Well, is it? The trouble is, I think Manhattan is the place people think of first and foremost when it comes to good grub. I want to correct these people. Brooklyn food is "the jump off!" as an LA-born friend once said. What diversity! What quality! And how affordbable! Where else can you get huevos rancheros, (with all the trimmings) and a Corona for 5 bucks? That's 2 pounds fifty where I come from. That wouldn't be enough to feed a small child in London. Oh, you CAN do that in Manhattan? I want to know where! Ah, mind you, excepting of two superfine and may I say legendary restaurants/brunch temples on the Lower East Side - Cafe Juanita, and Los Tres Aztecas. You can't go wrong....Do yourselves a favour and get into it. Anyway, I digress.
It is my pleasure this evening (no, it really is - I'm supping melon martinis and writing at home) to tell you about a superb little eatery in the Brooklyn gastro-Mecca that is Smith Street: Patois. I had the pleasure of dining there over the long weekend. Apparently it was THE place to be about 2-3 years ago when BoCoCa (I hate that real estate talk) became white hot, and according to my good friends who've lived on Smith for a bit. Thankfully, the fickle trendy set move seemingly every 3 weeks or so, meaning that I could get in, and I was, frankly, very impressed. Last minute reservations? "Sure, we can squeeze you in". Want classic French tackle at a fraction of the cost? Here you go.
I ate a brilliant rendition of 'Oysters Four Ways' and a marvellous 'Chicken Wellington'. Both were bloody delicious. And they really were. The oysters were small, perfectly cooked (with cream and chives, mignonette, tempura, etc) and small enough to be the cheekiest and sexiest of bites. And the chicken welly? Fantastic. A beautifully cooked and seasoned chicken breast smothered with duxelles, wrapped in buttery puff pastry, perched atop a tasty pea broth. I was the envy of the table. My dinner companions ate a decent fresh salad (I can't remember what, I'd had a couple of Pom-Martinis at Apartment 138 and I dont care for such green items when I'm out), a sufferingly good plate of charcuterie - pheasant pistachio and port terrine, salami, liver? And a soup? As I said, these martinis were kicking in...For mains - besides my chicken welly - trout, beef and a salmon dish. All worthy of the highest praise. Well done, Chef. I hope you're reading this, Mr Bruni.
The wine list was not cumbersome and extreme - Minimal, well sought and selected, sensibly priced, and easily paired with the food on offer. Served with aplomb. Simply marvellous. You don't get that so often these days in New York, huh?
I shall return, for food, wine and the atmosphere. I'm rarely so gushing about a restaurant, but I really had a great night there. 5 stars in my book (to top the stingy 4 stars they award in the New York Times) and well worth a visit, Manhattanites. I'll be seeing you there.