Tag Archives: confit

Brindle Room

My buddies and I came in here for a quick dinner on a Sunday evening. I had heard great things about both the burger and the duck confit poutine, so I had to give them each a try.

First the poutine:

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At $20 this is a bit pricey, but probably big enough to share with another person and not have to order much else to get full. We split it four ways and each had an entree. That was perfect. While the fries do get a little soggy in this pot, that’s to be expected when covering them with confit duck, cheddar cheese curds and duck gravy. The dish had great flavor, and one of my friends who only ate duck once before and had a bad experience is now a changed man.

The burger, I am told, is crafted with rib eye fat cap. It’s a simple arrangement of American cheese, caramelized onions and pickles. My kind of burger. This is a damn good representation of how I like my burgers, however I just wish the bun was a bit softer and more supple. Potato buns rule.

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I had some more fries with this, only sans cheddar cheese curds, gravy and duck. They were nicely fried and well seasoned, with a crispy natural cut to them. Well played.

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That about does it. Another burger added to the list of hundreds that have found their way into my mouth, down my gullet, through my digestive tract, out my ass, and into the NYC sewage system.

BRINDLE ROOM
277 E 10th St
New York, NY 10009

Sauvage

This French and American joint just opened up about three weeks ago in the Williamsburg / Greenpoint area. A preview write-up that I saw recently showed some very promising menu items (I’ll get to those soon), and it just so happened that a friend of ours secured a reservation for us to give it a try.

The first thing my wife and I did was try cocktails at the bar. Both of these were pretty damn good.

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Since these are the same folks behind Maison Premiere, the starter menu is here raw bar -forward, with offerings like uni, oysters and crab. We went with the uni and “queen crab” items.

The uni was very nice, but one of our four pieces was a bit lame in size and lacked flavor – it even had a funky smell to it. In the photo below, that one is on the upper right, slightly out of focus. When we asked about it, the waitress pretty much said that this is how it came out of the shell, and not much they could do about it. Bummer.

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The bigger disappointment was the “queen crab,” which was essentially just a few very overpriced, chilled snow crab legs. Bummer II: The Return of Bummer. Skip this item, as you’re probably better off getting snow crab legs as some kind of cheap-ass, all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.

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We were excited to see sunchokes on the menu, as these are some of my favorite root veggies around. They weren’t as great as I’d hoped, but I was happy to chow down on some anyway. Son of Bummer: The Vendetta Begins.

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Okay so now that the negative bummers are out of the way, let’s get to the outstanding and overwhelming positives. First, this squid ink garganelli pasta dish:

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This shit was expertly crafted and cooked perfectly. It was dressed deftly with a light, slightly chunky tomato and squid sauce and garnished with celery leaves. Absolutely delicious.

But as a meat fanatic, these next two dishes will have me pining for an inconvenient journey on both the M and G trains back into parts of Brooklyn that I barely knew existed and to which I have no real desire to ever go.

First, this pig’s head confit.

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There are only a handful of places doing this here in the city (one of which is Marc Forgione). This version was completely de-boned, so you can just fork and knife the shit out of this and eat everything you see on the plate. Let no part of the face go to waste! It’s super crispy all over, and underneath the crackly pig skin face lies a soft, tender meat that’s abundantly entwined with a savory and succulent fatty pig jelly. Fuck yeah, you should order this when you come here. It comes with grilled peach and sweet beans.

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Just when I thought I couldn’t be happier about the meat product offerings here, out comes the tomahawk rib eye for two.

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This fucker hails from Niman Ranch and is processed and aged by DeBragga on the east coast. It’s a 52-day dry aged and 32+ ounce hunk of tender, juicy and beefily flavorful steak, the likes of which are nearly unrivaled in all of Brooklyn.

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Now, I do think it is a bit small, being listed on the menu “for two” at $135, however the quality here is definitely worth at least some kinf of upcharge (unlike the steak at Pasquale Jones). For that reason, and for the reason that this is grilled rather than seared in a pan for a better crust, I have to take one point away and give it a 9/10.

We almost had a massive disappointment, however. When the steak first came out it was overcooked. I almost never do this, but as a group we decided to send it back, considering how much we were about to drop on this meal. We were happy to be met with a very understanding staff who agreed with our assessment and went above and beyond to make it right. What came back to us was perfect rare plus or medium rare. I very special thanks to the GM, Julian, for taking care of us on this. He was a fantastic host.

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I didn’t take pics of the overcooked steak, so all the shit you see here is from the actual steak that we ate. I hope the staff got to eat our overcooked steak, or a homeless bum or something. It would suck if it got thrown out. They offered it to us for free, but we didn’t want to taint the experience with a mistakenly overdone steak.

The shameful part was that the table next to us ordered their tomahawk well done on purpose. WELL DONE! What a colossal waste of good, expertly raised and brilliantly aged beef. Too bad we couldn’t have coordinated with them ahead of time. They could have taken our overcooked steak and ruined it a little more so it was to the other table’s liking.

Anyway, the steak comes with a fire roasted onion and some nice woods mushrooms on the side.

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They also gave us a little asparagus salad on the house when the corrected steak came out to the table:

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For dessert, we tried this kind of small “floating island” traditional French dessert. It was very flavorful – just small. Luckily we were pretty full at that point. The best were the little crunchy bits of French toast flavored croutons in there. I want a bag of those to go!

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All in this meal came to $100 a head. My recommendations for you at this joint is to skip the shellfish, get a pasta, and pick a shared entree like the pig face or steak. I did notice some other nice items on the solo entree menu, like a pork porterhouse and a strip steak. Maybe next time.

SAUVAGE
905 Lorimer St
Brooklyn, NY 11222

A.O.C. L’aile ou la Cuisse

I was recently invited to A.O.C. for a press meal. The menu looked pretty stacked, with lots of things I wanted to try, so I jumped at the opportunity to come here.

We sat outside in the back garden, which is beautiful, shaded and perfect for a spring/summer meal outdoors, especially with some colorful cocktails like these.

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We started with this amazing charcuterie and cheese board called Le Grand Mix. At $28 I felt that this was great. Usually these kinds of items are way overpriced to me, to the point of feeling like ass rape mixed with getting your balls stomped-on by stiletto heels. Here, however, it seemed very fair, if not actually a good deal. There were five sliced meats, a pair of duck confit crostini, three cheeses, some grapes, sliced apples and strawberries. There was even a small mixed greens salad beneath the apples!

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Prosciutto, country ham, smoked duck, mortadella, spicy salami, if I had to guess on the sliced meats. The cheeses were brie, gouda and a harder style like parmigiano reggiano.

For our meal, we shared the cote de boeuf rib eye steak for two.

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At $79 it comes with a bowl of mixed veggies and french fries. Great deal! The mixed veggies were all fresh, not frozen, and consisted of green beans, asparagus, broccoli and carrots. These had some basic seasonings like garlic and butter.

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The fries were thin shoe-string style, which I like. Some were very crisp, and some were half crisp. It was an interesting mix of textures, but the flavors were spot on and they were well-seasoned.

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The steak itself was overcooked, unfortunately. There was a bit too much grey going on for medium rare. The meat, as a result, was a little more dense and tough than I like, but it had good flavor otherwise, especially when dipped into the bernaise sauce that came with it (you can choose peppercorn as well, I think).

A video posted by Katherine (@thecakedealer) on

Here’s a closer shot of the steak. I boosted the reds a bit in Photoshop on both images, because I couldn’t help myself and I wanted it to look nice for the Instagram post.

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I’m giving this a 6/10 instead of a 5 or 4, because ultimately this is a wonderful deal and the only real issue was the cooking temperature. I would definitely come back here and order this again, so don’t get the wrong idea. Compared with other steak-for-two deals that often times don’t come with sides, are smaller, and cost much more money, this is a steal. Just make sure you insist on rare.

For dessert we tried the tarte tartin. I wasn’t expecting pie format for this, since it was described as an apple turnover on the menu. But the apple flavor was very natural and not overly sweet. The crust, however, fell short and was a bit gummy. Ultimately it just lacked character, and tasted more like a thick apple sauce than a pie or tart.

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My overall recommendation: Definitely get the charcuterie and cheese boards, and if you want to order steak, go for it but just be mindful of the cook temperature. The hanger looks great, and I’m sure the entrecote shell steak is nice too, traditional steak frites style. The mussels look amazing as well. I wish we had room in our guts to try more stuff, especially those.

A.O.C. L’AILE OU LA CUISSE
314 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014

Louie’s Backyard

We decided to take in the water view for a quick lunch here at Louie’s Backyard in Key West. I went with a burger, which, here, is topped with provolone cheese, caramelized onions, roasted poblano peppers and sri racha aioli.

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I didn’t get much heat from the aioli or peppers. The burger patty itself was nice, though cooked a little too much in my opinion. The steak fries were pretty good. I usually don’t like these, but they were very crispy.

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My wife had this really interesting smoked salmon and egg brik turnover. The outer shell was light and crisp, and inside was a runny egg yolk and perfectly cooked salmon.

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My buddy went with this really great duck confit dish. Super tender.

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Definitely give this place a try if you’re in Key West. The bar outside is nice too, even if you don’t sit to eat.