Seasonal American food from an ambitious kitchen is turning heads at the two-month-old James in Prospect Heights. “Clearly they are not content with being just another decent neighborhood joint,” observes cheeseball, who reports a short, thoughtful menu featuring high-quality ingredients skillfully prepared.

An appetizer of plump, fresh seared diver scallops may not have been the best scallop dish allydee has ever had, but the minty sauce added an interesting twist. However, the hamburger (grass-fed beef with Cotswold cheese on brioche) floored her dining companion, who “completely stopped relating to me, and raved about it all the way home.” cheeseball enjoyed the “perfectly crispy outsides and pillowy insides” of dishes such as crispy sweetbreads and a dessert of ricotta beignets.

A few blocks north in Fort Greene, the General Greene offers another seasonal American menu, but one that leans more toward small plates and comfort food. For sullafelix, winners include a lightly seasoned yet rich bean salad; pork meatballs in a tangy, complex tomato sauce; and crispy chicken with fennel, corn, and arugula salad.

While the flavors hit the mark, several hounds complain about the size of the servings. “Although we expected the portions to be small,” sullafelix writes, “the $9 crispy chicken was just a drumstick.” starfish finds the food “delicious and interesting” but says the burger was “petite” and a smoked trout tea sandwich “was inhaled in three bites.”

James [Prospect Heights]
605 Carlton Avenue (at St. Marks Avenue), Brooklyn
718-942-4255

The General Greene [Fort Greene]
229 DeKalb Avenue (at Clermont Avenue), Brooklyn
718-222-1510

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