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Masten Lake


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#1 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 03:25 PM

Checked this place out Sunday. The obvious comparison foodwise is Robertas but the room is actually quite nice in a cliched Brooklyn sort of way. Lots of hard surfaces tho so I'm sure it will get nice and loud. Clearly they've been reading what people here say about Roberta's because all of the larger booths seem to have gussied up park benches as seats. Almost like an f-you to the "I don't want to eat on benches" crowd. Probably succeed more visually than from a comfort perspective it must be said.

Food was good. If you like Roberta's regular menu you'll like this place. The only real piece of protein we had was some duck breast - which was appropriately ducky. Didn't say if it was Moulard or Lola, served on a nice bed of Farro with a poached egg and some ferociously bitter greens that worked well. Had some Bay scallops w Lentils. Probably Nantuckets - they were fine, lack the sweetness of Peconics, but then Peconics are a disaster to find. Dish was fine, not sure the combo really worked. Lentils were too earthy for the scallops, probably better with traditional sea scallops. I actually thought the scallops were a touch undercooked, but everyone else seemed to disagree with me.

Pastas were both quite good - an Orchiette like pasta with a simple sautee of lobster mushrooms, pancetta and shallot really showed off the texture of the pasta - which was excellent. Pici with a ragu was also very good.

Calamari with Chile was a fine cold starter. Calamari might have been a smidge old IMO, but the chile was strong enough to overwhelm that. Nice counterpoint with some plums.

Two "salads" - Daikon with Buttermilk, Pancetta, and a bunch of other things and Tomatillo with Ricotta, Guanciale, et al. Both were extrememly light, pretty plates to look at as well. Not so sure how I feel about super ripe raw Tomatillo, but it was worth trying

Wine list is small but interesting, reasonably marked up.

Worth checking out, not "oh my god you have to go here" though.
Why not mayo?

#2 Wilfrid

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 04:27 PM

Thanks for the report. I will wear my padded pants if I go there.

#3 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 04:55 PM

I think the tables have standard seats, so padding is not a pre-req
Why not mayo?

#4 Wilfrid

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:40 PM

I see Masten Lake hasn't caused much of a stir here. Pity. I really like it. Comfortable, relaxing, serious but hearty food. If the pictures and descriptions here do nothing for your appetite I have failed.

I would very much like to go back and eat the whole rabbit.

ETA: Per Bonner's remarks above, the "benches," which actually have backs, are nicely curved and comfortable.

#5 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:55 PM

Holy fuck. How have I not moved in there?
Bar Loser

MF Old

#6 Orik

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:27 PM

Thanks, it's been on the list for a while. The farro looks more like kasha, doesn't it? Do you think he's consciously going for a child's version of currently fashionable plating style with the scattered main course and the grain (or not) + whole onion + egg?
I never said that

#7 nuxvomica

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:47 PM

i've been meaning to go too but, alas, have been spending more time uptown than in Williamsburg (and still haven't been to Isa <_< ). does look good
“Eat me,’’ it says. “Eat me and die.’’ -- Jonathan Gold

Everything is always OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end.

#8 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:56 PM

It's good. You guys should go. We've been back since that post from November.
Why not mayo?

#9 Orik

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:58 PM

But it's so far away.
I never said that

#10 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:19 AM

You are logged in as the wrong sock puppet. You want the Welsh one, not the Israeli one.
Why not mayo?

#11 Wilfrid

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:24 AM

Farro, more likely kasha, buckwheat, trigo. I agree. I actually tried to call to fact check this morning, but there was nobody around and I don't have time right now.

#12 nuxvomica

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:43 PM

damn, just announced it's closed
“Eat me,’’ it says. “Eat me and die.’’ -- Jonathan Gold

Everything is always OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end.

#13 Wilfrid

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:14 PM

What a damn shame. As some of the comments on Eater point out, it was a lot better than places which are packed.

I also, quite selfishly, note that it's a pain in the ass to visit a place more than once and write a rave review the day before it shuts.

#14 mitchells

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:20 PM

What a damn shame. As some of the comments on Eater point out, it was a lot better than places which are packed.

I also, quite selfishly, note that it's a pain in the ass to visit a place more than once and write a rave review the day before it shuts.


Wilf, let us know what place you plan to visit next and I'll add it to the Death Watch thread.

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
Ambrose Bierce

#15 Wilfrid

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:22 PM

It's really hard to express my anger in learning, a moment later, that Pete Wells has devoted a review to Shake Shack.