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Williamsburg Patti Jackson

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#1 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 06:22 PM

Patti Jackson is a good, solid chef (mostly at upper-mid-level Italian places), and her new No. 5th St. restaurant, centering on the food of the Mid-Atlantic region, is probably the recent opening that I've been most excited about. I love the idea of this simple cuisine that uses a lot of homely local ingredients that seem exotic only because they're not used a lot (you know, like what ramps were a few years ago).

It's a set menu, but with choice of entrees. You get a whole passel of appetizers, then a set first course and a choice of one out of three second courses (meat/poultry, fish, and vegetarian), then dessert. It all costs something like $48. I think Chef Jackson said it was inspired by the early days of Torrisi. This is less cutesy, however, and I like it better. The danger is not to oversell it, the way early Torrisi was oversold. The food is extremely enjoyable, and totally worthy of respect. Just don't think it's hitting the absolute heights of cuisine in New York.

Having gotten that caveat out of the way, I found the place totally enchanting and very much liked just about everything they served me. This is, to me, the very model of the Elevated Middle -- a real treat.

Among the plethora of appetizers -- delivered to you even if you're dining solo, as I was (there isn't a bar, BTW) -- I remember as standouts the delicious pretzel bread, a rabbit terrine that somehow tasted a bit like gefilte fish, and monkfish cheeks that tasted like monkfish cheeks.

The first course was Einkorn wheat noodles with fava beans (I love having these pain-in-the-butt beans in restaurants) and farmer cheese. See what I mean by homely? It was very good.

Then, another heirloom wheat -- Emmer -- with a pan-roasted duck breast with rhubarb and peas. This was very similar to a dish I made at home earlier in the week; I love torturing myself by ordering restaurant dishes that are similar to things I've come up with, just to beat myself with how much better professional chefs are than I am. Chef Jackson clearly came out a few miles ahead with this wonderful entree.

Service was amateurish, if charming.

Marvelous food, low prices, what could be missing? Customers: on a Sunday night at around 8, the place was virtually empty. I think the proffer may be too homely for people to understand. And the flavors are subtle: there are no attention-grabbing in-your-face fatbombs on the menu, and as you'd imagine, Mid-Atlantic cuisine is not heavy on spice. I adore this place, and very much want to see it succeed. Everybody here should go: I can't imagine anyone not liking it. And maybe Chef Jackson should get a new publicist or something. Just go. Really.
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#2 Rail Paul

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 06:30 PM

Nice report

 

135 North Fifth, near Bedford


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#3 joethefoodie

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 06:40 PM

I've played around with Emmer, mostly using it in soups.  How was it served with the duck - more like a risotto, pilaf, just plain like brown rice?

 

The place sounds good.

 

Would you consider it a destination restaurant or a neighborhood restaurant or a restaurant that's a destination if you're in the neighborhood?



#4 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 06:50 PM

I've played around with Emmer, mostly using it in soups.  How was it served with the duck - more like a risotto, pilaf, just plain like brown rice?


Just plain like brown rice.
 

The place sounds good.
 
Would you consider it a destination restaurant or a neighborhood restaurant or a restaurant that's a destination if you're in the neighborhood?


A destination if you're in the neighborhood.
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#5 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:05 PM

Isn't emmer farro or is that spelt?


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#6 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:12 PM

Spelt is frika, right?
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#7 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:13 PM

Yes, emmer appears to be farro.
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#8 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:15 PM

This person says that einkorn is farro piccolo (which I just bought from Anson Mills, BTW), spelt is farro grande, and emmer is farro medio.

So if she's right, they're ALL farro -- but different types.
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#9 LiquidNY

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:17 PM

What's regular farro then?

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#10 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:19 PM

It's farro.
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#11 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:20 PM

I think regular farro may be spelt then.

 

although the piccolo farro from AM looks a hell of a lot like any other farro I've ever had.

 

I also bought farro once that had in small print on it "pearled barley" so who knows. I like em all.


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#12 Suzanne F

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 08:30 PM

I'm just excited that Patti is back. I will try to convince Paul to make the trip one of the next times we are near the L train at dinnertime.


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#13 Wilfrid

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 04:57 PM

This is a very nice place, and a stone bargain at $48 for four or five small plates, pasta, entree, desserts and little sweet nibbles.  I'll write more when I get a chance (and get done with Denver).


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#14 TaliesinNYC

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 02:34 AM

Of course, you'd have to post about this place a few days away from my trip out west.  :( :( :(

(I'm kidding. I'll haul myself out there hopefully soon after I return.)



#15 Suzanne F

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 04:41 AM

Of course, you'd have to post about this place a few days away from my trip out west.  :( :( :(

(I'm kidding. I'll haul myself out there hopefully soon after I return.)

I suggest an in-town road trip!


You other peopled wrong. -- Orik, 22 November 2017 - 3:03 AM

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table






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