Marxist Meals Served at Co-op EateriesRestaurants run by workers seem like a great idea. Rather than having to bow and scrape before the Man, the employees of places like René Pujol and Colors, discussed recently in the New York Resident, more or less get to decide their own destinies. But they raise an age-old question (which most people haven’t pondered since college): Is the worker’s paradise really a practical idea?
The Underground Gourmet
Flatbush Farm Takes Haute Barnyard to the Next Level
76-78 St. Marks Ave., nr. Sixth Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-622-3276
With the possible exception of the Bay Area, Brooklyn may be the world epicenter of so-called local, seasonal, and — in the prevailing menu-speak — “organic whenever possible” cooking. In the past, it’s been enough to cite farm sources (360, Franny’s) or host farmer dinners (Applewood). Now, Kings County Haute Barnyard restaurants are confusing matters by naming themselves as if they were, in fact, produce-purveying competition for the Park Slope Coop.
First came the Farm on Adderley, in Ditmas Park, and now there’s Flatbush Farm, a bar and restaurant in the old Bistro St. Mark’s space that started serving small plates over the summer and launched its dining-room menu late last month. Chef Eric Lind, late of Bayard’s, has the right rural connections: His former boss, chef Eberhard Müller, co-owns Satur Farms on the North Fork and supplies Lind with locally grown produce. Aside from a few artfully displayed farm implements and staid portraits, the long, high-ceilinged space is more urban chic than country quaint; paper napkins and juice glasses for wine are the most notable signs of the restaurant’s commitment to the Simple Life. But Lind’s menu lives up to its rustic promise with hearty dishes like spaetzle with mushroom ragout and lamb shoulder with bubble and squeak. One night’s pork goulash was a tough, chewy disappointment, but the special salmon-cake appetizer was a textural triumph, moist and meaty over a bed of leeks and grainy mustard. One of those and a Pinkus Organic Ur Pils in the Indian-summer-worthy garden is about as bucolic as Brooklyn gets.
— Rob Patronite and Robin RaisfeldRead Adam Platt’s Haute Barnyard top ten.