The Brooklyn question is a question that still permeates my life, even after living here for three years. Usually, it’s the worst in winter when our heat goes out and getting into the city is a nightmare; that’s when I begin my ritual rant about “looking on Craigslist for Manhattan apartments when our lease is up in the fall.”
But then Spring comes and I fall in love with Brooklyn all over again. Walking down Union Street, here in Park Slope, on a beautiful Spring day towards Prospect Park, I wonder why in the world I’d ever want to leave this. Here’s all the charm of a small neighborhood and it’s just one bridge away from the world’s greatest city. Who would ever want to leave?
Al Di La is one of my favorite restaurants: not just in Park Slope, but anywhere. As anyone who’s been there for dinner knows, they don’t take reservations and often the wait can be more than an hour long. So going to Al Di La is often a special occasion, a complicated affair that requires putting your name in, going somewhere else for a drink, waiting for your phone to ring (they call you) and journeying back. But now all that’s changed: Al Di La lovers can rejoice — one of New York’s best Italian restaurants is now open for lunch.
The title of this post is a strong statement, one that requires research. And so, after titling this post “The Best Sushi in Park Slope,” I decided to do the required research: I Googled “best sushi park slope” and guess what came up first? A post I wrote last January (click here) that basically said that the best sushi in Park Slope is at Taro Sushi. What does that mean? I’ve officially jumped the shark–I’m repeating myself. I’ve reached the end of food blogging, there’s nothing left to say.
Well, no, Adam, settle down. Your last post didn’t definitively declare Taro sushi to be the best sushi in Park Slope, you simply said that it was some of the best sushi you’d ever had. But what your readers don’t know is that you had a falling out with Taro. A few months later, I had lunch there and I had some bad sushi. There’s no other way to describe it: I know it sounds strange to say that the fish was too fishy, but that’s how it tasted. Too fishy. It left a bad taste in my mouth, one powerful enough to keep me away for a few months.
Where did I go during my exile from Taro? Why I went to Kiku, another Park Slope sushi joint, and a place that certainly does not have the best sushi in Park Slope. The place is wildly inconsistent: sometimes the sushi is cut so expertly you want to photograph it and hang it on your wall. Other times it’s such a mess that if you traced that sushi on a piece of paper and gave it to a geometry student as a final exam, he’d fail out of school. Yet, despite the inconsistency, Kiku is a very pleasant place to eat. There’s a little flat bowl on a glass table with fish in it; the place feels like a spa. And it was the soothing atmosphere that kept me coming back, not the sushi. In fact, I went to Kiku today for the soothing atmosphere. Not the sushi.
My sad story might end there, but last month I returned to Taro to give it another shot–Craig was with me–and we were blown away. It was lunchtime and the place was packed (always a good sign). We saw the men behind the counter filleting whole fish, also a good sign. And the sushi, like the sushi you see in the above photograph (taken last week), was gorgeous–fresh-tasting and prepared with love. We’ve gone back many times since then, and I’m happy to report that once again Taro sushi is the best sushi in Park Slope. In the category of best spa-like atmosphere to eat sushi, Kiku gets it.
And thus concludes my deeply researched post on the best sushi in Park Slope.
I am bad with secrets. I’ve always been bad with secrets. You shouldn’t tell me any secrets, secret holders, because I will give them away.
Case in point: the brunch you see above. What is it? Where can you get it? Why do I love it so?
If I were a good secret keeper, I’d end the post here. But I am not a good secret keeper and alas you shall know…
Last we spoke about restaurant reviews, I’d sworn them off (see here) with the caveat: “If I go out to eat and have a spectacular meal, of course I’ll tell you about it.” Well a week ago that happened right here in Park Slope at a place called Moim.
In the current food issue of The New Yorker, Calvin Trillin wonders–in another one of his hilarious food essays–if “through some rare genetic oddity, my sense of taste is at full strength only when I’m standing up.” He wonders this because of his deep love for street food. As a participant of the Calvin Trillin walking tour last year, I was lucky enough to eat street food standing up with the man himself. And the best bite of the tour was, by far, the bite you see above.
Brunch, more than any other meal, celebrates abundance. We don’t want one pancake when we go to brunch, we want a stack of glistening, syrup-coated chocolate-stuffed pancakes. Yet one pancake–a solitary, singular pancake–is one of the peculiarities you’ll find on the brunch menu at Flatbush Farm, a lovely neighborhood gastropub in Park Slope.
I love having a February birthday. If I see the light, some day, and I’m born again I hope it’s in February. Having a February birthday means that in the dead of winter, when it’s cruelly cold outside, you have a big happy day to look forward to. Add to that Craig’s birthday, also in February, and Valentine’s Day and you have a month worth celebrating.
Take this pancake, for example:
I ate this pancake on my birthday. Craig and I went to August in the Village, something we wouldn’t ordinarily do but because it was my birthday we had a reason. And it was a good pancake, a mighty good pancake. Craig loved brunching in the sun room at August (it was his first time there) he said he felt like we were in Montreal. I liked how the pancake was cooked in a wood-burning oven, though–I must say–the inside of the middle of the pancake was undercooked (the batter ran out when I cut in). But it was a dynamite pancake (studded with golden raisins, I should add) and we have February to thank for it.