Monday, March 24, 2014

Brooklyn Heights Dinner at Colonie

Brooklyn is a strange place. Small geographically, at less than 100 square miles, it is the most populous county in the US, at about 2.5 million people. It packs diverse ethnic backgrounds and a wide range of urban environments close together. Not far from the new Barclays Center, the sprawling retail buildings and office towers give way to the old Brownstones of Brooklyn. Here, restaurants that have been in the same place for fifty years sit next to newcomers who've only opened their doors in the past few years.

In 2011, the owners of Colonie opened their doors with the goal of bringing great food to the neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. While nearby neighborhoods were undergoing a culinary renaissance, they felt that a neighborhood known for its amazing historic homes and stunning views of Manhattan needed some quality food. The restaurant embraces history and modernity. Rustic wood tables and exposed brick, contrasted against an open kitchen with a tasting bar watching over the chefs cooking. While we enjoyed our meal, the restaurant filled with a mixed crowd: couples enjoying a romantic evening, families savoring their favorite food, and a party that could have been made up of old regulars from the neighborhood.

Perched at the bar overlooking the kitchen, we enjoyed a meal of fresh spring ingredients. Rare among restaurants focusing on local ingredients, Colonie had a wine menu stocked with glasses of New York wine, something we always appreciate. Pate, leeks, crab: everything we ate worked well with the lighter wines we picked to start our meal. Spring is a great time to remind ourselves that not every food is a root vegetable, and not every wine needs to be a full bodied red.

Possibly our favorite part of the meal was dessert. We shared a Sticky Date Cake with Creme Fresche Ice Cream. Breaking all the rules, we skipped dessert wine and drank a couple of glasses of red wine. After the light dinner menu, the dessert was heavy and filling, and the ice cream was an unexpected salty and savory note.

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