February 5, 2012

Friday night dinner

My expectations were met above and beyond this Friday night. Starting with a special Shabbat dinner at my son’s preschool to a 25 course tasting menu at the chef’s table at Brooklyn Fare, there’s much to talk about…
Shabbat is when Jew’s observe the kick off to God’s day of rest which signifies the day he took to relax while creating the world. For me, while growing up, Friday night dinners were very meaningful in my family as we always made a point to either eat together or spend the night with our extended family. I have the fondest memories of these dinners with my relatives.
As life went on and I moved to New York I found that this traditional dinner got lost in the hustle and bustle of the busy lives we live here. It’s sad, but true. So you can image how excited I was when I received an invitation from my son’s preschool of the arts for a Friday night Shabbat dinner. My husband, son and I walked into the school at 5pm to a room filled with tables set up with decor all made by the children: clay candle sticks, crafty flower centerpieces, challah covers and kiddish cups. It brought tears to my eyes.

All of the families gathered together to sing prayers over wine (well actually grape juice) and the Shabbat candles. We were then pleasantly surprised to find out that the teachers were going to take our children to the classrooms for Shabbat puppet shows, songs and a kid’s dinner so the parents could enjoy a very hearty and classic Shabbat meal amongst adult friends. We gathered back together for a dessert of fruit and treats like cupcakes and cookies which the children also made for us in their classes earlier in the week and/or day.

Thank you to the amazing teachers who spend so much time nurturing and caring for our lil ones. You do an amazing job and we are so proud and lucky to be a part of this special community.

Sounds like a nice night, right? Well it didn’t end after Shabbat dinner as we had a 10pm reservation at Brooklyn Fare. Ya I know its a bit late for dinner but this restaurant is absolutely impossible to get into so when Amex was kind enough to help take the time making the calls for me…and got the reservation…no way no how was I giving it up. I requested the reservation for 4 people so we could enjoy this special meal with our “foodie” friends Sara & Bill. They are two of the only people we know who truly love good food as much as we do – well actually they love it way more…we just enjoy trying these places with them. Ha! So we got together for a drink first and they were giving us the down low about this place…like it’sBrooklyn’s only Michelin starred restaurant. I was so excited I couldn’t contain myself! All glammed up and ready to go we got into our car and drove off to Brooklyn. When we arrived at the restaurant they asked us to kindly wait a few moments while they got set up. We noticed the famous Chef Cesar Ramirez was cleaning off the tasting table himself. We were seated promptly at 10pm where there was a mini kitchen brilliantly set up right in front of our eyes, 4 sous chefs assisting Chef Ramirez, one girl was passing out the dishes and one girl was the sommelier. The meal was made up of 25 courses all small, mostly one biters. There was very little speaking in this room and the mood was tense. The chefs hardly spoke to each other and when they did it was through the use of mumbling and very low hums. It was one of the oddest yet most unique dining experiences I’ve ever been apart of. The food was beyond outstanding and very accommodating to my being 4 months pregnant as they basically turned all of the raw fish dishes into tempura for me. Not too shabby. As we powered through this three hour dinner I couldn’t help observe and stare a bit…I think Chef Ramierz caught on and at one point looked right at me and asked if I had eaten at his restaurant before. I said no but having been trying to! He wasn’t amused or interested and this killed me. I just wanted to get some QT with this super involved and incredibly talented chef but boy was he tough to crack. I started to feel like we were being served by the infamous soup nazi and I needed to finesse him like Kramer did on the unforgettable Seinfeld episode about this passionate chef. Well I did just that and by the end of the night I got the following out of him:
“that cheese is pasteurized” referring to the second to last dish which included a soft cheese…
“Did you enjoy?”
and a pat on the back when we left for the evening
Want to know what we ate? Well I wouldn’t be able to remember past the first course which was off the charts tasty…but luckily my friend Sara was able to remember most of the fab dishes that we ate…but forget the pictures…NO shots were allowed!
Beet soup with horseradish creme fraiche
White snapper with yuzu and crispy scales
Kuomotu oyster with meyer lemon
Fluke with pickled daikon
Crab with a finger lime foam
Jack fish with sunchoke and arugula flower
Kampachi with crispy leeks
Horse mackerel with ginger
Fried lump crab meat with dill yogurt
Geoduck clam with radish
Fried anchovy with garlic parsley cream
Sea urchin and black truffle on brioche
Caviar with smoke cod and potato (smoked with apple wood)
Fried sardine with crispy potato
Seafood custard with dashi
Octopus with hearts of palm and cucumber
Fried langostines
Japanese rice with rouget and thai curry
Duck with kumquats and porcini mushroom
Goat cheese with apple, lettuce, and balsamic vinegar
Greek yogurt with gold leaf and either lychee or grapefruit
Sour cream souffle with riesling ice cream

I highly, highly recommend you trying this place…but wish you luck getting in!
Brooklyn Fare
200 Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

xx, Seri
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