I am still alive (thanks for your inquiries…ahem), but work and the apartment purchase have kept me busy. To get the ball rolling again, I want to share my (belated by one month) thoughts on applewood…
Brooklyn. On a Friday night. What was I thinking? This was the thought running through my head as we trekked to Park Slope to have dinner at applewood with our friends, John and Amy, who are always troopers about coming in to the city to have dinner with us. After stumbling out of the subway following an hour-long trip to peaceful Park Slope, applewood was a welcome sight. We could have been dining in the Berkshires for how far from Manhattan the restaurant feels with its farmhouse chic décor and roaring fireplace.
We started dinner by splitting three appetizers – veal bolognese with gnocchi, pork belly, and scallops with veal testa. There was general agreement that the veal Bolognese was good (although the featherweight hunks of gnocchi were not to my liking). The men agreed that the pork belly was the best appetizer, but I find pork belly too rich. As for the scallops, call me a traditionalist, but I don’t like my mollusks served with head cheese – I gave this unique combination a try only to confirm my skepticism.
Dinner was wreckfish (my man), meyer lemon risotto (Amy), goat (John) and pork tenderloin (me). The fish choices were interesting because applewood serves wild fish only; wreckfish was new to me as was tilefish. My husband was sitting next to me when I typed this post and he recounted that his fish “was good, not amazing.” I think this sentiment summarizes the entire meal. The brussels sprouts and sauce with my pork were amazing, but the pork was overdone on the outside and tender but rather flavorless on the inside. I thought that Amy’s risotto had the most unique and interesting combination of flavors. John was disappointed with his goat; I don’t like goat in the first place so I didn’t bother trying it.
Dessert was a tepid end to the meal – the chocolate soufflé outshone the apple crisp, but I think that I could have reproduced both at home with better results.
I wanted to love applewood, and I did love the atmosphere, the comfortable but competent service (our sweet waiter even asked for the address of my blog after he saw me snapping away on the camera), and my brussels sprouts. Applewood was not worth an hour-long trip, but it was a lovely place to spend a night with friends. In fact, I can’t imagine a more welcoming place to spend a rainy Monday evening.
Pictures after the jump!