Patois on Smith Street in Cobble Hill is a narrow
crowded restaurant with a garden in back that is now
winterized with a wood burning stove and a tent-like
roof. My friend and I sat next to a couple that made
out, smoked, talked on their cell phone and even said
"night night" to us after we changed our seats to the
front room. Next my friend sat in front of the curtain
that separated the kitchen from the restaurant and I
sat smooshed against someone sitting right behind me.
Bread was served in a loaf pan with a cloth napkin. It
was cold and slightly stale.
After half an hour a waiter came and asked if we would
like to hear the specials. We already had. "What would
you like to order for an appetizer?" he asked. I don't
want an appetizer. I just want to order a main dish.
"Would you like to order a salad with that?" Oi. A
while later our entres arrived. I had ordered the duck
pot pie, a special. It was a small pie, with a flaky
pastry dough top crust. It consisted of a salty sauce,
a little duck, and undercooked root vegetables, i.e.
crunchy turnips. For $17.
My friend had the salmon, which came with a little
dollup of mashed potatoes and some strips of root
vegetables. She liked it, though it was a little
undercooked. For dessert, I had the apricot sorbet
which had a nice tangy flavor. My friend ordered the
banana bread pudding -- After you've had the banana
pudding at Charles Southern Kitchen, you're just never
the same, certainly about eatting that dish. Coffee, no
refills offered. Check thrown on the table. Retrieved
by another waiter and returned on a little tray. The
bill for both of us was $58. plus tip. I couldn't help
but compare the dinner with what I ate the night
before, three of us at Pio Pio in Jackson Heights,
total for all, $32 with bags of leftovers to take home,
a friendly atmosphere, great food. Patois reminded me
of the clubs where people wait on line to get in, face
scrutiny at the door, and then pay for it. Why?