Being that I live in the Bronx, I don’t get to Brooklyn too often, it’s quite a trek. Don’t even bother to drive, the traffic can be pretty insane, cabs and Ubers cost a fortune. So I’m stuck taking the subway, which takes at least 90 minutes each way. But every once in a while, you just kinda have to, there is just so much good food available, I can’t not go. So I took a few days here and there and followed my taste buds! It was worth the trip each time, and if you live in New York, or are visiting here, you might want to stop by one (or all) of these places. You won’t regret it!
Brunch at Ten Hope
At this point you might know how much I love the Bravo series Top Chef, and of course all the chefs that have participated in the competition. Harold Dieterle is the winner of the very first season, and his restaurant Perilla was my very first Top Chef restaurant experience. I’ve been hooked ever since, and have now visited 69 restaurants and dinners by the contestants. Chef Harold will always be one of my favorites, season 1 will always be my favorite, so when I heard he opened a new restaurant named Ten Hope in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, you bet your buns I was going to go.
I decided to go for Brunch on a sunny spring day with my daughter and my son’s girlfriend, being that brunch is a girl thing of sorts. We landed a sunny table outside, and went straight for the mimosas and Bloody Marys (for $25 a person you get them unlimited). And of course the food was delicious! We started out with a Mezze Platter of Dips (warm flat bread with Tahini Hummus, Babaganoush, and Whipped Feta with Pistachios. Superb. Sasha had the Breakfast Bowl with seasoned Bliss potatoes, Kofte Lamb Gravy, shredded mozzarella, 2 Sous Vide eggs and sourdough bread, which was so different and so delicious. Alyssa went with the French Toast, which was ginormous! Two Texas Style French Toast slices, stuffed with sweetened whipped cream cheese, topped with strawberry compote and powdered sugar, was absolutely amazing. I went with the Ten Hope Burger, made with an 8 oz beef patty, a sweet and spicy tomato marmelade, caramelized Bourbon onions, Gruyere cheese and Meyer Lemon aioli. Hello. Pure perfection. It was a super fun brunch, with really amazing food…
Lunch at Fat Fowl
Lunch. It’s a must. But come on. A tuna sandwich just won’t do, at least in my book. With all the options we have here in the Big Apple, I, for one, always search for the next best plate. When I heard that my friend Chef Shorne Benjamin opened a new spot, with the most peculiar name Fat Fowl, at the DeKalb Market Hall (the downstairs food court), I was on my way. I had tasted his cooking before, and I knew I was in for a treat. I was not diappointed.
Sitting at a long counter, I was able to see the food being prepared right in front of me, which is always something I love. The menu is short and meaningful, the rotisserie chicken is the main attraction. It’s marinated in lavender and a secret herb blend, and then slowly roasted. It is so, so juicy and tender with such an unusual and gentle flavor, I was ravaging it. My sides that day were a super creamy 7-cheese Mac and Cheese, and Jerk Tamarind Mushrooms, which were so unbelievably good. Yes, have the chicken, but under no circumstances forgo the Oxtail Grilled Cheese. OMG. Made with braised pulled oxtail, sharp cheddar and tomato relish, on sourdough bread, this was probably one of the best things I ever ate. Just super yummy. Chef Shorne’s food is innovative and so, so tasty.
Dinner at Lemongrass Grill
Is dinner my favorite time of day? Ya. Most likely. Thai food is definitely up there for me, I adore the flavors and textures, I cook it, I order it, and I go out to Thai restaurants regularly. One of these nights I was definitely in the Thai mood, so I grabbed my daughter and we headed to downtown Brooklyn to the Lemongras Grill. A nice little spot on a narrow street, we were greeted by the unmistakable smell of good old Thai food, and we were so ready.
We literally tried a little bit of each on the menu that day! Our appetizers were Chicken Satay, Crab Rangoon, and a Shrimp Mango Salad. I can’t even say which one was my favorite one! they were all delicious, bursting with flavor. The shrimp were fresh, the peanut sauce was amazing, the rangoon nice and crispy. Our main dishes were Pineapple Rice with Crispy Pork Belly, the Brooklyn Steak with sautéed peppers, onions and lime leaves, and Shrimp Woonsen (Jumbo Prawns with glass noodles in a clay pot). The seasonings were so authentic and flavorful, we couldn’t stop eating and basically rolled home with our bellies so full. Brooklyn is definitely the place to be when it comes to food!