|Brooklyn's Battersby: Exposed brick wall? Check. Cramped quarters? Check. Fine dining with a Brooklyn decor|
Battersby has everything you'd expect to see at a trendy Brooklyn restaurant: the obligatory exposed bricks and wood plank floors; cramped seating and no reservations; and waiters and clientele wearing ray-ban glasses. But wait, the food coming from the three men who work in Battersby's closet of a kitchen is refined, and thoughtful, with the level of finesse and care you'd expect at a fine dining downtown Manhattan establishment.
Battersby has won recent acclaims, appearing on Bon Appetit list of the ten best new restaurants of 2012. As a result, it's quite popular. Battersby does not take reservations unless you want to order what they describe as a "spontaneous tasting menu." Opting for the tasting menu is really the only way to go unless you want to line up before the restaurant opens and take your chances -- like I did at Pok Pok Ny, last year's trendy Brooklyn restaurant, right after it opened. Life's too short for that. Naturally, on a recent visit, virtually everyone in the 28-seat restaurant sprung for the tasting menu.
The tasting menus come in two sizes – five courses for $65 or seven courses for $85. The portions, while not huge, are supplemented by additional dishes and starters between courses.
|Rosemary flat bread with homemade ricotta|
|A sampling of cocktails|
Three small dishes arrived before the first course. First, we were treated to a palette cleansing and wholly refreshing cold carrot soup in a shot glass.
|Chicken liver pate|
Next came a collection of baguette slices topped with a pile of chicken liver pate and an unusually large mushroom. A drizzle of balsamic was added for good measure. A classic combination, done well.
|Hamachi crudo with yuzu vinaigrette|
|Spaghetti with toasted breadcrumbs and uni|
It's a great example of the versitility of American cuisine. Crudo is traditionally an Italian dish of raw fish dressed with olive oil, sea salt, and lemon juice, vinegar, or another form of citrus. Here, Battersby combines Japanese hamachi and uses yuzu for the citrus, along with American vegetables.
The next course was a spaghetti with toasted breadcrumbs and uni in a buttery sauce. A rich dish, made all the more rich with the addition of uni. The breadcrumbs added a nice crispiness, reminding me of other memorable pasta dishes with crispy ingredients, like a linguini with razor clams and crispy bottarga at Boulud Sud.
|Black cod with spring vegetables|
|Sliced duck breast|
|The caramel mousse|
For the main dessert, we were served a salted caramel mousse topped with nuts and lemon zest. I enjoyed this chocolateless-mousse, though perhaps a change of texture for one of the desserts would have allowed the chefs to demonstrate more versatility.
255 Smith St Brooklyn, NY 11231
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