Runner & Stone is right across 3rd Ave. from The Pines.
Which is how I ended up eating there.
I had told a date to meet me at The Pines at 8. I hate going to non-reservations places on dates. But she wanted Brooklyn, and I wanted to go back there. I figured, Monday?
She was late owing to a subway breakdown. I walked into The Pines a little after 8. Or rather I tried to. The door was locked. Two girls trying to get in behind me knocked. A guy opened it. There was someone inside reading a very graphic description of an abortion to a full room. Whatever my personal political beliefs might be, I don't much cotton to the idea of hearing about the elimination of fetuses while I'm eating. So I was almost relieved when the guy told me the place was fully booked for the night. (I later realized it must have been bought out for a book party or something.) The two girls, who said their parents were already there, were let in. (They must have been invited.)
So there I was on 3rd Ave., having no desire to take my date to Littleneck.
Then I remembered this new place, Runner & Stone, that recently opened across the street.
Run by the former "head baker" at Per Se and someone who used to cook at Blue Ribbon Brooklyn. It emphasizes baked goods but has a full (if generic) dinner menu. I had sort of been curious about it -- but not enough to actually walk there. Now, however, it was just across the street.
When I walked in, a very very nice waitress asked me if I had a reservation. "I . . . I . . . No, it never occurred to me that you would take them," I gasped.
"We try to be civilized," she responded. She said they'd still be able to seat us, if the subway ever started running and my date ever actually materialized.
I had a cocktail at the bar. Free-poured -- but nice tasting.
We were finally seated in their basement -- which sounds off-putting, but was actually quiet and kind of private.
The menu is generic, but execution is remarkably good. Better cooking qua cooking, probably, than at Mayfield -- but much less interesting food. So while nothing you order is going to excite you very much, you'll probably like it.
The baked goods -- bread, desserts, other accoutrements -- were, indeed, outstanding.
I recommend this place, but only if you're already around. Wilfrid will now make a joke, but plenty of people live a few blocks away in Park Slope. And I'm sure that as The Pines get more and more press, plenty of people wlll be unsuccessful in their attempts to get in there. So here's a worthwhile alternative on that very block. For what it's worth.
SneakeaterMember Since 24 May 2007
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