Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bits and Morsels tastes Brooklyn

An Nhau's Vietnamese sandwiches.

by Erin Frankel

Tasting Brooklyn. On April 3rd, Brooklyn Exposed, an organization dedicated to providing Brooklyn residents and visitors "informed knowledge" about the borough's cultural and social activities, threw its second annual Tasting Brooklyn event to honor the borough's cultural diversity.

Here's a short list of some of my favorite dishes at the tasting, coming from some of Brooklyn's most exciting restaurants:

Palo Santo
652 Union Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn
This Latin American restaurant set in a Park Slope brownstone featured a lightly seasoned, fresh market red grouper ceviche with an interesting accompaniment; popcorn!
Palo Santo's red grouper ceviche.
Fort Reno
669 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY
This BBQ and specialty cocktails joint on Union Street offered succulent corn hoe cakes with smoked brisket, elevated by a perfectly spicy sauce.

TCoup Shop
113 N 7th St., Brooklyn, NY
A BBQ joint inspired from New Orlean's grub highlighted its handmade duck liver-brisket boudin ball sliders with handmade creole mustard and bread and butter pickles.
Fort Reno corn hoe cakes with smoked brisket. TCoup Shop's duck liver-brisket boudin ball sliders.
The Meatball Shop
170 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY
One of my favorite Manhattan specialty restaurants which serves meatballs, and only meatballs, opened a location in Williamsburg. Their offering: an interesting rendition on a meatball with its Greek-style lamb balls topped with a Greek salad and light yogurt sauce.

Soco Restaurant
509 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Soco, an authentic southern-fused restaurant, offered a hearty and delicious BBQ shrimp gumbo.
Soco Restaurant's BBQ shrimp gumbo.
An Nhau
172 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
This Vietnamese crowd-pleaser featured an assortment of Vietnamese sandwiches – for carnivores and vegetarians – along with both meat and veggie fried and steamed spring rolls.

288 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY
A newbie to the Park Slope food scene, Littleneck presented its signature creamy New England clam chowder.

Stone Park Cafe
324 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Stone Park Cafe offered a flavorful braised short rib slider with creamed spinach and beet relish on a warm handmade potato roll.
An Nhau's spring rolls.
Littleneck's New England clam chowder. Stone Park Cafe's braised short rib slider.
256 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
A Park Slope staple, Fornino featured a delicate and tasty seasoned grilled shrimp and white bean salad.

Arancini Bros.
940 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY
This tiny late-night storefront is a Bushwick favorite for all types of fried risotto balls, ranging from the classic ragu (a traditional meat ragu with tomato, peas, saffron and mozzarella), the verde bianco rosso (basil pesto, fresh mozzarella, and cherry tomato), or the carbonara (a mixture of pancetta, egg, black pepper, and pecorino cheese). All three were sampled here.

Cheryl's Global Soul
236 Underhill Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Cheryl, herself, made a delicious curry crab and apple salad that she served with her homemade gingerade, which she spices with Kashasha (a Brazilian alcohol) in the summer months and with bourbon and rum in the winter months.
Fornino's grilled shrimp and white bean salad.
Arancini Bros's risotto balls.
Cheryl's curry crab and apple salad and homemade gingerade.
135 N 5th St., Brooklyn, NY
Long a destination spot in Brooklyn, Egg presented a crispy Carolina rice croquette filled with country ham.

Loreley Williamsburg
64 Frost St., Brooklyn, NY
This popular outdoor beer garden in Williamsburg served up a sausage platter filled with a mixture of succulent German sausage on a bed of sauerkraut.

Maison Premiere
298 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
The popular oyster house and cocktail den featured a carondelet cocktail – a mixture of beefeater, fresh lime, fresh lemon, blossom honey, vanilla, and sea salt.
Egg's Carolina Rice croquette.
Loreley Williamsburg's sausage platter.
Maison Premiere's carondelet cocktail.
847 Union St., Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn's premiere New Zealand cuisine presented a marmite and manuka braised baby back rib on top of a light and zesty kale slaw.

Brooklyn Winery
213 North 8th Street, Brooklyn, NY
The fully functioning winery also offers a seasonal American menu to pair with their large selection of wines. Here, they offered a Pinot noir paired with house-cured salmon bruschetta.

Benchmark Restaurant
339 2nd Street, Brooklyn, NY
This New American restaurant focused on sustainable, locally-grown food and pasture-raised animals, made a delicious pastrami style house-cured short rib with truffled sauerkraut, and what they term as their secret "Brighton Beach dressing" on top of rye.
Kiwiana's baby back ribs.
Brooklyn Winery's Pinot noir.
Brooklyn Winery's house-cured salmon bruschetta.
Benchmark Restaurant's pastrami style house-cured short rib.
D. Coluccio & Sons
1214 60th Street, Brooklyn, NY
This specialty food store, established in 1965, is still thriving. Here they assembled an assortment of traditional salumi, cheeses, taralli, olives, and marinated vegetables.

The Saint Austere
613 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY
A hot newcomer to the borough, The Saint Austere cooked up a creamy polenta with spicy sausage and cipollini onions. Absolutely delicious!

The Sunburnt Calf
611 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY
The Australian barbecue shack has made its way across the river where offerings included a rich and juicy sweet pork bun that was washed down with the restaurants signature Moo Juice, a strong but sweet passion-fruit induced tequila.
D. Coluccio & Sons's salumi, cheeses, taralli, olives, and marinated vegetables.
The Saint Austere's creamy polenta.
The Sunburnt Calf's Moo Juice.
Wild Rise
68 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY
A Dumbo neighborhood locale, Wild Rise made a simple yet delicious marinara pizza with yeast crust, Mount Vesuvius grown tomatoes, fresh oregano, and hardneck garlic.

Fairway Market
480-500 Van Brunt St., Brooklyn, NY
The cafe at Fairway Market presented their signature pizza gaine.

The Chocolate Room
269 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY
Dessert anyone? The Chocolate Room made mini chocolate cupcakes topped with a bittersweet hot fudge and some heavenly chocolate-covered S'mores.
Wild Rise's marinara pizza.
Fairway Market's pizza gaine.
The Chocolate Room's mini chocolate cupcakes and chocolate-covered s'mores.