I'm embarassed to say that the last time I ate in Brooklyn was almost two years ago when my sister (a Brooklyn native) took me to Sea. My trip to Williamsburg tonight was the coincidence of my recent boredom with Manhattan restaurants -- I feel like I've been to all of the restaurants in my price range that I'm interested in -- and the New York Times two star review of Dressler this week. The review meant that when my boyfriend and I walked into Dressler for our 9:30 reservation, the bar was packed and there was a 20 minute wait for our table. Fortunately, our excellent dinner ended up being well worth the wait.
The space at Dressler is beautiful, with intricate tiled floors, lovely backlit metal carvings along the bar and one wall of the restaurant, exposed red-painted brick on the other wall, and very ornate ceiling fixtures throughout. As my boyfriend said, the space is "old-timey," but in a way that is simultaneously comfortable and fashionable. The service was also great, for the most part. I was a little put off by the fact that the maitre d' didn't tell us that there would be a wait for our reserved table, even though I asked him explicitly whether there would be a wait (he said only that they were running "about on time" and that they'd collect us from the bar). But, our server was incredibly friendly and his dish recommendations were dead on.
The only dull point of our food experience was the bread--hard-to-chew bread sticks that I barely wasted my time on. From then on, everything was perfect. We shared the pan roasted scallops, which were perfectly prepared. They had a slight crust, but the insides were incredibly tender. These were the best scallops I've had in at least a year. The scallops were served with some very fresh citrus and greens. On our server's recommendation, I had the red snapper as my main course. The snapper was served with its very crispy skin still on, and the flesh of the fish was perfectly prepared. The dish came in a somewhat spicy ginger-soy broth with bok choy and enoki mushrooms. My boyfriend ordered the grilled center cut pork rib (medium), which he really enjoyed. I thought it was slighly chewy, but this cut tends to be a bit tough, and the dish was one of the best renditions I have had lately. The pork was served with white beans, a couple slices of pork belly, and a little savoy cabbage.
I ended my dinner with the pistachio semifreddo: a round cake (two inches in diameter, about two inches tall) of semifreddo over a thin layer of "brownie." This was absolutely delicious, and the nuts in the semifreddo added some nice texture to the dish. My boyfriend also enjoyed his peanut butter and chocolate parfait, a simple dish made great by fresh and carefully prepared ingredients.