It is with some trepidation that I am posting this message due to the popularity of Applewood with many people who read Chowhound, but I have been following the recent discussion about Brooklyn Fish Camp with interest and decided to weigh in on the issue of disappointing local restaurants with our experience at Applewood.
This week after reading many great reviews on Chowhound and hearing raves from friends, my husband and I finally had dinner at Applewood. Our dinner fell far short of what we had expected based on all of the comments. While the food was adequately prepared, it was not exceptional and it definitely was not worth the high, by Park Slope standards, price.
For an appetizer I had a delicious but miniscule piece of pork belly accompanied by an apple/apricot puree that was a dead ringer for the baby food my daughter ate. My husband had the special cold asparagus soup which had a flavor so delicate as not to be discernible. It could have been made from almost any green vegetable.
My entree was billed as a poached leg and loin of rabbit accompanied by roast beets and greens. When it arrived, there was no leg, only a few slices of rabbit loin, lots of indifferently prepared beets and some tasty greens. When I asked about the missing rabbit leg, the waitress told me that they had run out of them. Perhaps if the entree had been delivered as described it would have been more satisfying. Aside from the greens, the entree was bland and the beets overwhelmed the very mild rabbit loin. My husband's lamb and lentil special was okay, but not as good as the Whole Foods lamb and poached French lentil combination which I make. Dessert which we shared was a small portion of good but not great coffee ice cream and a small ramekin of wonderful coffee creme brulee. The service was attentive and the space lovely.
We had two drinks, one glass of wine, two cups of coffee and the above appetizers, entrees and dessert and the check before tip was $145. I don't object to spending that much for dinner if the food is interesting and flavorful and a distinct improvement on the meals which we eat at home. This was none of the above.
We may give Applewood another chance, but we will not be in a hurry to do it. I applaud the owners' use of local, organically grown ingredients which I also try to do in my home cooking and understand that it results in higher food costs, but the flavor/interest/cost factor of Applewood was a great disappointment to us.
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