Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On the Farm

There are some nights after work where the inspiration to make something for dinner is not as strong as the allure of take-out or going out. Tonight was one of those nights. I didn't have a protein defrosting in the refrigerator which means either going to Greene Grape Provisions or take-out.

With Marc leaving tomorrow morning for Florida we decided to treat ourselves and go out. At first we decided Italian, then mid-way we changed direction at a whim. Marc thought Flatbush Farm & Barn sounded even better. It's the kind of restaurant that is unpretentious but stylish. The high ceilings, large windows facing the street, and long bar opposing the row of tables that nestle next to darkly painted wainscot have a very Brooklyn vibe.

We settled in, reviewed the menu, ordered a cocktail and debated what dishes to order. Drinks arrived, a Belvedere on the rocks and a pear martini for me. After some discussion we ordered Grilled Iceberg Lettuce, Caesar Dressing, Tomato Confit Crostini and the Spaetzle with Kabocha Squash, Wild Mushrooms and Pesto.

I was leery of grilled iceberg and was really happy to get the spaetzle. The spaetzle with a bite of mushroom had an earthy flavor. The deeply flavored pesto and squash rounded out the whole dish.

For dinner, Long Island Duck Steak, Duck Confit, Dried Cherry, Kabocha, Sprout Leaves, Creamy Polenta and NY Strip with Broccoli, Bacon and Herbaceous Sauce. When the entrees arrived I looked at my duck and turned the plate 180 degrees to face me and knew that's how the chef would have preferred it be presented. My entree was subtle, delicious, the duck demi-glace had that stocky, deeply caramelized and sticky smack of richness. It was so good I didn't even want to try any of the NY Strip, I was happy with what I ordered and enjoyed the creamy polenta and pieces of duck confit hidden under the sliced duck breast. All the flavors melded, it was a flavor-story in every bite. We both had a glass of French "Chateau du I don't know" that complemented the food perfectly.

I forced the last bite and finished stuffed to the gills. Why on Earth we ordered coffee a cappuccino and a Warm Chocolate Cake with Banana Chip Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce I just didn't know. I couldn't fathom dessert after all the savory notes I enjoyed throughout the dinner. Oh, I remember, I ordered the cappuccino because the waiter said he makes a really good one and indeed once the espresso was brewed the luscious roasted coffee smell set me at ease.

My spoon sunk into the warm chocolate dessert and brushed the banana chip ice cream for fun. The meltingly decadent spoonful was the first of many jabs at that dessert. I thought to myself why I hadn't blogged about this place. I've dined here half a dozen times. I knew it was time to share this place, a gem of a restaurant that hits many notes.

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