I’ve made an executive decision here. And I can do that. Why? Well, because it’s my blog. I have decided to dub this seemingly ordinary week of May Brooklyn Locavore Restaurant Week. If you haven’t noticed, I write a fair bit of recipes here. I also love dining out. At restaurants that focus on farm to table and seasonal ingredients, of course. And I take a lot of pictures, like I do with most anything that involves food these days. What I’m not too good at is sharing. It’s not that I don’t want to rave about ever delicious morsel that enters my mouth, it’s more the fact that I don’t want to be like every other foodie that reviews restaurants. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people review restaurants and everything is the best. Best bloody mary I’ve ever had. Best pasta dish. Best, best, best. Well, what is it? Is this the best meal you ever had or is it one of those dozen other meals you claimed to be the best?
I loved to cook before Top Chef came around. I was never a fan of cooking shows. The food network annoys me. Sure they’re some good recipes out there, but how can you really learn to make a 4 hour braise (with sides!) in a 27 minute episode. The shows would just frustrate me. But when Top Chef came along, I was immediately hooked. Top Chef doesn’t teach you how to make a recipe, it inspires you to think out of the box, to consider what you would make if faced with some saltine crackers and a piece of fish. Or what dishes would best describe you? Watching the show definitely encouraged me to play with flavors and invent new dishes.
The thing I love best about Park Slope is the fact that you can pretty much walk into any restaurant and it will be fantastic. You can eat out every night for weeks and find a new place and try new cuisines. If you live in Brooklyn, you know 5th Avenue and 7th Avenue are the main commercial stretches littered with grocers, boutiques, banks and of course restaurants. What people don’t often know about is what lays between and beyond those main stretches. Benchmark Restaurant is just around the corner from 5th Avenue on 2nd Street. If you walked up to the intersection you’d first notice Loki, a comfortable trendy neighborhood bar. Now look down, down to the floor, and you might see a tiny chalkboard directing you to Benchmark around the corner. And that’s where your food journey begins.
I’ve put off writing about Petit Oven for awhile now. Even last week when I attended their Pig Roast and Beer Toast, took plenty of pictures, specifically to write about them, I hesitated. Why? Because I’m selfish. Bay Ridge has been getting a lot of press lately. It’s a bit off the beaten path and isn’t the trendiest place in the world, but lately things are changing and I worry the hipsters might invade the neighborhood. We have a cute wine bar, Owl’s Head, a great California taco joint, Ho’brah, and my favorite, Petit Oven. Of course I want the world to know about my favorite restaurant, I just don’t know that I’m ready to share.
I’m one of those people who likes to learn. So when I commit to an idea, I tend to read about it and buy a lot of books. Amazon Prime is my downfall. Take for example when I tried a month long vegan experiment earlier this year (sorry, not blog recorded). I managed to build a 4 book vegan cookbook library practically overnight. So when I became more interested in the locavore movement, I started reading.