Oh, To Be in Brooklyn in Early Autumn

After a week of wining, dining and family time in Brooklyn, we are back home and nearly recovered from all that.

I had a list of places I wanted to eat and thanks to my daughter we ate at most of them. Thanks to her and her husband we also ate some fantastic home cooked meals and ate at two places I never would’ve found. We ate upscale (Olmsted) and low brow (Antonio’s Pizza). Olmsted is a new restaurant whose owners chef, Greg Baxtrom and farmer Ian Rothman both can boast impressive resumes. Antonio’s  is a hole-in-the-wall pizza joint on Flatbush Avenue. I’ll write about Antonio’s tomorrow.

The small, smart space has a neighborhood feel to it (that is if your neighborhood is Prospect Heights) but there is something deeper there; a sense of what real food is supposed to be, an attention to detail, a passion. While many people talk farm-to-table the guys do it. They certainly use plenty of local sources, but they also understand that in order to get the best ingredients  sometimes you need to go beyond that (although the back patio holds a small garden plush with greens and other edibles used in the kitchen.)

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Note: all photos from Olmsted were picked from Yelp. I think I got permission to use them.

Anyway, the menu is tiny and changes as availability dictates. For example, Morgan’s Meat on the night were there was a wonderful duck paté accompanied with tiny toasts that held up to the dense meat. Served in a tiny mason jar and intensely flavored, we devoured the “snack.” Plus, that was only the first plate. A small bowl of roasted Romano beans arrived at the same time. These, too, disappeared quickly.

In contrast to the intense umami of that dish, was the watermelon sushi. Cold and crisp, sweet and briny, this dish surprised the taste buds.olmstedsushi

We  also enjoyed the carrot crepe. If carrots tasted this way all the time I’d eat them every day.olmstedcarrotcrepe

A new dish for me was the charred artichoke chawanmushi, a soft custard that was topped with crisp fennel.chawenmushi

Other plates included heirloom tomato schnutzel, which was like a large fried green tomato, but yellow. We also ate a wonderful confit pollack, roasted pork collar, duck breast & scotched fig, cucumber fajitas (these weren’t your mother’s fajitas), a creamy Harbison cheese ‘fondue’ and all the desserts on the menu.

Everything was served on small.brightly colored plates that were changed out as needed. Service was outstanding and we even saw Michael J.Fox who was there with his wife, Tracey Pollan and their son.

I highly recommend Olmsted should you ever be in Brooklyn.