30 March 2008

a continuation of great brooklyn restaurants.

A lovely Saturday for Vadim, Cuba & I...we enjoyed a slow morning. A brisk walk for Cuba, a surprisingly painless wait in the post office line (another box of my books arrived from Washington!) According to my calculations...just two more and I will have everything I left behind.

I cajoled Vadim through Chip Shop's doors to indulge in their Restaurant Week Prix Fixe. An impressively over the top two for $23 three-course challenge. Now ordinarily, Vadim and I will share one order of Cod & Chips and a slice of deep fried pizza- don't judge it until you try it! Chip Shop is perfect for a dreary day with your wellies...

Any who, I'm getting on a bunny trail...The Prix Fixe: We both chose the deep fried mac & cheese. The batter is gloriously light, a beer-based recipe that encases a homemade white cheddar macaroni. We both dashed a flirtation of imported malt vinegar.

To cleanse our palates between bites, Vadim sipped on a Ribena black currant soda, while I enjoyed a Club Orange soda, which boasted "real orange bits!" on the can. We also enjoy the Old Speckled Hen ale & Unsweetened iced tea. Be advised! If you order the sweetened tea, it's from the soda gun and quite horrifying! In my opinion, the one blemish on the Chip Shop experience.

We took a few moments before our second course to take in the decor- a mixture of plates you'd expect to see in your grandmother's china case, paintings of British rock stars indulging in fish & chips, slightly overweight servers with hair dyed in outrageous magenta hues- with off the beaten path piercings...all while covertly taking in the occasional clever comment from the small children sitting at adjacent tables. You can always anticipate a hearty collection of Park Slope children, young couples with great sweaters and tired Mums in the Chip Shop. A nice addition to the canary painted walls and toasty smell of beer batter permeating the atmosphere.

The waitress placed Cod & Chips in front of me and Battered Chicken strips before Vadim. As per usual, delicious. We hadn't tried the Chicken before and found it quite satisfying with a vinegar infuzed mustard sauce for dipping. I do prefer the Cod and homemade tar tar sauce. The chips were to be as expected: consistently wonderful. Fresh cut potatoes- crispy edges, moist well defined potato flavor at the interior.

When we were ready to give up: she brought us a few Plum Puddings. One deep fried, one steamed. Dense and deeply purple with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. The flavor was velvety and liquor soaked. This is something I think I would like to eat alone, in a much smaller portion- share one! With a cup of Yorkshire Gold Tea....rather than the punctuation to three courses of deep fried food.


I took Cuba for a second walk in the brisk March air and came back for a nap. Vadim returned from a photo excursion in Manhattan, and we all took naps. I woke on the couch with Pug warming my legs and picked up my cell phone to dial Vadim. (Who found it tremendously amusing that I would call him in our one bedroom apartment...) To my defense...I didn't realize he was napping in the other room...rather I decided he was most likely on his computer- with the phone next to him. When I heard the phone vibrate on top of the fridge...I decided to let it ring and bate him into the room with me.

We put on a some warm clothes and went to get a drink at Excelsior, the Gay Bar which rests a hop, skip & a jump down the Slope from our apartment, for an appetizing cocktail. The bar is clean and precisely decorated. We enjoyed the simplicity of the design and the men checking out Vadim. After we finished our drinks, we walked across the street to Mura for dinner.

We had our usual Miso soup with Enoki mushrooms to start- with hot sake in an attempt to warm our cores. We then enjoyed a generous seaweed salad on a bed of masterfully ripened mandarin oranges and a few random sprigs of mesculin greens. Garnish? No one's too sure. We took in the patrons at our neighboring tables in between bites of delightful sesame encrusted seaweed- two mothers with their Park Slope hips and belly's- stroller with sleeping baby resting behind their table, whose conversation - a bit loud for the atmosphere, "I'm tired of these 29 year olds who have no money...I just want someone older, now don't take me the wrong way, you know what I mean" Adjacent to young couples...the awkward shifts and conversations...Did he really just tell her how to hold her chop sticks? To his credit, she was struggling a bit...

When we finished our soup and salad, the three overly friendly servers brought us more plates, soy sauce and the two rolls we ordered. We decided to try a few new combinations- The baked spicy roll. Delicious, and light. The perfect compliment to the Red Dragon Roll which had tuna tempura, endive & topped with salmon resting next to generous puddles of mango- spicy mayo sauce. We decided to skip our usual fried green tea ice cream to get more air and walk to a diner for a more ridiculous dessert.

At the Fifth Ave Diner we shared a slice of Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and an ice cream sundae with chocolate sauce (completely unlike the description on the menu, but still what is to be expected at a Brooklyn Diner). As we sipped our fresh hot coffee- We continued a conversation from last weekend's breakfast at Fifth Ave Diner...why is it that all the diners in Brooklyn seem to be Greek owned with an influence of Greek cuisine in the usual suspects of eggs, pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches? Unsolved mystery.

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