|A corn cake with fresh corn and a plump poached duck egg at Flatbush Farm|
Flatbush Farm brings the farm to table concept to Park Slope, offering seasonal produce from Long Island, eggs and apples from upstate and cheeses and lamb from Vermont, among many other local staples, all served in a setting more appropriately thought of as rustic urban chic. Rows of tables are covered with light brown paper and simple candles, surrounded by dark brown leather benches and wooden chairs. In nice weather, a surprisingly large garden unfolds in the back.
|Corn Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes|
We rounded out our post-Labor Day state of denial with a bottle of fruity organic rosé from Aix-en-Provence, admittedly skipping over the Channing Daughters rosé from Long Island only because we'd enjoyed several bottles of it already this year.
|Duck Brest with Duck Confit Tots|
Other entrees were enjoyable even if we were not wowed. A roast chicken with horseradish mashed potatoes was competent comfort food but nothing special. Cavatelli with more corn, Parmesan and a light tomato sauce was a nice concept, the sauce fresh and rustic with a hint of vinegar. Unfortunately, the texture of the cavatelli missed the mark. I love pasta with a bite, but it had too much and bordered on chewy. I'd order the chicken again but will skip the cavatelli.
|Cavatelli with Corn, Parmesan and Tomato Sauce|
When she refused to put in a duck order for medium well, I cheered inside; she explained that the duck would not be appealing at that temperature. I was glad she stood her ground, as I am all for making reasonable substitutions and the customer being right, but I think more restaurants should insist on not overcooking proteins that need to be left tender. I don't want to see tuna cooked medium-well (gross) or even steak (dry, tasteless), and I wince when customers order their food overcooked and then complain later that it is tough or dry.
The finickiness continued. No American coffee was served, only espresso drinks, and once again I rejoiced. Having just returned from Spain where the coffee is rich and glorious, I am still getting re-acclimated to watery American drip. But then it started to get to be too much, even for me. No decaf--I get the idea, and perhaps in principle I approve, but at 10pm many people don't want to be caffeinated and maybe they could give it a rest. No sugar substitutes--again, I might even agree in principle, and I'd be fine with them not putting them on the table, but they should be provided on request. What began as a firm defense of food that is fresh, tasty, not dry, cooked right had become a snobbery that was off-putting. At some point customer preferences have to mean something.
Even more off-putting was an automatic 20% gratuity calculated on an after-tax basis. I consider that a generous reward for top-notch service, which it was not, but in any event for only 5 people that should be left to the customer's discretion.
|Brownie with Peanut Butter Ice Cream|
In the end, it was an enjoyable meal. The food was fresh, the atmosphere was pleasant and I appreciate the skill with which the seasonal bounty is deployed. I will return, perhaps multiple times, but I will think twice before bringing a large party.
76 Saint Marks Avenue
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