I wanted to write in to rave about my dinner at Chestnut last night.
I have been eating my way through some of the overly hyped Brooklyn eateries discussed on these boards in the past few years. Although I usually like anything as long as I didn't have to cook it, I have often found myself wishing that I'd skipped the pricey meal and just gone down the block for a slice and a Coke.
Chestnut however, has consistantly delivered.
Our meal last night:
My noshing-partner and I decided to take advantage of their $25 3- course prix-fixe special (Tuesday and Wednesday). You can choose anything off their regular menu.
1. buckwheat pancake with smoked salmon and creme fraiche:
lovely plating, a medium sized pancake stuffed with, um, I think more buckwheat (whatever it was it was tasty) with a generous "rose bud" of smoked salmon. the creme was in the center of the salmon. all of this was served atop a bed of greens (mizuna? not really sure). delish!
2. mixed salad - surprisingly large amount of mixed greens in light, lemony dressing. not drowning in oil.
1. pumpkin poppyseed ravioli with braised greens and ricotta salada. holy crap! these were amazing! 4 beautiful, handmade ravioli "boats" on a sea of braised mustard greens. the shape of the ravioli trapped all the tiny cubes of browned ricotta salata. the filling was both sweet and savory and incredibly fresh.
2. pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon (!) with zucchini and corn pudding. ok - i was a vegetarian for a large portion of my life - so any time i order a meat dish i know i might run the risk of being turned off. (Sorrels Coq au Vin with Spaetzle comes to mind - too gamey after all those years of eating seitan). so i was prepared to not necesarily love this entree - but knew i HAD to try it - pork wrapped in bacon!
it was the most delicious meal i've eaten in YEARS.
the pork was melt-in-your-mouth tender.
simply, but attractively plated, the bacon wrapped tenderloin was sliced into 4 or 5 medallions. a whole (roasted?) zucchini was stuffed with a pudding which tasted of sweet corn and cornmeal. it was kind of bland but balanced out the meal nicely. the pork had so much flavor and salt from the bacon that if the veggies were overly seasoned, the dish would not have been as satisfying. (my only meal at Blue Star comes to mind - some kind of salmon dish with the veggie side dish chockful of smoked salmon - flavor overload!)
ok - so we were kind of boring and both ordered the chocolate budino. sometimes you just want something you know you will like. it was all hot and chocolately as expected. mmmm...
other desserts included sorbets that came in a variety of interesting flavors (can't remember what they were - sorry), a cookie selection that came with a wine pairing and a selection of cheeses.
we did not order wine with our meal - but noticed that the bartender poured a healthy serving. wish they used glasses with stems but that's just me being picky.
a word on the staff:
very professional and always friendly. one time last year, the kitchen was overwhelmed and we waited for our entrees for a long time. our waiter was incredibly accomodating (we had not complained - he just kept checking up on us) and even treated us to an assortment of chocolates in addition to our desserts.