Three of us had dinner at Gentleman Farmer last night. It's a new-ish place on the LES, on Rivington near Forsyth. The place is small--I counted maybe 20 seats and at 8:00 it was totally full. It's very cozy and the lighting is warm. There isn't much clearance between you and the next table but, well, what restaurant in the East Village or LES isn't like that?
Bread came out accompanied by two condiments--a very creamy butter (we were told that it was from an upstate creamery--it was great) and pico de gallo. The pico was an interesting touch and I liked it (but I like the butter more).
For the apps we had a lentil salad with bacon which wasn't too heavy and had a nice balance. We also had the venison sausage with blueberry reduction which was excellent, on the heavy and flavorful side (read: gamy). Luckily we all like venison, lamb, etc. but if that's not your thing then I'd choose something else. People around us had the pate and seemed to love it.
The main courses were rabbit stew, smoked duck breast, and pork loin. The duck to me was the standout, very juicy and thick and the fat was perfectly rendered. And the smokey taste perfectly complimented its sweet peppery sauce. I also liked the pork loin--juicy with a sweet onion compote on top. The rabbit stew was very rich but not quite salty enough for me; however, one other diner liked it the best.
For dessert we had a pecan tart and creme brulee. The creme brulee was a standout--very creamy, just the right sweetness, and the crust was perfect.
We also drank two bottles of cote de brouilly which were good and a reasonable pick in the $40 range. The wine director was there, and she was very helpful in picking a wine without added sulfites (one of us has a sensitivity to them).
The total was about $200 which is reasonable for three people with two bottles of wine. I'd definitely go back.
40 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002