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Willow

Brooklyn Bed-Stuy farm-to-table

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#1 SobaAddict70

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 03:49 PM

The full menu hasn't been finalized yet, and will change frequently, but for starters expect a lot of spring vegetables, like peas in horseradish yogurt with cured egg yolk, most of which come from Star Root Farm upstate, which is growing a lot of vegetables by request for both the Pines and Willow.



Looks pretty, seems precious (I never thought I'd say that; maybe there's hope for me) and it's exactly the kind of food I like eating, cooking and ordering.

Will have to put this one on my ever-expanding "to-go" list.


Willow
506 Franklin Avenue (Fulton Street)
Bedford-Stuyvesant


http://ny.eater.com/...ines-team-opens

#2 Wilfrid

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 07:48 PM

In a long double review with L'Antagoniste at the Pink Pig.

 

In short, you should go to Willow right away; it's excellent and will only get harder to book.



#3 Sneakeater

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 08:17 PM

The people at Willow couldn't have known you as a food blogger.

 

Nobody who knows you as a food blogger would bother to ask you whether you thought reservations were a good idea.


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#4 Wilfrid

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 08:50 PM

:D

 

Of course, they will now.  I can have the, "Oh that's who you are" conversation.

 

It's about seventeen minutes from the Franklin C stop, or twelve yards.   :P



#5 Neocon maudit

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 01:00 PM

I would move to this neighbourhood.



#6 Sneakeater

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 02:04 PM

You should!


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#7 Neocon maudit

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 03:04 PM

Even here I can't afford a flat on my own [two-bedrooms deeper in Bed-Stuy are already a million bucks!], but it understandably reminds me a lot of Fort Greene round the turn of the century.  Despite their intellectually recognising the investment potential of frontier neighbourhoods, my parents would never buy in a neighbourhood which hasn't already attained sufficient gentrification that most visible minorities have been expelled, and the Volvos and Suburus bear Ivy League stickers.

 

The neighbourhood and scene inside the restaurant certainly met a particular stereotype of Brooklyn.  We had a tattooed server in denim overalls, an Australian couple at the next table, and a couple of dare I say Sneak-worthy young women at the bar who would not have been out of place in the West Village or Lower East Side.  The food, hélas, fulfilled certain stereotypes of Brooklyn as well.



#8 Daniel

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 03:07 PM

ah, you were like three blocks from my place.. wish you stopped by for a drink


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#9 Neocon maudit

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 03:17 PM

Frack. I was going to look in, but then the heavens opened up and dropped several clouds of rain on us.  :unsure:



#10 Wilfrid

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 03:34 PM

Tell us more about the food.



#11 Neocon maudit

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 05:08 PM

There were four of us so we ordered almost everything save a couple of salad-y dishes.  I ought to have taken a photo of the menu, as it's changed somewhat from the current website [rhubarb season is over?].  It was definitely shorter.

 

The '4 bites' [we ordered 8 bites] comprised a ball of pork rillettes, a potato, egg salad on sesame toast, and a roasted shishito pepper.  I rather liked the potato: can't recall if it was baked or fried, but it tasted like a 'potato skin' topped with bonito instead of bacon bits.  The aged beef small plate was very good: tiny slices rare enough to verge on carpaccio though thicker and browned on the edges.  The nasturtium leaves, fried spring onions, and cherries were nice accents, the pickled morels less so.

 

The 'pickled things' were various pickled veg flavoured with [anise?] hyssop.  These tasted like pickled veg.

 

I don't understand the minted peas in yoghurt.  They're coated with shaved horseradish: much more than this photo, sufficient to make horseradish the overwhelming flavour rather than a condiment.  We got these first but tried to save them till the beef.

 

Fava beans with 'lamb xo' are served on pain de campagne: great textures owing to the bread, but everything tasted like Willow's version of XO.  Perhaps unsurprisingly the two diners with me who'd lived in Hong Kong really liked the dish.  The potato pierogi are no longer served in a kimchi sauce.  Without sauce they taste like...potato.  No garlic scapes or spring onions, but lots of morels.

 

The main proteins [not too smallish, as they aim for five-ounce portions] were perhaps the biggest disappointments.  Best was the hake, soft and delicate, if undercooked a tad for my taste [I believe Wilfrid shares my preference for cooking white fish somewhat firmer].  I don't really know if watercress was the proper complement.  Unlike the photo, there were no visible bits of lobster.  [Edited: I think they substituted uni for the lobster?  I didn't try any.]

 

The boar belly looks awfully nice, no?  The actual portions were thicker [ie taller] slices with a far greater proportion of fat and less of the caramelisation you see in their pics.  The snap peas were fresh and lovely but again seemed an odd choice for the protein.  There were a lot of snap peas.

 

The final 'main' was the skirt steak, which had been cooked past medium rare.  I believe the beef would still have tasted fine if not for the fact each of the three cooks in the kitchen took it upon themselves to salt the dish.  The last two slices tasted completely of salt.  I like greens with meat, so I enjoyed the charred lettuce as a side.  They also helped to dilute the salt.

 

The bread course [free, served at the beginning] was a round sourdough flatbread with some sort of green-flecked butter.

 

Edited: the aged strip loin was not available.



#12 Wilfrid

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 05:15 PM

Sounds like a much changed menu, other than the boar belly.  Thanks for the comments.



#13 GerryOlds

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 05:48 PM

Noticed it was reviewed: http://ny.eater.com/...ktower-and-more



#14 Sneakeater

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 04:03 PM

I thought this was good.  It's one of those places that, without meaning to, serves as a rebuke to my own inept home cooking, since (out of convenience rather than ideology) I adhere to the same very strict limits of seasonality as they do and thus concoct my menus out of the same ingredients.  The problem is, they do it so much better.

 

I understand Neocon's reservations about the appropriateness of the accompaniments to the proteins.  But I thought that, on the whole, they did a good job coming up with surprising combinations that worked.  Of course, I ordered oddly:  it was the night last week that cooled off a little, so I immediately went into my Northeastern European default mode:  the corned beef tongue appetizer, and the pierogi main (yes, with close attention you can distinguish the appetizers from the main dishes on this "share"-oriented menu).

 

The tongue was almost sensationally good.  Like butter, as Linda Richman would say.  You put it on little pieces of toasted baguette, with I think a peach (I think) butter, a good spicy mustard, and pickles and sprouted rye on top.  Now Neocon might doubt that peach (I think) butter, but it gave the assemblage a hint of sweetness that really pulled things together.

 

The pierogi were served over an eggplant puree, with radishes and (get ready) red currants.  Again, the thought of those currants may disturb you a bit, but I thought the flavor combination worked.  That's the kind of thing I could NEVER think of.

 

I liked dessert.  I wish I could remember what it was.

 

While the cooking here does not reach the almost ridiculous technical heights of Fritzl's, this is yet another place that leaves you shaking your head at how good the mid-level has gotten in NYC.


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#15 Neocon maudit

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 04:14 PM

I trust snap-pea season was over?

 

Your pierogi were served in rather less bland fashion than ours, heh. 

 

I feel like we had desserts, but I can't remember them...

 

While the cooking here does not reach the almost ridiculous technical heights of Fritzl's...

 

What?







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