If you think Prospect Park is great, you’ll love Olmsted.
Thank goodness another newcomer (named for the mythical Frederick Law Olmsted) has opened that isn’t an upscale pizzeria, a downscale Mexican or a national chain. Marco and I got invited by Slope pals J&J to dinner at Olmsted in early July who warned us that it was on the verge of being reviewed by The Times and then we’d never, ever get a table. And thank the stars they actually take bookings! I’m so sick of having to wait months till the luster wears off new hot spots (I’m not naming names – and would never put Olmsted on the level of a pizza place) before I can get in. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it that night, but I immediately went online and booked a table for another night and asked J&J if they wanted to join us for a reprise. Oh yeah.
Last night was the night and we had the benefit of J&J’s first experience to help us navigate the amazing and mysteriously-named dishes the waiters, fortunately, are all trained to discuss with you. (The outdoor cocktail/snack space is tight and you can keep a waiter prisoner by simply putting your foot into the garden path while you quiz him). It all felt a little “Portlandia” at first, especially when my friend pointed out what I took to be a small breed of chicken in a cage and told me her name was Gary. Would I be eating Gary tonight? Turns out Gary got sent back up to the farm and the current bird in residence was never introduced.
In any case, whoever the guinea hen I ate was, she was delicious. I have no idea how they got all that moist, tender breast meat from one small bird and bundled it into such an easy to eat package, with a confit of the dark meat served as a separate side dish in a beautiful reduction. Add ramps and morels and I was in heaven. But I haven’t even gotten to the starters. Well, I’m not a food writer so just suffice it to say that the appetizers were creatively concocted, beautifully served and delicious. Oysters Yam Yam is a must. The staff are also creatively concocted and beautiful, polite and friendly. Dessert: I had the chocolate mousse (creme fraiche is served on the side so you can build your own). Call me a sucker, but when my dessert comes on two plates I do feel special. Speaking of value, the prices are very reasonable for the quality, service and the casual but elegant surroundings. Loved their garden and am wondering what they will do when the cold weather sets in to replace the wonderful feeling of sitting in a very well-tended vegetable patch sipping cool white wine. We could have been out on the North Fork or up in the Hudson Valley. Tres Brooklyn! I hope they figure out a way to bring it inside for the winter. I give it top marks and am adding it to the list of At Home In Brooklyn’s faves.