Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A Bit Of A Change

Last Sunday was a pretty nice day, kind of hot and humid, but no rain.  The Mysterious Chinese Woman found a restaurant over in the Greenpoint Fort Greene area, not too far from where we live. It is just on the other side of Monsignor McGolrick Park, not that I have ever heard anyone call the park by this nam. Fort Greene Park. Everyone just calls it Greenpoint Park and I doubt if anyone knows who Monsignor McGolrick is anymore.

It is a very nice little park though with playgrounds for the kids and, very unusual, restrooms that are both open and clean. People in the neighborhood like to sit on the benches around the park and just lounge around or catch up with their friends, often times with a bottle of vodka.

Abistro, just a block away, is an easy place to pass by. It is right around the corner from Myrtle Avenue, a fairly busy commercial strip, but sits on a largely residential block with brownstones.

Abistro - Look Sharp Or You Will Miss It

This really is very small place.  I think it might sit about 25 people maximum and at one point while we were there I counted 23 in the place.  Nothing at all fancy here but the food is very good and it is obviously very popular.  Most of the people eating here seemed to be regulars, but the people were so friendly that we kind of felt like regulars too.

Small, But Comfortable

The food is kind of a combination of West African and French.  The owner and his wife are Senegalese which explains the West African influence but they also had mussels and steak frites on the menu.  We saw the brunch menu and that didn't have either of those.  But a few of the in-the-know customers ordered the mussels anyway.  They looked delicious and I may have to make a return trip to check them out.

The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I decided to split the Senegalese fried chicken and it was plenty for the two of us.

A Mighty Fine Brunch

The chicken sat on two jasmine rice cakes that were flavored with pineapple.  They were delicious and you could easily eat them as a desert.  The rice cakes sat on greens of some sort that were also quite tasty.  And the chicken was very good.  Nice and spicy, and I did break a bit of a sweat.  I think that was the Senegalese salsa on top.

Abistro is a BYOB place and almost everyone in there had a bottle or two of wine.  A couple of people had a bottle of Proseco and were mixing it with grapejuice.  A variation of a mimosa, I guess.  I regretted not bringing a bottle myself, but not enough to go across the street to buy one.

The Bottles Are Handy

While we were eating some kind of a bicycle rally went by and there must have been well over a thousand people peddling away.  Kind of like Rolling Thunder, only quieter.

No Playing Cards In The Spokes

We had a most enjoyable brunch and will certainly get back here again.  I really liked the coffee, too.  It had a nice cinnamon flavor.

I strongly recommend popping in here, as out of the way as it might seem to be.  You will be pleasnatly surprised. Oh, the owner, he used to be a sous chef at Aureole, one of the top restaurants in Manhattan. Although he doesn't work the stove anymore he still hovers around and his cooks says he still sneaks "secret spices" into the dishes when they aren't looking.

Abistro on Urbanspoon

I was a bit disconsolate about not bringing a bottle to brunch so I decided to stop into Thomas Beisl for a beer. I had a bad dining experience here one New Years Eve, but I still like their beers.

Thomas Beisl

It looks bigger than it is from outside, but is kind of narrow inside.  They do have a little kind of outside eating area under the red awning.  They don't have a large selection of beers, but the ones they have I do like.

Small Selection, Big Taste

And do check out the little reflections in the silver beer station. Another artistic picture.

I had a Czechvar which is brewed by Budweiser Budvar Brewery in Germany. Yes, the original Budweiser. You can't get the Budvar Budweiser in North America, only the Czechvar. And, for reasons that are too tangled for me to untangle here, Anheuser-Busch markets Budvar Czechvar in the United States.

Complicated, But Good

The beer is a nice golden color with a small head. Not a lot of an aroma and kind of a typical light Czech lager. A nice change from a Pilsner Urguel, but a lot harder to find, at least here in the United States.

The Mysterous Chinese Woman opted for a Gosser, an Austrian beer in the Marzen style. It was a nice golden yellow and quite refreshing, but nothing particularly disquishing in terms of flavor.

Went Down Nice, Though

Both of these beers would have gone really well with my Senegalese chicken, though.

Oh, and read the comments. I had my Greenpoint and Fort Greene confused, as well as the name of the park.


Joe non Papa said...

I'm a little confused. McGolrick Park is indeed in Greenpoint but you were in Fort Greene. The park nearby (with the Revolutionary War Martyr's Monument) is Fort Greene Park. Must've been a hell of a beer.

Bar Man said...

Well that explains a lot.