Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Brooklyn Birthday

People like to do different things on their birthday, some throw lavish parties, some drink to excess, and some pretend they just don’t happen.  Well, not this Brooklynite! I love love love my birthday!  If I could make it a national holiday, I would…. But the reason I really love it, is that it is an excuse to eat at a ridiculously fancy and fabulous restaurant!  Well, this year, the lucky restaurant to have me and the Urban Chef was at the Chef’s table at Brooklyn Fare

Brooklyn Fare is a 2 Michelin star and 3 New York Times star restaurant.  The Urban Chef’s father actually tuned us onto this place (thanks Art!)  It is run by Chef Cesar Ramirez (a David Bouley defector).  It is an 18 seat restaurant with the places arrayed around a stainless steal chef table including stainless steal chairs (the Urban Chef loved this!)  The design invites a truly intimate experience as you watch the Chef and his three assistants make and prepare every dish.  The kitchen is behind the chef table and completed with the full set of copper pots (I am totally registering for these when the Urban Chef and I tie the knot) and 3 large ovens.  The space did not get too hot though, because most of the preparation had been done before hand, and the burners had no gas, it was all done though convection.  It is a truly beautiful and modern space, although it can feel very sterile at first, once it fills up and you take your first sip of wine and the first canapé arrives, you float away on your journey of culinary bliss. 

Reservations are notoriously hard to get and require serious patience.  You can only make them on the Monday, 6 weeks before the week you want to eat, starting at 10am.  I literally called probably every 10 seconds from 10:00 – 10:45 until I was put through.  There I remained on hold for about 10 minutes until the reservationist picked up, she then asked cutely, “how may I help you?” Now, I understand that this is polite, but I mean come on! She knows what I want…SERIOUSLY?  Can we stop with the coy “how may I help you?”  You know how can help me damn it—I want to get on the all illusive reservation list for 6 weeks from now!!!! Then she asked when I wanted a reservation, at this point, I’m like ANYTHING, but really Thursday.  Which I got! YAY!  It was almost like torture though because for six weeks, I’m left to image the meal to come…

Thursday, July 14 – Birthday Dinner At Brooklyn Fare.  So before I start, the rules are that you are not allowed to take pictures or write notes during the meal.  This may seem a bit picky, but once you are there you understand.  The food and its preparation are meant to be experienced as art.  You are supposed to watch the dance of the Chef’s preparation of the food and to appreciate the orchestration of the way his assistants interact with him and each other.  You are supposed to take in the fact that all of the kitchen work is done in almost complete silence – every move has been choreographed and rehearsed.  Chef Ramirez wants you to enjoy the precision in which his meal is prepared and note the elaborate plating and architectural flatware.  The meal is a dance of the senses and to be unfocused by trying to take pictures and notes, would ruin the experience. 

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