Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Restaurant Review: Brookvin

OK, I wrote this for another site, but they never ended up posting it and then I moved out of that neighborhood anyway. Whatevs.
Brookvin: A Drunken Review

I finally had a chance to stop by new South Slope hot spot Brookvin this weekend. It only took me so long because I live in North Slope and am lazy, not because I’ve been busy with anything else except Netflix. So anyway, Saturday night I corralled some friends and took the bus (the bus!) over to seventh and twelfth. One friend had already arrived and had put our name on the list for what was supposed to be a 20 minute wait. We settled in and bought a bottle of wine (Syrah, if you must know) at the bar for the five of us and began to wait for one of the three larger tables to free up.

After about thirty minutes, we had finished off the bottle, my one friend had apparently scolded the hostess (unnecessarily, in my eyes—it’s difficult for a hostess to gauge how long people will linger over cheese plates!), and we moved down to the other end of the bar to wait some more and avoid the hostess. At this point we dove into the cocktail menu, assisted by our lovely bartender, who I think was either part owner or at least largely responsible for the drink menu. He was extremely helpful and poured us a generous taste of their house-infused bacon bourbon. Now, bacon and bourbon are two of my favorite things, so, naturally, I was excited about what was in that glass, and it certainly did not disappoint. Some maple syrup added to the infusion (which, I was informed, is actually just bacon fat and not any of the meat itself) nicely balances the saltiness of the bacon (fat) and the fiery quality of the bourbon. The whiskey sours were quite popular with the friends, as was the cucumber martini (vodka, muddled cucumber). I was steered away from the raspberry? Lemonade, as it is apparently quite sweet (but maybe you’re into that).

After eagerly downing our delicious whiskey sours, etc., things got a little fuzzy. We were seated at a comfy booth next to the bar (at least 40 minutes after we had arrived) and were attended to by a really great, enthusiastic server (not creepily enthused though—she just wasn’t too cool to remember our order unlike a certain growing class of servers who wear their sunglasses at night—I think you know who I mean). Anyway, she was great, we ordered all three cheese plates—a goat, a sheep, and a cow—all came with accompaniments of some sort of jam-like substance and a good amount of crusty (sometimes a little too crusty/toasted) bread. I was really into the rose petal(?) jam that came with the sheep’s(?) milk cheese—it was sweet and gooey but not cloying at all, and didn’t overpower the cheese.

We also ordered a plate of proscuitto and two tartines—onion jam, tallegio and radicchio (which was good the first round, but the radicchio took over a little too much on the second round, making it bitter) and house-cured bacon with something else gooey and nice.

I think there was another round of whiskey sours at some point—maybe a red wine? Dessert, my friends, is really blurry:

me: do you remember what that dessert was at brookvin?

either one?

Friend: oooh

we had the caremelized apple bread pudding

with salted caramel sauce

and then, um... malted something?

i don't know, i was pretty drunk

me: was the apple bread pudding the thing that was really good?

or was that a chocolate malted something pudding?

Friend: BOTH

it was a custard thing with... chocolate stuff on top

cocoa powder?

i have no idea

we were all dying over the custard, but i personally was really into the apple thing because it was lighter

So….yeah….desserts were great. Order both of them; let me know what they are. Here’s a blurry phone picture of what the chocolate malted something pudding looked like before I devoured it:

I really enjoyed my dinner/small plates/whatever and will certainly go back. I’d like to explore the wine list a little more—it looked like there were some great selections by both the glass, bottle and even half bottle (who needs that?), with helpful descriptions—always a plus. I kind of hope they start offering some options beyond the small plates. There is obviously someone with an interesting palate behind the line, and I’d love to see what else they can do! Brookvin is, however, probably not the best place to go in a group of five on a Saturday—there are only a few tables big enough to accommodate you, the place is pretty busy, and you’ll probably be wasted by the time they seat you.

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