Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare (update), New York City, 5/3/19

building
building

We were at Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare in the fall of 2015, back when it was in Brooklyn.  It has since moved into the city and relaxed a few of the rules.  Chef César Ramirez now allows note taking and photos but still does not permit jeans and requires coats for men in the dining room.  I was not a fan of such policies back then and still am not but was willing to try the new location that was more under my terms.  The new place in still in the back of a grocery store but the room is beautiful, softer than the old one with a lot less stainless steel and more woods.  It is also much larger with 20 seats at the counter and 20 at tables around the perimeter.  This allows larger parties to attend and the comfortable counter seats have backs and are now spaced between parties.  Shining copper pots hang above the large open kitchen that has lots of people making preparations.  The rock music in the background was a bit jarring for the otherwise elegant setting.  It still is a surprise tasting menu only but they do give you a copy of what you had at the end of the meal.  Pairings are available.  Pacing was good but portions tend to the large size and are fairly rich.

grocery store in front
grocery store in front
entrance
entrance
open kitchen
open kitchen
room
room
room
room

 

They nicely start you with a damp cloth and a glass of champagne.

Frankie appreciateed a towel
Frankie appreciated a wet towel
champagne
champagne
counter set up
counter set up

 

Blue fin tuna tartar from Spain was on a really crisp kelp leaf.  It is supposed to be one bite, but that was large.  However the crisp bottom was quite delicate.  There was a tad of horseradish in the mix.  Good contrasts of textures with nice strong flavors.

tuna
Blue fin tuna tartar
closer
closer
looking down
looking down
Frankie played with the chopstocks
Frankie played with the chopsticks

 

Hokkaido sea urchin from Japan was topped with a black truffle and placed on a buttery piece of brioche.  The lightly toasted brioche was perfect to pair with the fluffy uni and some truffle paste in between was a companion to the duo.  Rich and delicious.

sea urchin
sea urchin
turned
turned
closer
closer
turned
turned
another side
another side

 

Grilled wild trout was in a sauce of dill, cream, roe and a dashi vinaigrette.  The skin on the top was hard to cut but tasty with crispness and a bit of gritty salt.  The silky, smooth fish was nice and the dish had a good balance of flavors.

trout
trout
closer
closer
turned
turned
wine back
wine
wine
wine
server and Frankie
Wine Director Chase and Frankie

 

Ramp custard with foie gras had a mild, subtle flavor and was sparked by the bright green ramp custard on the bottom.  The only problem with this one was the really small spoon.  It was tasty.

custard
Ramp custard with foie gras
closer
closer
inside
inside
franning the fire
fanning the fire

 

Chiba Akamutsu was Japanese sea perch with French white asparagus.  The fish was amazing and enhanced with a touch of lemon.  The fish was lightly cooked and unbeliveably moist and tender.  The white asparagus were almost sweet.  This was a great dish.

Chiba Akamutsu
Chiba Akamutsu
closer
closer
turned
turned

 

under
under
lots of kitchen action
lots of kitchen action

 

Wild sea bass was served with Kaluga Queen caviar and a vin jaune wine sauce.  This was a plate of creamy goodness.   The soft, moist fish was covered with the nutty, sweet and rich sauce then topped with excellent caviar.  A great aftertaste too, this one was really, really good – a ‘lick-the-plate’ type of dish.

wild sea bass
wild sea bass with Kaluga Queen caviar
closer
closer
turned
turned
Chef's in there too
Chef Ramirez in the kitchen

 

Claw and tail meat of langoustine from Norway was served with cauliflower purée on a bouillabaisse sauce.  The claw meat of the langoustine was covered with a thin sheet of lardo and the flesh here had a very different texture from the tail meat.  Both parts were excellent especially when coated with the tasty sauce but I found the claw meat slightly better.

langoustine
langoustine
closer
closer
turned
turned
turend
turned
Frankie loved watching
Frankie watched Chef Ramirez in the kitchen

 

Cod cheek with koshihikari rice had a wonderful texture but a fishy essence.  The cheek was plated with bits of abalone and uni that were all well done, but this one just didn’t speak to me.

cod
cod cheek
closer
closer
under
under
Frankie found an orchid
Frankie found an orchid

 

Quail from France was paired with sugar snap peas and stuffed morel mushrooms.  The bird was nicely cooked and the peas were taken out of their shells to make very small, tasty peas.  As this one involved your hands they had a wet towel for you to wipe up afterwards.  It was a good course, but not mind-blowing.

quail
quail with peas and morels
clsoer
closer
turned
turned
inside roll
inside roll
to clean up after
to clean up after

 

A5 Wagyu beef was next with maitake mushrooms, green asparagus and grilled Little Gem lettuce.  The meat had the proper taste of beef butter and was further enhanced with an onion sauce.  The grilled lettuce was the surprise hit on this plate – it was truly tasty and fun.  The rest of the plate was deliciously rich.

A5 Wagyu
A5 Wagyu
closer
closer
meat
meat
turned
turned
side
side
mushroom
mushroom
Frankie lounged
Frankie lounged

 

Rhubarb from Holland was mixed with coconut shaved ice (granité).  The ice had a great coconut flavor and the rhubarb was mildly sweet, not tart.  It was a good combination for a palate cleanser/transition course.

rhubarb
rhubarb with coconut ice
closer
closer
under
under

 

Wild strawberries from Malaga, Spain were served with fromage blanc.  The wonderful small strawberries were packed with flavor and went great with the cream cheese.

strawberry
wild strawberry with fromage blanc
closer
closer

 

Last was a Frozen Buckwheat Soufflé topped with toasted buckwheat.  Some tiny crispy balls were around the bottom cream and added a nice textural pop to the nice flavor.

frozen souffle
frozen souffle
side
side view
another side
another side
inside
inside

 

A tonka bean cream puff was filled with the flavor of almond and dusted with powdered sugar on top  It was a good pastry and fine ending for a rich meal.

last treats
last treats
closer
closer
inside
inside

 

Chef Ramirez was unwilling to have a photo made with Frankie and not me.  He really doesn’t like having his picture taken but I captured him working in the kitchen several times.  Everybody’s got quirks.

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menu for that evening
restaurant details
Frankie shared the restaurant details

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