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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kingston is near Princeton and ENO TERRA is near perfect

kim above trio bruchetta

And even if you only want pasta and butter
Kim has taught Sophie a CDF Freedom School move
Jeanne in contemplation

Pat,then Kim,Then Corey,Then Sophie
Bruchetta Trio
Fresh local veggies and farm fresh cheeses and grilled Little Neck clams...Chilean white wine and the family...and a walk along the canal on a day with weather to match. The wait staff were informative and

Along the canal

Steak Caesar

Pat on the high always

watermelon salad
Grilled clams

warm...I am guessing there were several emeritus professors amidst the other diners....but i am certain if you go here,you will feel blessed. Family plus Eno Terra=Terra Firma.

Eno Terra on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 22, 2011

le petit on le court

Coming attraction

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guest Post: Greenest Block Judge Weighs in on Lunching in the Hood

By guest blogger Jeanne Rostaing 

For the past 17 years the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Brooklyn Borough President’s office have sponsored a friendly competition in the city's most populous borough.  Brooklyn's Greenest Block Contest promotes gardening, community involvement and neighborhood pride.  It's hard work judging 218 blocks in the heat of summer.  We started early and when lunchtime finally rolled around we wanted a break and some delicious food.  Here's a look at our trip around town:

For the first round of judging two people view every block entered. I was lucky enough to be one of the judges this year.
Judges Jeanne Rostaing and Sam Rio at work

Garbage Can Planters

Our job was to select approximately 20% of the blocks entered to go on to the second round of judging.

Colorful Plantings Add Interest 

A Clever Use of an Old Radiator
The journey took us to practically every corner of this vast borough.  We got to see a lot of amazing sights and meet many proud gardeners.

Bed-Stuy Entrants take a rest

Sneaker Planters

Roti House on Utica Ave.
And everyday we got to stop where we were at lunchtime and choose a place to eat from the international bounty of Brooklyn cuisine.

Here’s a list of neighborhoods and where we ate:

In Flatbush it was Jamaican and Mexican food:

On Utica Ave. we found the ABC Guyana Trinidad Roti House, 847 Utica Ave. between Church and Linden.

Giant size portions at the Roti House
It’s not big on ambiance but we didn’t care when we saw the gigantic rotis:  goat for everyone except the vegetarian who had chickpeas and potato.  Cheap, chewy and full of flavor.  We declared them too big and then finished every last crumb.

A few days later we landed at El Ranchito Poblano, 1228 Flatbush Ave. between Newkirk and Ditmas, 718 282-0366.
El Ranchito Poblano Vegetable Burrito

El Ranchito Poblano

friendly neighborhood spot serves up some delicious classics: Super (i.e. huge)
Quesadilla con pollo, Vegetable burrito, and huarache con carnitos (chopped pork).
Lots of very tasty food for little money.

In Bedford Stuyvesant we had soul food and Italian.
Peaches, 393 Lewis Ave., 718 942-4162,
is a  popular neighborhood mainstay. 
Peaches in Bed-Stuy

Pulled Pork and Fries at Peaches

The place is known for its fried chicken but we ordered barbequed pork and mac and cheese.  We were served French fries although we had ordered sweet potato fries.  The waiter agreed to make a change but we waited a long time for that to happen. The carnivores thought the pork a bit dry but the vegetarian loved the tangy, creamy mac and cheese. 
Go here when you have lots of time.  It’s crowded. Staff is cordial but things move slowly.

On the other hand Saraghina, 435 Halsey St., 718 574-0010,
was a totally relaxing experience.

Saraghina in Bed-Stuy

Dining al fresco at Saraghina

Farro Salad at Saraghina

Ortolana Pizza at Saraghina
We ate in the garden beneath a grape arbor and some suspended vintage tricycles.  Pizza is a specialty here and we tried the margarita and the ortolana.
The waitress recommended an unusual special, the farro salad with avocado, capers, feta, tomato and arugula. It was scrumptious and satisfying.

Ditmas Park turned out to be our most frequented lunch neighborhood.
We enjoyed Picket Fence, 1310 Cortelyou Rd., 718 282-6661,

Picket Fence features comfort food

salmon blt and fries at Picket Fence

The crunchy buttermilk fried chicken sandwich and the salmon BLT were crowd pleasers in a pleasant, homey atmosphere.

The Farm on Adderley

The Farm on Adderley, 1108 Cortelyou Rd. 718 187-3101,

Outdoor dining at the Farm on Adderly

We lunched in the garden on bacon and swiss chard quiche,
portobello sandwich and asparagus soup.  The menu is inventive but servers seemed overwhelmed.

Asparagus soup
bacon and swiss chard quiche

Mimi’s Hummus, 1209 Cortelyou Rd. between Argyl and Westminster, 718 284-4444,
Mimi's Hummus

Hummus at Mimi's
A special sandwich at Mimi's
is a small friendly place serving delicious, squeaky fresh middle eastern food.  The hummus with pine nuts was garlicky and smooth.
Sandwich specials were inspired and tasty.  The “Iraqi” contained potato, hard boiled egg, hummus and eggplant.  The labane cheese sandwich had cauliflower, hummus and mushrooms. We were all members of the clean plate club at Mimi’s.

In Prospect Heights we ate Thai and re-visited Mexican.
Born Thai, 293 Flatbush Ave., 347 663-3674,
Born Thai Restaurant in Prospect Heights
Shrimp in green curry at Born
pleased us with a $9.00 prix fixe lunch which included   appetizers and a wide choice of entrees: drunken noodles with shrimp, shrimp in green curry and tofu with basil sauce and brown rice. It’s standard Thai restaurant fare but flavorful and well prepared.

Chavella’s Café Mexicano,  732 Classon Ave., 718 622-3100, on the other hand,
Scrumptious tamale at Chavella's
Chile rellanos torta at Chavella's

Chavella's in Prospect Heights

is serving revelatory delicacies with ordinary Mexican food names.  The vegetarian tamale with cheese and chiles had a moist, almost cake-like corn meal wrapper and exploded with flavor.  The chile rellanos torta is huge and apparently delicious because a lot of it disappeared before the camera was focused.  The peak of the meal was the flan.

Irresistable flan at Chavella's

 What can I say?  Even Sam, who declared himself not interested in flan, was seduced by its light custardy texture and its smooth just-sweet-enough flavor.  No doggie bags here.
Note: Chavella’s will be moving soon to a new location at 736 Franklin Street. Call before you go.

In brownstone Brooklyn we made 2 stops for some very different kinds of Italian food.

La-Villa is at 261 Fifth Ave. in Park Slope,
and serves abundant classic Italian food in a spacious, comfortable room.
La-Villa in Park Slope
La-Villa Salad
Service is friendly and swift. We stuffed ourselves on giant salads such as the La-Villa with mixed greens, homemade mozzarella, provolone and roasted peppers over garlic bruschetta.

Pasta La-Villa came in a basin-size bowl with pappardelle, meat sauce, mushrooms and sautéed peas.  Too bad there wasn’t time for a nap before we went back to judging.
Pasta La-Villa

Bocco Lupo is at 391 Henry St. (between Congress and Warren) in Cobble Hill, 718 243-2522

Bocco Lupo in Cobble Hill
It’s Italian but more rustic and spare than La Villa.  The lunch menu offers a selection of  interesting panini’s and crostinis.  We tried the goat cheese and roasted vegetable panini and the mushroom crostini with truffle cheese.
Goat Cheese and Veggie Panini

Bocco Salad at Bocco Lupo
Salads are fresh and unusual, like  the "Bocco" with parmesan, Jerusalem artichokes and escarole and an arugula salad with walnuts and gorgonzola.  There’s plenty for meat eaters here but the reverence for vegetables is notable and the dishes are delicate and full of flavor.

Open kitchen at Bocco Lupo

Special thanks to my fellow judge Sam Rio (a former chef and now a gardener to restaurants); Erik Rosenberg, our driver and a parallel parking genius; Nina Browne and Robin Simmen of Greenbridge at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden who were our bosses and gave us the opportunity to see more gardens in two weeks than most people see in a lifetime. And thank you Brooklyn Community Foundation for the support.

Cityscape with wise thoughts 

Erik in "no Park Slope"
Bathtubs are popular planters in Brooklyn


Chavella's on Urbanspoon