Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Eatin' Good in the Neighborhood

Damn, I'm glad that I live in a place when that doesn't mean a trip to Applebee's.

I've had some great food in Brooklyn lately and thought it's worth spreading the news. Last Friday, the Great Dane and I went to Alchemy on the recommendation of SuperSkater. Alchemey is a "gastro-pub" to be all New York Magazine about it, which means it's a bar of the non-dive variety that serves good food and beer at high prices. First of all, they had a great cocktail menu for $9. I ordered a Georgia Peach which had peach nectar, SoCo, and Cointreau. The Great Dane ordered something called Kismet, which I think we both agreed was the most delicious cocktail we'd ever tasted. I don't remember anything about what was in it, except that the bartender said they were all out of kiwi and would the Dane mind if he made it with fresh blueberries instead? Uh, no. Amazing. We both had an order of the Sweet Pea Ravioli with macadamia nuts, Thai basil, and Ricotta. Really interesting tastes. Then we split the Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler with Carmel Ice Cream for dessert. It was a really nice meal in a cozy setting. The Dane talked about extending her trip to Europe to four weeks or more and I was dying of jealousy - I'm trying to go to Rome in the Fall to visit Ciao Bella, but I only have four vacation days and one personal day to get through the rest of the year.

Oh, apparently that night was also the last day my body decided it would willfully cooperate in the processing of alcohol and lactose.

On Saturday I went to Amorina Pizzeria down the street from me. I have often gotten a slice to go, but I decided to sit down, enjoy the red-checkered table clothes and look at the pie menu. I decided to fore sake a pizza with fresh pears and figs for the carbonara - I love carbonara style but most places get it so terribly wrong, drowning everything in a heavy, creamy sauce. This pizza carbonara was perfect - a white pie with Parmesan, a pancetta that was none too fatty, and a fresh soft cooked egg and black pepper topping the pizza. It was really lovely on the thin crust.

MuppetLover was full from the blueberry cobbler the future Mr. Muppet made for dinner, so I took a walk to a very new ice cream parlor in our neighborhood. "The Old Brooklyn Parlor", an unfortunate name I fear, but a really well designed shop, has Ronnybrook Farm Ice Cream, icees, milk shakes, floats, egg creams, and everything to make my heart go pitter patter (and my bowels seize, in a stunning new development). I had a small cone of Coconut Macadamia Nut Ice Cream. The server's sprinkle-application technique was piss-poor, but the sprinkles were gratis. If there's one thing I've always said, it's that sprinkles on ice cream cones ought to be free.

Also, at some point in recent memory I stopped into Joyce Bakeshop for an Iced Coffee and a dark chocolate banana tart. It seems like everyone I talk to in the 'hood rags on Joyce, but whenever I go in there on the weekends, it's a non-stop carnival of happiness, java and homemade marshmallow. I am a fan. Obviously, we all go gaga for the Gorilla Coffee, and my mini-tart was unique and perfectly satisfying. While I was sitting there reading a magazine a young woman my age was looking at me. She had come in with another woman with short, close cropped hair wearing an olive green jumpsuit, black sneakers and a straw hat. In Brooklyn the odds are 50/50 lesbian/hipster in that outfit. So, her partner was just staring at me - finally I looked up. "Hi," she said. "I dropped my quarter under your chair." I continued looking at her, annoyed that she was going to make me get up so that she could chase a quarter. She got down on the floor. "Nevermind. It's a dime. You can keep it," she said accusingly, as if I had come into the cafe, ordered something as cover to stake out my prime spot to lay claim to her laundry quarters. Sometimes there is not enough coffee in the world.


jesse said...

I'd like to engage in an empassioned culinary discussion here, talk about the mole enchilada breakfast I had for twice this week at Ole, the atomic meatloaf with pepper relish at All-Star, and maybe revel in the upcoming cuisinary goodness that is new york. unfortunately, you lost me with your first paragraph.

Anonymous said...

Never fear. I enjoy food talk. It just makes me hungry.

Paula said...

This topic is ironic because I was in very girlie clothing store last week and a guy who had just moved to Portland (OR) from New York was going on and on about the amazing food in New York and how people from Portland thought the food was good here but because they had never eaten in NY they were mistaken!

Cupcake said...

Oh yeah. I knew that somewhere I had a friend who was a 'Bees groupie.

Well, I was going to take you for arepas and latin scramble at Bogota when you arrived in B-K, but now that I think about it, there should be an Applebee's in downtown Brooklyn that'll do you just fine.