Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hail Caesar!

First of all, let me just say that I am stoked for this post. Until last week, it had been way too long since I got me some Brooklyn lovin'. But a dinner with some food blogger friends- yes, the same ones I keep posting about- reignited my love affair with The Brooklyn Warehouse.

Now I don't know if it's because both Kelly and I know George or because we were all food bloggers (except the rowing master but being a boyfriend is an automatic in) but damn were we spoiled. Like bubbly with St. Germain kinda spoiled. What a way to start the evening! Might as well settle in and order some drinks. While I generally drink wine with my dins, it was high time I tried the best Caesar in the city. One taste and it's clear why it's a winner. Loaded with both vodka and shochu, packed full of spicy wasabi, and garnished with pickled fiddleheads, this was one hell of a Caesar. Totally 'Best of' worthy.

With an incredible menu of  drool worthy appetizers like beef cheek poutine and pigfish (scallops and pork belly, oh my!), my indecisive self had a hard time deciding. And let me tell you, it took all I had to resist the urge to go charcuterie. I've had Brooklyn's before and it is sick. This time I instead opted for the Dragons Breath, their version of a Caesar salad. Did I just order a Caesar and a Caesar? Hells yes I did. No wonder I've heard rave reviews about this salad; a half head of romaine smothered in a creamy That Dutchman's Dragons Breath blue cheese dressing, loads of shaved parm, Oulton's bacon, and capers all accompanied by crostini and charred lemon. I know what some of you are thinking: blue cheese on my Caesar salad??? Wouldn't that just overpower everything? Not at Brooklyn. They're workin' magic in the kitchen because the flavors were perfectly balanced, the blue cheese shining through just enough to compliment the capers, garlic and lemon. Easily the best Caesar I've had in the city.

Now, if you haven't seen the current menu at Brooklyn, perhaps you wouldn't understand how incredibly hard it was to choose a main. Gnocchi, pot au feu with marrow bone, chicken confit, spag and meatballs (and obviously not regular old meatballs either- lamb stuffed with goat cheese kinda magic ballz!), rabbit three ways, chicken and waffles, and the list goes on. I mean really Brooklyn? Way to make it hard on a lady! Having never visited the South, I was easily convinced on the chicken and waffles after I asked our server's advice. I don't know what other versions of chicken and waffles are like but, damn, this one was incredible. Chicken breast stuffed with cinnamon and double smoked bacon, cornbread waffles, blueberry sauce, and sauteed  kale. With this palette of flavors, Chef Mark Grey is either absolutely insane or downright brilliant. It was literally a party in my mouth. The kind of party where you're worried all your friends won't get along, but in some stroke of luck they all become besties. Yeah, like that. The cornbread was salty then caramely sweet, the chicken at first unassuming until the bacon appeared in each smokey, heavenly bite, the kale so peppery and crunchy, and the sauce pulling it all together. Yup, pure genius.

Others at the table enjoyed this beauty, the raw bar appetizer. A whole plate of incredible.

And then there's the spaghetti and meatballs I mentioned. Despite my distaste for lamb (which may be growing into a like...), everything about this dish says order me.

Other goodies included the rabbit three ways ( and I seem to remember A getting a fourth!) as well as the pho mussels. While I can't speak for everyone, I can say a lot of empty plates left the table. I may even have had to share mine since I somehow seemed to order two of the biggest dishes on the menu. Unfortunately, folks, that meant, no room for dessert. But wait, the Chef's sending out dessert anyway? The wonderful Mark Grey sent out not one but FOUR desserts!!! I did mention we were spoiled right!? Two chocolate nemesis and two lemon meringue pies magically appeared on the table for all to share. Triple chocolate madness and tart lemony marshmallowy goodness; these desserts were off the hook. Goes to show you that, once again, there's always room for dessert. (I really wish I snapped a pic of the lemon pie because that blueberry splatter was some awesome artistic plating and mighty fun I bet.)

Well Brooklyn, you've done it again. I am madly in love with your laidback atmosphere, your stellar service, your locally sourced, incredibly inventive, expertly prepared food, and pretty much your everything. There's a reason it's voted Best Restaurant in The Coast.

Last but not least, a giant THANK YOU to George and Leo and Mark and Rayanne and the whole gang. You really know how to treat the ladies! Pretty sure I've never been treated so well at a restaurant before.

Now, how to fund my Brooklyn addiction? Suggestions welcome.

The Brooklyn Warehouse on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

spreadin the local love

Lately it feels like I'm hearing about so much exciting stuff in the food and bevvy industry. First, The Brooklyn Warehouse is bringing back the ol' school burger bar with their Ace Burger Co. With the gourmet burger bar recently heating up here (Cheesecurds in Dartmouth, and the soon to open Relish on Quinpool and Flipburger in Clayton Park), it's nice to see someone keepin' it real. George and Leo, the genius behind Brooklyn, trialed their burger bar during Open City and, surprise surprise, huge hit. Was it the real burger made of local grass fed beef or the friendly service or the ol' school feel? Pretty sure it was all of the above. All I know is my burger addiction is about to get a whole lot worse (or rather better!) with Ace down the street. 

And the news doesn't stop there!

Sheena, the powerhouse behind the gorgeous and healthful blog butterversusburpees, has partnered with her friend Kathy, a soon to be blogger, to bring their idea of locally sourced, healthy granola bars to life. Cue drumroll...introducing Made with Local! The ladies and their bars first appeared on the scene at Open City and were met with tremendous support. So much support in fact that you can find their delish bars at the World Tea House, Uncommon Grounds, and Cafe Brea in Dartmouth. As of this past weekend, you can also find one of the beautiful ladies at both the Alderney Farmers Market and the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market. With flavors like Blueberry Grunt, Sticky Squirrel, a num num pb and molasses concoction, Cran-Apple Crisp, and Choco-Berry Bliss, there`s something for all. And if you think it can`t get any better, Made with Local is almost entirely locally sourced and, get this, you will actually recognize every single ingredient. Take that packaged granola bars. Nothin` left to say but get some and perhaps get your follow on!

Last but certainly not least, big news outta the D Side. Two If By Sea's Zane Kelsall is up for a BDC Young Entrepreneur Award for Innovation with his idea to start Anchored Coffee, a direct trade roaster right here in the HRM. With a prize of 100 000 big ones, we could soon be home to another local coffee roaster. Focusing solely on direct trade and small lot roasting. Anchored Coffee wants fair prices for the farmer and delicious coffee for us. But wait, WE get to vote on the winning idea?!! Best get your ass over to the contest site to get your vote on now and every day until June 19th. Because, let's be real, elevating the coffee culture here in the city can only be a good thing. Scratch that. An amazing thing.