Saturday evening Cookie Monster and I took a visit to Brooklyn Heights to meet up with Kale and her Boyfriend for dinner. There are quite a number of good eats in the area apparently and we were excited to try something different – and outside our comfort zone of Manhattan.
I always trust Kale’s recommendations – they always prove to be consistently tasty – so we let her take the reigns and pick the spot. She picked Colonie.
The space is so nice! It’s a long and narrow spot with a really beautiful sleek bar swathed in dark browns and soft mood lighting in the front and an exposed kitchen and beautiful wood tables with large organic plants all over the place in the back. It’s incredibly well done and you feel like you are eating in some kind of beautiful rustic restaurant in Napa or something.
We shared a bunch of plates to start and then had our own main courses.
We started with two crostinis. Top neck clams with salsa verde:
Crunchy bread slathered with that herbacious salsa verde topped by sweet briny little clams.
The other crostini was the ricotta with olive oil, honey and mint:
This crostini was less successful. The ricotta felt almost gummy and desperately needed a good sprinkling of sea salt. I didn’t make out any honey and the mint didn’t really do much for me or provide any flavor to be honest.
At my request, we also got the rabbit and foie gras terrine with port reduction:
Easily my favorite of the night. You can see the huge chunks of foie gras that worked very well with the rabbit. So you had creamy foie gras contrasted against the more meaty chunks of rabbit and then that slightly sweet concentrated port sauce – it all worked beautifully together.
Cookie Monster couldn’t resist and got the smoked ricotta gnudi with pinto beans, broccoli and kale chips:
Of course he shared :) I’ve honestly never had beans with gnudi so that was a little weird for me but the gnudi tasted good. It’s not as light and airy as Spotted Pig’s or Falai’s but it’s still quite good. Great deep cheesy flavors and I adored the crunchy kale chips that added a bit of a crispy salty bite.
For main course, Cookie Monster got the braised duck leg with polenta, orange and rainbow carrots:
Cookie Monster and I both agreed that the duck was dry and not the best we’ve had. For me, one dry bite was enough and I really didn’t try much else but Cookie Monster confirmed that the dish was underwhelming for him. Who wants dry duck?
Kale and Boyfriend shared a bunch of plates between them. They are dishes they have gotten before on a previous visit and loved. They got the grilled endive with asian pear, walnuts, honey and pear chips:
The farro with haricot vert and blistered duck egg:
And the hanger steak (which I also got) served with a side of fries.
Love my fries with mayonnaise so I was happy to see that served on the side. Hanger steak is a very flavorful cut of meat but can be tough. That was sort of the problem with this: the steak was cooked at my requested medium rare but a bit dry on the outer edges and definitely tough. It was ok. I know hanger steak can be prepared to be tender – I’ve had it before and this just wasn’t it. The fries were really great though.
For dessert we got the fresh donuts with salty caramel custard inside:
The donuts were served piping hot and were light and fluffy. The custard’s creaminess was a nice touch albeit a bit runny because it was too warmed.
But it was the sticky date cake with salty creme fraiche ice cream that took the show:
Why was this dessert so good? I really believe it was the contrast of textures and flavors. You had the very gooey and sticky cake contrasted against the creamy cool ice cream. Where the cake was very sweet from the dates, the caramel sauce and ice cream had salt in it which counterbalanced it. Everything just worked wonderfully and we were all scrambling for second and third bites.
Loved the interior of Colonie and the relaxed vibe of the restaurant. The food for the most part was delicious comfort food and apparently is farm to table so that’s always a plus. I would definitely go back to Colonie again in the future. It was a very pleasant dining experience and well worth the trip. Reservations are not taken for parties of less than 5 and the wait that Saturday was about an hour to an hour half long. Just do what we did and put your name down, provide your number and go to one of the local watering holes while you wait or enjoy the beauty that is the front bar of Colonie.
Colonie, 127 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY