Interborough Burger Contest Heading to QueensThe grilling armies in the city’s burger wars usually hail from Manhattan, but every competition needs new contenders. The Burger Battle of the Boroughs will be on May 20 in Astoria as part of the Cuisine of Queens & Beyond tasting event. Staten Island could not field a team, but representatives from Brooklyn (The Farm on Adderley, 67 Burger), Queens (Harry’s at Water Taxi Beach, Joe’s Bestburger), and the Bronx (Coals) will battle Brgr and Resto — the latter being Rob and Robin’s favorite burger in New York last year.
Pomme de Terre About to Open, But Maybe Lower Your Hopes a BitWe’ve seen delivery trucks pulling up to Pomme de Terre, and the Ditmas Park bistro has a working Website. But what exactly will the food be? Tom Kearney, the chef at the nearby Farm on Adderley who is helping develop the menu, tells us it won’t be regional or seasonal, if that’s what you were hoping for; look instead for a “familiar” bistro menu: “If you’ve experienced or read the menu of L’Express, Pastis, Balthazar, or Le Bateaux Ivre, then you know what to expect in mini-version.” Kearney will not be cooking himself at Pomme de Terre; a line cook will be executing the chef’s recipes. “After this opens I’ll be dedicating myself to the day to day back at the Farm,” he says. Whatever Pomme de Terre serves, it’s got to be better than the options provided by its predecessor, a roach-infested bodega.
Related: Ditmas Park Bistro Has a Name and No Official Permit Yet
Farm on Adderley Owners Launching Tiny Ditmas BistroDitmas Park is taking another step toward being the next big Brooklyn neighborhood with an addition to its scant restaurant scene. There now is the Farm on Adderley, Picket Fence, and a guy that cooks ribs on the street outside of left-wing cafe Vox Pop. But help is on the way, reports the Ditmas Park Blog. Gary Jonas and Allison McDowell, the owners of the Farm on Adderley, are planning on opening a small bistro on Newkirk Avenue, currently best known for its laundromats and ill-stocked Indian groceries. The two will be operating partners with Pacifico and Patois owner Jimmy Mamary. We asked McDowell about it, and she explained the plan: “It’s going to be tiny. We’re not doing a big, family-friendly neighborhood restaurant there. It’ll be more grown-up, European, but there won’t be a liquor license, just beer and wine. We’d like Tom Kearney, our chef at Adderley, to do the menu, but that’s still up in the air.” So, apparently, is the name: We’re suggesting the Barn, but only because Lentils & More is worse.
Newkirk Bistro Aims for Xmas Opening [Ditmas Park Blog]
Related: Best French Fries: The Farm on Adderley [NYM]
Left-Wing Café Introduces Centrist Grilling MenuA left-wing bookstore probably isn’t the first place you would look for char-grilled foods, even if it does include a café, but in Ditmas Park, you take your restaurant specialties where you can get them. At Vox Pop, among the progressives perusing books like The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Marxism for Beginners, you’ll find hungry locals chowing down outside Thursdays through Sundays.
The Other Critics
Perilla Found to be Basically Okay; Richman Loves Balthazar Even More Than ThePerilla tried to be sober and sane, and what was the result? One star from Frank Bruni. But that’s still pretty good for a first-time effort, even by a ‘Top Chef.’ [NYT]
It’s no surprise Alan Richman approves of Balthazar, given his fondness for insouciance in restaurants. He all but opens the floodgates of his enthusiasm for Keith McNally’s flagship. [Bloomberg]
Related: Why Is Alan Richman So in Love With Brooklyn?
In an apparent effort to differentiate the two once and for all, Andrea Thompson considers both the Farm on Adderley and Flatbush Farm in one column. But read closer, and only one entrée is mentioned at each place, a disservice to both. [NYer]
Epic, Possibly Disgusting Food Odyssey to End in Brooklyn WednesdayEat Industry, a documentary from two Brooklynites who took it upon themselves to drive across America and see where their food comes from, sounds like the kind of anti-industry agitprop that’s already been done to death. At least judging by the trailer: A cattleman describes the use of steroids on calves as a time machine, turning them into adults overnight; a community meeting looks as dramatic as a scene out of Erin Brockovitch. Whether or not it all adds up to anything will be revealed Wednesday night, when filmmakers Rod Bachar and Lilach Dekel screen the movie at Haute Barnyard spot the Farm on Adderley. The screening, which includes a Q&A with Bachar and Dekel, hot and cold hors d’oeuvre by chef Tom Kearney, and organic wine from Frey Vineyards, is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Proceeds go to post-production costs for the film. Let’s just hope you have an appetite left after watching the thing.
Eat Industry screening, The Farm on Adderley, 1108 Cortelyou Rd., nr. Coney Island Ave., Ditmas Park, Brooklyn; 718-287-3101.
Head to Head: Battle of the Barnyard Bathrooms
Musing on the new crop of Haute Barnyard restaurants, the Gobbler has promised those in need of relief that “there will often be herbs in the bathroom, and, if you’re lucky, a sprig of lavender.” We put the loos of two recent contenders, Flatbush Farm in Prospect Heights and the Farm on Adderley in Ditmas Park, to the test.
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.
Ditmas Park: New Center of the Food Universe?
Brooklyn’s Ditmas Park, known primarily for its immense Victorian houses, may never be as hip as Red Hook. But, in a sea change reminiscent of Red Hook’s Van Brunt Street, a cluster of new food ventures are springing up there along Courtelyou Road. The strip began its upswing last year with Picket Fence, whose kitchen we’ve praised as “disarmingly daring.” This past summer, the Farm on Adderley, an equally ambitious restaurant with a first-class bar, opened. (They just began serving inventive brunch items on Sundays.)
Now comes word that on November 1, TB Ackerson Fine Wine Merchant will open a store specializing in organic and biodynamic wines at 1205 Cortelyou Road and that Park Slope candy shop–ice-cream parlor Rapper’s Delight will move to Ditmas Park. There’s no equivalent of Sunny’s or Fairway in the neighborhood, but who’s to say what the next year might bring?