Monday, August 6, 2012

Dinner at James

An interesting development in the food scene is the idea of the “locavore” restaurant. Using local ingredients whenever possible, they work to procure the best and freshest produce, and support the local farming community. We love this, because it mirrors own goal of supporting local wine growers as much as possible. We’ve stumbled across a few of these restaurants in our travels, and now we are working on seeking them out.


Nestled on a quiet corner off Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, James restaurant specializes in quality crafted American dishes composed of seasonal ingredients. Sunday evening is the chance for the chef to play, and present the ever-changing Sunday Supper menu. We stopped there this past Winter, and had an enjoyable evening. The space is tightly packed and busy, a handful of patrons at the bar overlapping the dozen tables. The space embraces the character of Brooklyn, stripping back decoration to the brick walls, with a sprinkling of antiqued mirrors and contemporary light fixtures enlivening the room.

Winter limits the options available for fresh produce. The menu when we were there featured a winter squash soup with mushroom and a sauteed skate for the main course. The flavors were good, but didn’t stand a chance against the red wine from Chateau Valcombe we chose for the cold winter night. There were some long leather and spice notes that smoothed out with the earthiness of the soup. There was a smokiness to the fish, but ultimately the delicate flakiness of the fish was overpowered by the wine. 

The Sunday Supper was expertly crafted, but ultimately the dishes were a bit too light for a winter dinner. We are looking forward to getting back this summer to really take advantage of the chef’s skill along with the well-selected ingredients and perfect wine-pairing. We're getting better at that, ourselves.

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