. Not a big deal, but maybe they could put up a sign. Also, and this is really just a quibble, the music (classic rock) seemed really odd for the space.
I really want this place to succeed, but there are lots of kinks to work out. I can't help but think Saul in the Brooklyn Museum is inevitably going to be compared to The Modern. And, at least for our visit, Saul isn't even playing in the same league. No polished service, no consistency in the kitchen.
I don't think we'll be venturing back unless we start seeing signs of dramatic improvement. If you do end up trying it, would be interested to hear what you think.
I had an enjoyable dinner at Saul at the Brooklyn Museum recently. The guinea hen with spaetzle and walnuts was really delicious and I also liked the two amuses bouche - sorrel with puffed quinoa and cured black bass with radish and citrus foam. Very creative, well balanced flavors. I look forward to returning soon.
re: peter j
I had a nice dinner there recently as well. We had the tasting menu and most everything was pretty good. The best item was an oyster with some kind of foam that was really delicious. I would've liked a dozen of them. We had a fish too, not sure if it was the bass, that was cooked perfectly and quite good. I also liked the quinoa & sorrel amuse bouche. The room is nice and service was friendly if kind of amatuerish.
Was very good overall with an interesting mix of dishes, but not great and for the price I don't think I'll be hurrying back.