Brooklyn has been on the move for quite a while. The food movement is exploding all over the country but this particular borough is on a bullet train. More and more restaurants are popping up in transforming neighborhoods as well as butchers, chocolate makers, etc.. Of the few restaurants I have gone to, I have found most of them a neighborhood gem but not necessarily a place I'd take an excursion to any night unless I had something happening in that neighborhood. I actually believe that the return to main street which is what is going on in Brooklyn is the direction that we are going in. The few local restaurants, the local tailor, the local drug store, the local wine store, etc. As social media explodes there is the flip side of the desire for people to return to other roots. Just my humble opinion but certainly walking around Brooklyn last night makes me believe that there is alot left out there for development ( locally ). If the Government had any money I'd propose spending billions of dollars on the subway and exploding it by 5 fold not only in Manhattan but particularly in the outer boroughs with the thought that it could eventually connect through the Northeast. The growth to the economy would be huge but that is another story. Let's stick with Dressler.
We had dinner at Dressler last night which is basically next door to Peter Luger. Not sure what used to be in that particular spot but the interior has the air of something really old. High ceilings, long bar with metal work done by local artisans. The deep red color and the dark brown floors along the big leather booths in the back reminds me of old smoke filled gathering place. I really liked the vibe. Biggest bonus, the food was fantastic. One of the best meals, in a new place, I have had in a while.
We started off with some wines by the glass and beers. A really interesting list of both. They gave us the option a soft roll or a hard roll. We all opted for the soft which was like a crusty Parker house roll. Really delicious. After the previous nights eating extravaganza, I went with 2 appetizers. Yet, there were a variety of options on the menu I would have gone for. The menu leans towards richer food. The chef came out of Gramercy Tavern and I can see the similarities particularly from the front room at GT.
My first course was a warm artichoke heart underneath a mixture of cranberry beans, arugula and shavings of Parmesan cheese with a rich creamy vinaigrette. Simple and delicious, a perfect meld of flavors. Fred went with the ravioli which he deemed just awesome. Large pieces of ravioli stuffed with a light ricotta and a mixture of mushrooms, tomatoes in a Parmesan broth. My friend went with the beet salad which was just beautiful to look at.
For dinner, I went with the scallop appetizer portion. 2 perfectly caramelized scallops sitting on creamy grits, sauteed mushrooms with tiny pieces of bacon and a very light tomato sauce. Just perfect. Fred had the special which was a piece of sea bass cooked to perfection, Fred said phenomenal, best piece of fish he has had in months. Crispy skin side up served in a bowl with fingerling potatoes and small pieces of braised leeks and a light broth.
Dessert was essential. We opted for 2. A treat on the house is they bring over small glasses of Muscat, nice touch. Even though blueberries are not in season, the blueberry cobbler was amazing. Sweet tiny blueberries that exploded in your mouth with the crispy crumble, a hint of lemon and vanilla ice cream. We also went for the fig dessert. Not that sweet but the figs had been boiled down with sugar with pistachio ice cream and a type of cheese tart. As much as I love chocolate, sometimes at the end of the meal I find it puts me over the edge.
Bottom line, since Dressler's is only a quick jaunt over the Williamsburg bridge, I will be back. We went to see music in the area so the location was perfect. The JMZ line goes to Marcy Street but there should be a subway stop right on Lower Broadway so going to parts of Brooklyn don't have to be such an adventure for the everyday man. When it comes to Dresslers, I am sure that Manhattanites don't realize what they are missing out on.