oolah's Profile

Title Last Reply

Breukelen

Jealous. I had a very different and much less happy meal there.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7340...

Not sure how to account for such a radically different experience, but I wish ours had been more like yours.

Nov 15, 2010
oolah in Outer Boroughs

New Brooklyn restaurant roundup

Was at Breukelen tonight, and we didn't like it at all. Boring food, off-key service, crap wine list.

The waitress started off the night by offering "flat or sparkling" water, which whatever, doesn't usually annoy me, but sort of surprised me for a local restaurant. We asked for tap. She seemed disappointed. This was the first sign that she seemed new at the whole waitressing thing.

The wine list is bad. The cheaper bottles are overpriced California or French plonk. The more expensive bottles are decent, but we didn't feel like dropping $150 on a merely decent wine on a Tues night, so opted for Sixpoint on tap. Unfortunately we were told that the tap beer was "weird" and "not a good temperature" so I settled for a mediocre glass of Gruner Veltliner ($10, whole bottle usually retails for less than that.) Waitress acknowledged my order and then tried to pour me a glass of California Viognier. I caught the mistake before she poured it and she ran back to the bar and brought the right bottle. She didn't offer a taste, just poured the glass and went on her way.

Had the prosciutto with greens salad which was ENORMOUS, like entree-sized. It was also under-dressed, over-vinegared and had cubes of some unidentified (and really incongruous) cheese buried in it. Husband had the celeriac soup, which was creamy and rich, but not that interesting.

Entree was ricotta gnocchi with some random diver scallops tossed in. The gnocchi was fine, but a little bit mushy, and totally uninteresting. The scallops were really odd and just didn't belong in that dish. Husband had the grouper, which was plopped unceremoniously on an enormous pile of lentils, and was also just ok.

We didn't bother with dessert.

Oh, and it was surprisingly packed for a quiet block on a Tues night in Cobble Hill. In fact, we were seated at a 4-top and about 15 minutes into our meal, another couple was seated next to us at the same table. This was really awkward and unwelcome.

This place seems like it was put together by someone who read about the whole Brooklyn local food trend (ala Applewood or Buttermilk Channel), but didn't really get it.

Overall, really disappointing. We won't be back.

Nov 09, 2010
oolah in Outer Boroughs

New Brooklyn restaurant roundup

Strong Place is also nice in a neighborhood restaurant kind of way. I think the review in the Times a few weeks ago was pretty spot on. The food is a step up from Bocca Lupo (same owners) in creativity and preparation, with some well-prepared things (the clam sandwich was very tasty, as were the scallops with ham), and some less successful items (gazpacho tasted like they accidentally spilled a whole bottle of vinegar in). Nothing blew my mind, but most of it is well done.

Beer list is fantastic and there are a lot of delicious and interesting beers on tap here, all very fresh. Wine list is not bad either, with a few Long Island wines on there, which you don't see that often.

If you're a big eater, make sure to order a lot of plates. Portions are small.

My only complaint was that the music was verrrry loud, making conversation a bit tough. Overall, it felt like I was eating in a restaurant with a bar's sound system. Maybe that's what they meant by gastropub?

Worth a shot though, especially if you're a fan of beer and small plates.

-----
Bocca Lupo
391 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Strong Place
270 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Sep 21, 2010
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Blue Marble Soft Serve

Really? Not sure what you're comparing it to, but I think their soft serve is pretty damn good. The vanilla is very creamy and custardy, and the chocolate is richer and deeper than other soft serves I've had.

What have you had that's better? I'll be making a beeline for those places ASAP.

Jul 19, 2010
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Buying a wine cooler- Where did you buy online? at a store?

To piggyback on this thread, is there any way to figure out how much power these fridges consume before you buy them? I'd like to have an idea of the total ownership costs before I go out and buy one of those larger 60-bottle or so units.

Apr 21, 2010
oolah in Wine

Carroll Gardens vs. Cobble Hill CSA (Brooklyn)

Thank you! Being a born and bred New Yorker with a black thumb, I had no idea that the bitterness of the greens was a function of the organic farming. I also didn't know asparagus and spinach were harder to grow, but now that you say it, it totally makes sense.

I'll email the CH CSA and see if I can get on the waitlist, but it sounds like overall the experience is similar to the CG CSA. Your response and EJC's are very much appreciated.

Mar 08, 2010
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Carroll Gardens vs. Cobble Hill CSA (Brooklyn)

I wonder if the earthquake in Chile and the weird weather patterns in Florida have anything to do with it? K&Y on Court and Douglass usually has some decent-looking stuff.

Mar 08, 2010
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Carroll Gardens vs. Cobble Hill CSA (Brooklyn)

I meant all season. All local CSAs run from June through late November, so there is NO produce at all right now, as one would expect in the winter. I'm asking now because the signup for 2010 is just starting and I have to decide whether to join again.

No need for snappiness or sarcasm, really.

Mar 08, 2010
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Carroll Gardens vs. Cobble Hill CSA (Brooklyn)

We've been members of the Carroll Gardens CSA for the last couple of years, but we're curious about the Cobble Hill CSA and how members like it.

We've been very happy with the quality of the CG CSA fruit. There's good variety and great flavor and we've gotten raspberries, strawberries, apples, plums, nectarines, even watermelon, etc. The eggs are also very fresh and tasty.

The veggies have been less reliable -- sometimes they're great, sometimes just ok. The size of the share is definitely generous, but the quality runs from excellent to "eh." We've gotten amazing swiss chard and fantastic summer squash but some terrible too-bitter greens and sad-looking edamame. We like the frequent kale and broccoli rabe, but wish there was more asparagus and spinach. Their tomatoes are delicious and juicy, but the varieties are limited. Finally, it seems like you get an endless stream of the less popular "filler vegetables" like radishes, turnips and kohlrabi all too often.

Anyone out there a member of the Cobble Hill CSA? Have you been happy with the size and quality of your shares? Have you had a different experience, or is dealing with an excess of turnips just the nature of the CSA game?

For those of you wondering what the heck I'm talking about, here's more info on CSAs:
http://www.justfood.org/csa

Mar 07, 2010
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn Thai (that doesnt suck)

MissMasala, I recommend you give the spicy menu at Em a try sometime. I used to prefer Nine-D too, but the spicy stuff at Em is pretty tasty. I particularly like the ground pork dish, which is pretty mouth-searing and flavorful.

The rest of their menu is less impressive.

Mar 01, 2010
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Brunch with Parents in Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill

Agreed. Union Smith has terrible food and worse service. I've been fooled into going there a few times because it's kid-friendly, but it's just not worth it. Avoid.

Feb 24, 2010
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn Thai (that doesnt suck)

This may be too far for you, but the spicy menu at Em Thai does not suck. It's not sweet and cloying, and it's really spicy. It's not the best Thai, but it's better than other Brooklyn Thai I've had. Don't stray from the spicy menu though.

Then again, I was underwhelmed by Sri, so maybe we have different taste buds.

Feb 23, 2010
oolah in Outer Boroughs

A question about depth of color?

With less expensive mass-produced wines (and possibly some higher end fruit bombs), there's also the use of additives like Mega Purple.
http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/s...

Feb 04, 2010
oolah in Wine

Lunetta - telling it like it is

For what it's worth, I've also had appallingly bad service at Lunetta every time I've been there. It ranges from indifferent to annoying. I like their food, so if I'm in the right mood, I'll overlook it, but man oh man could they use some front of house help.

Dec 28, 2009
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Sue Perette (on Smith between DeGraw and Sackett)

I admit when I read this post, I didn't quite understand it -- it seemed a little too nebulous and not really descriptive of the food served at the restaurant. Then my husband and I had dinner at Sue Perette this weekend and we totally got it. I have to say I agree with Jim.

The food was perfectly fine. Not bad, but not terribly interesting. Everything was competently executed, but nothing stood out, and the dishes just lacked a little something that would make it seem more impressive than something I would cook at home. A little acid, a little spice, a little je ne sais quoi.

The service was warm and very accommodating, if a little slow. The owners seem like genuinely nice people. The wine and beer list are pretty good and well-priced, and the place looks great. But for the price we paid (about $110 for 2 with a drink and an app apiece, no dessert), I'd expect something a little more delicious than something I could whip up at home myself.

Dec 14, 2009
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Grower Champagnes

You're not going to find much for under $35 -- that's typically the floor for entry-level grower champagne (or any champagne, really).

At around $40, Chartogne-Taillet NV Cuvée Ste. Anne is a fantastic champagne, especially for the price. I don't think you'll do better than that in your price range. It's available at most reputable NYC wine stores, including Chambers St Wines.

If you're willing to splurge and double your budget, Larmandier-Bernier NV Blanc de Blancs is also very good (~$60), as is Egly-Ouriet NV Champagne Brut (~$65).

Cheers!

Dec 13, 2009
oolah in Wine

Good Dinner spot in Cobble Hill? (not too much $$$$)

Olive Vine, across the street and a block south has pretty good middle eastern food, is BYOB and pretty cheap. Directly across the street from the theater, Osaka has decent sushi (typical prices for sushi). A few blocks south, Enoteca on Court has very good Neapolitan-style pizza that won't kill your wallet.

Dec 10, 2009
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Curry Spot: Remsen St, Brooklyn Heights

I had lunch at Curry Spot a few weeks ago and the same reaction. Nothing at all special. I make better chana masala in my kitchen with my eyes closed. I was a bit surprised because I'd read some positive reviews of the place a while back -- disappointing.

Dec 10, 2009
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Ronnybrook Farms Egg Nog need before Saturday

Cobblestone Foods on Court St, just south of Bergen, carries Ronnybrook products. So does Stinky Brooklyn, on Smith St, just north of Degraw. I'm not sure that either has the egg nog specifically though, so definitely call before you go.

Dec 08, 2009
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Sommelier snobbery - why do 4 star restaurants refuse to list white zinfandel?

I don't know -- why do 4-star restaurants refuse to serve frito pie?

Just because a restaurant is in the hospitality industry doesn't mean they need to cater to every whim of every person that might walk through the door. If every restaurant just served what the average person wanted to eat and drink, we'd have nothing but Chili's.

Besides, if the restaurant is so highly rated, then I'd venture to say that the owners do know quite a bit about their market.

Dec 04, 2009
oolah in Wine

Dinner at Kevin's: Red Hook

Glad to hear you enjoyed your dinner. We've been there for brunch many many times (and enjoyed it immensely), but I'm always eyeing the dinner menu, which looks delicious. This may be the kick in the pants we need to get over there for dinner.

Nov 21, 2009
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Oaxaca on Smith St.

I'm with Nehna. It is the second coming of Jesucristo? Nope, but I like it better than any other Mexican in the neighborhood. Not as spicy as Fast & Fresh (which I've now had a few times), but the flavors pop more. Miles better than Calexico, which continues to disappoint me. And let's not even talk about Lobo, Pacifico or Mexicali (ewww).

I haven't had delivery, but I have noticed that the tacos are best when eaten immediately rather than carried home.

Nov 09, 2009
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Olive Vine (15th/7th) gone?

I would think calling one place is as easy as calling another. Same task, same result.

Anyway, Olive Vine is decent, but not spectacular food. Solid neighborhood takeout.

Oct 17, 2009
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Olive Vine (15th/7th) gone?

Is what worth it?

Oct 16, 2009
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Olive Vine (15th/7th) gone?

Not sure if that location is closed or not, but they have a branch (ha ha!) on Court and Sackett. (718) 797-1110

You could give them a call and ask. If the Slope location closed, maybe they'll even deliver over to you.

Oct 16, 2009
oolah in Outer Boroughs

Are you freaking kidding me? Another Thai place opens in Cobble Hill/ Carroll Gardens.

As if to add insult to injury, we ordered from Szechuan Garden tonight, and it turns out they've changed their name to Saki Asian Fusion. I think it's the same ownership because they've retained many of the same menu items, but they've also added -- you guessed it! -- a bunch of Thai options like Tom Yum and Pad Thai. Aiiigh!

Sep 25, 2009
oolah in Outer Boroughs

ISO wine to go with Indian food...

Oh and even better than just regular Vouvray would be *sparkling* Vouvray. There's a lot of bad sparkling Vouvray out there, but Champalou and Pinon both make very good versions.

Sep 23, 2009
oolah in Wine

Are you freaking kidding me? Another Thai place opens in Cobble Hill/ Carroll Gardens.

Looks like Ghang Thai has taken over the space previously occupied by Miriam. The good news? It's a beautifully designed space with a nice garden. Very sleek.

The bad news? It's a Thai restaurant in a neighborhood already bursting with them. (In a 1 mile radius, there's lemongrass, joya, nine-d, ghang, and at least 2 others whose names escape me)

I'm glad to see one less empty storefront on Court, but why? Ghang already has an outpost less than 3 blocks away on Smith, and I can say with absolute certainty that the LAST thing this neighborhood needed was another sorry excuse for Thai food.

Of the bunch in the neighborhood, I like Nine-D the best, but as with Indian and Chinese, you have to go elsewhere if you want to eat the good stuff.

[/rant over]

Sep 23, 2009
oolah in Outer Boroughs

ISO wine to go with Indian food...

Yep, it depends on the dish, but I've had success with off-dry Vouvray with the spicier dishes.

Sep 22, 2009
oolah in Wine

Where can I get bottles of Régnié, Chiroubles and Saint Amour in the MidAtlantic?

Sep 16, 2009
oolah in Wine