The last time I was here was last January, shortly before I left for Mexico. I really liked it, especially the margritas. The Mysterious Sister-In-Law's birthday is coming up so I thought this might be a good excuse to come here again. She was with me the last time I was here and I knew she liked the place.
I got there early to indulge myself with a margarita or two. Surprisingly, they have a very limited selection of tequilas. Very limited. In fact, they only had one blanco, Sauza. Not a bad tequila, and it was there well tequila. There other well tequila was Herradura, and that was the reposada. Now I like Herradura, but I like my margaritas made with a blanco. I was perplexed.
The bartender, Kasey, recommended a clear mescal. Hmm, no worm in the bottle, no color, worth a try. And it was very good. Kind of a smokey margarita.
Kasey, The Mixologist
As I was discussing the dearth of tequilas Jean Paul O'Neil, an owner, showed up. We started talking and it turned out we had a lot in common. Like me, he goes to Mexico every year, and loves it. When I mentioned how much I like Paris he said his wife came from there. And he lives in my neighborhood so, of course, we talked about how much we loved living there, the restaurants and bars, the little shops and street vendors. He is more familiar with the Smith Street scene and we had a couple of favorite restaurants in common, Bar Tabac and Robin des Bois Sherwood Cafe. He hadn't been to the Waterfront Ale House, Brazen Head, or Atlantic Chip Shop though, and he said he really liked beer. We are going to get together one day soon and I will give him a little bar crawl and beer tasting.
After about a half an hour of chit chatting with Jean Paul my brother-in-law Jim showed up and, of course, the debate about whether I lived in Downtown Brooklyn or Brooklyn Heights started up. Jean Paul took my side and then beat a hasty retreat. Soon after the Mysterious Chinese Woman and the Mysterious Chinese Sister-In-Law showed up.
The mixologist, Kasey, took a lovely picture of us at the bar but, of course, Jim had to spoil it. He is so childish.
He Does Look Innocent, Though
After a couple of more cocktails we headed to our table where Jim had to spoil yet another picture.
He Is Jealous Of My Hair
We had a lovely bottle of Riesling, a 2007 Kar Tau Ser Hof. It was $43 so not cheap. However, compared to the other Riesling that was $100 it was a bargain.
Kaila, Our Sommelier
I was a bit disappointed in their new menu. It didn't have the same French bistro look to it. I suspect that they may have a new chef, although their website doesn't indicate a change. At any rate, the duck confit, which I really liked the last time, was no longer available. On the other hand, they did have a decent $30 prix fixe menu which, for whatever reason, nobody chose.
The Mysterious Chinese Woman ordered skate, not one of my favorites. She thought it was a bit bland, but then that is the nature of skate
Skating On Thin Ice
The Birthday Girl and Jim both ordered the lamb, and it was done to perfection. Again, not overly flavorful, but it couldn't have been cooked any better. Pretty much melt in your mouth tender, and for a medium rare lamb, that is difficult to accomplish.
They All Had A Little Lamb
I went for the beef brisket, something you don't often see on a restaurant menu other than in a barbecue sandwich. Again, a bit lacking in seasoning, for my taste, but very tender. Another difficult to prepare cut of meat that they really nailed it. Maybe their philosophy is to prepare the meat to perfection and let the natural flavor of the meat predominate. If so, the did a very good job of it.
A Most Tender Brisket
The dessert menu had also changed and the best Key Lime Pie I have ever had was not available. I consoled myself by drinking port with an espresso.
Jean Paul may not like this, and I hope we can still go out for a few beers, but I rather liked the menu better the last time I was here. Bring back the duck confit and the key lime pie. Oh, and get a few more tequilas, although I would probably have that mescal one again anyway. They do make dynamite margaritas here, some of the best I ever get in a bar.