We were last at The Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare in May of 2019 and not much has changed in the physical place but Covid 19 has made spacing between guests larger (50% capacity). Brooklyn Fare is the grocery that is the front of the building and the Chef’s Table is in the rear. Chef César Ramirez was in the kitchen and doing much of the plating of courses. It is a tasting menu only with seats around a large C-shaped wood counter and booth seating around the perimeter. The open kitchen is the center of the well lit room with older rock music in the background. Wine pairings are available or bottles can be individually purchased. There are a lot of staff and all are very friendly with guests but Ramirez is more about cooking than visiting with diners. The beautifully presented luxury foods are filled with flavor and texture, but many of the courses were quite similar to what we had 2 years ago.
Everyone starts with a moist cloth to wipe their hands which will be used for the first several courses. Blue fin tuna tartar was piled high with Beluga cream caviar and topped with mustard blooms in an ultra thin crust. This was a one bite option, probably because the crust was so delicate, but huge for most. Once in the mouth was filled with wonderful flavors of delicious caviar and tuna.
In-house smoked salmon was chunked and topped with trout roe and cilantro sprouts in another thin pastry. Another one bite option and this one was filled with the pop of the larger trout roe and a hint of cilantro. A smoked essence was definitely there but mild for a perfect blend of flavors. The super thin crisp crust added another textural element to this fabulous bite.
Aji, or Japanese horse mackerel was topped with crispy kelp on a cracker of nori. In between was a sauce of wasabi and other elements that brought the two together perfectly and gave it a little kick. The fish was cooked simply by touching the skin with white hot charcoal, so it was really lightly seared. An amazing combination of textures and flavors for terrific end result.
Uni, Hokkaido sea urchin from Japan was on a toasted brioche and topped with a black truffle. The soft uni contrasted nicely with the crisp brioche and all was enhanced with the truffle flavor. This great combination of loveliness must be a signature dish for the chef.
Chiba Akamutsu Red sea perch from Japan was was 2 pieces of raw filet floating on the most amazing sauce. Some of the sauce was to be eaten with each bite which yielded not a lot of textural contrast but simply coated your tastebuds with flavor.
Custard with foie gras, truffle and ramps was a delicious combination with a mild flavor but quite savory. It was a smaller cup than last visit but a perfect amount to enjoy. Less overwhelming than the previous courses but fine overall.
Black cod from British Colombia was with razor clams, white asparagus and maitake mushrooms in a buttery sauce. The buttery fish worked well with the chewy clams and bite of the asparagus and mushrooms. A terrific grouping of flavors with not one being dominant just all good.
Langoustine was from Norway and covered with a thin sheet of Ibérico ham and plated with a muscle and morel stuffed with langoustine. This was an amazing bowl of fun and flavor all surrounded by a butter sauce. Great.
Koshihikari Rice was covered with Rouget or Red Mullet. Also in the dish was baby octopus, abalone and a bit of roe. The abalone and octopus were in bits that blended in with the rice that gave the dish a nice chewiness. Not as rich as the last course but equally tasty.
Lamb was served with spring vegetables. Pea shoots, ramps, zucchini and black trumpet mushrooms were among the sides to the black truffle wrapped piece of lamb. The lamb was beautifully rare with a small fat cap within the wrap. The well flavored sauce brought out the best in the various vegetables and was very good with the lamb too.
Wagyu was a slice of Japanese A5 on some Chinese broccoli with a red wine reduction/mustard sauce. The buttery beef was predictably fine but I preferred it without too much of the sauce which covered its lovely taste. Delicious whichever way you chose to eat it.
Sorbet was on a bowl of wild strawberries from Spain. Some champagne gelée added to the sweetness. Fresh and lovely, this was a great transition into sweet courses.
Frozen Sobacha (buckwheat tea) Soufflé must be another signature as it was the same as last visit. The large cold soufflé was dusted with buckwheat and had some crispy balls around the bottom. This one had a very mildly sweet flavor.
Coconut Passion Fruit Cake was the next puffy white dessert. The passion fruit was in the center of the collection of balls. The passion fruit was tart and the puffy coconut was the sweet. A good combination but not great.
Petit Fours were on a multi level tray and included dulce de leche filled cream puffs that were crispy, creamy and yummy. Next down were white chocolate raspberry that were filled with raspberry goo. They had been refrigerated but the raspberry filling overwhelmed any other part of the candy. Not my favorite. On the bottom rungs were salted caramels which were on a pastry shell and were very good.
Upon leaving and with your bill you get a copy of the evening’s menu.