Thursday, June 4, 2009
Fort Greene with Envy
Each time we walk through the doors at No. 7 Restaurant we wonder to ourselves – why go any place else? The restaurant, perched right above the Lafayette subway station, is located at 7 Greene Ave in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. Fort Greene is home to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, known to locals as “BAM” and to a diverse mixture of people. The neighborhood exudes a bohemian, earthy, liberal air – no wonder French Culinary Institute Alum, Chef Tyler Kord, has dug his heels into this eclectic enclave.
My partner, Marc, and I settled into one of the tables in the back of the restaurant guided by a chic but approachable hostess. The room is filled with culinary hipsters, first dates, flirty gay couples, chatty women and the like.
I love that point in the evening during dinner service where you can feel the electricity and excitement in the air – it’s usually when the house is packed, the kitchen is running like a well-oiled machine and the wait staff never misses a beat. Everyone falls into this mesmerizing groove of sorts – having worked back of the house I feel that nervous thrill as dishes are being knocked out one by one and the intensity of the environment fuels every drop of adrenaline in your body. A feeling I miss from working at L’Ecole – the restaurant at FCI.
As we settle in with a cocktail, we peruse the concise menu sitting in anticipation to listen to the specials of the day. The wait staff is friendly, confident and sexy and our waiter tempts our palates with the chef’s daily selection.
We started with a snapper sashimi over Galia melon dressed with a spicy peanut, jalapeno and cilantro sauce. Each bite was savored and the various flavor notes were absolutely harmonious.
For main entrées we had the boneless pork chop that was slowly braised in a ginger broth then seared on the grill – served over Sardinian pasta called fregola the juicy chop delivered savory bites. I love their crispy breaded chicken, it is incredibly moist, rolled into a cylindrical shape – it’s a must have! The contemporary American cuisine has hints of Korean influence with pickled vegetables and kimchi pierogies.
Sitting comfortably in our seats my eyes wander to check out the bustling bar scene and the busy yet tiny exhibition kitchen. No. 7 is the kind of restaurant I would love to own someday, it’s cozy, sophisticated and always a welcoming place to dine.
The night winded down, I sip an after dinner coffee, and slide further into my chair. My body almost limp from feeding off the adrenaline rush, sated... we saunter into the night.