Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Applewood: Eating Good in the Neighborhood

I love a deal. I like Kim Deal. Hell, I can even stand Deal or No Deal. That’s why I love Restaurant Weeks, in all their various incarnations. Dine In Brooklyn is no exception, and it’s a fantastic excuse to eat out even more than I already do.

Checking out the participants this year, Q and I knew that we both wanted to try Applewood. Being that Q’s birthday fell in the Brooklyn restaurant week this year, we decided that the fates were telling us that we needed to celebrate with an inexpensive good meal.


Applewood offered a lovely three-course prix fixe selection for only $21.12 (the prix fixe price for all the Dine In Brooklyn participants. Something to do with our zip code). We were seated towards the back of the small restaurant, where I had a lovely view of the kitchen, but I was also in a high traffic area right by the owners. Therefore, I felt too sheepish about taking photos of any of our meal. Le sigh. I’ll just have to wow you with my descriptions.

Are you ready to be wowed? No? Too bad.

Appetizer: seasonal soup (rutabaga) - I’ve never had rutabaga before, so I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. I think I decided before I tasted it that it would taste like parsnips and it did, kinda. But different. I’m no help here. I’ll definitely be trying more rutabaga in my cooking though. Plus, it’s really fun to say! RUTABAGA! The soup was finished with a swirl of balsamic vinegar, which was delicious, but then again, I love balsamic on anything. The soup also had a sprinkling of rock salt which you aren’t aware of until you crunch into a piece and it explodes in your mouth. It added a fun surprise to the soup.

As a side note, here’s a really neat thing I found relating to rutabaga: The International Rutabaga Curling Championship held in Ithica, NY. I wanna go!!!

Entrée: pan roasted duck breast (with white bean stew, bacon lardons, cippolinis, and garlic confit) - Q and I are both a little disappointed that this dish is not on their regular menu because we both enjoyed it the most out of our entrees. First off, the duck was perfectly cooked, so it was buttery like a rare steak. Mmmm. The white bean stew had tomatoes which surprised me, but added a nice acidity. I didn’t notice the lardons; I assume because the flavor went so well with the dish. Either that or they left them out. I’m not sure. The cippolini onions were a bit flatter than pearl onions, but otherwise they were about the same size. It was nice to taste an ingredient that I rarely get to try, but I don’t think my palate is sophisticated enough to differentiate them from roasted pearl onions. C’est la vie. The garlic confit was basically preserved garlic; it tasted like roasted garlic, but the flavor was much milder. Everything on the plate was soft and tender, and the textures went together as much as the flavors did.

Dessert: meyer lemon curd (with brown butter madeleines) - I think dessert was the best part of the evening. I would eat this every day if I could. It was ever so rich and delicious. The curd was more white than yellow, which made me wonder if there were as many egg yolks as are usually found in curd. It was more of a pudding consistency. Maybe cornstarch was added as a thickening agent? I’m not sure. Either way it was creamy and amazing. The madeleines were perfect as well.

The money we saved on dinner went to a splurge on a nice bottle of Bordeaux. It was a special occasion, after all! The portion sizes were quite generous, and I was a stuffed Krys afterwards. Oh, but what a good life to be stuffed with duck and curd.

No comments: