436 Jefferson Street
Guests from New Mexico last month mentioned that their nephew, Kevin Adey’s place, in Bushwick had received a Michelin star. Marco and I made a reservation immediately – I’d rather have to wait three weeks for a table with a booking than stand in line for an hour and a half to get a table (Roberta’s). So, I was already happy about this place. From almost anywhere it was a hike, so far into Bushwick as to be almost in Queens. That’s OK. Means their rent is lower! The décor is post-modern, simple and elegant with high ceilings, painted brick, warm woods and an open kitchen. The low-key but comfortable décor means we’re paying for great food and not over the top designers. The vibe is relaxed and the staff has a quiet professionalism that was pretty much seamless.
The menu is not overly ambitious, 5 or 6 antipasti, and 6-8 pasta dishes, 4-5 mains, all moderately priced ($14-19 for the antipasti and pastas, $27-32 for the mains). The dishes were creative without being esoteric, which saves them having to give you a 20 minute dissertation on the menu. We opted for one appetizer and two pasta dishes to share, and even though the portions are not large, we were satisfied and I really could have done without any main at all. We ordered the fois gras, which was very light and fresh, an inviting shade of pink that spread like butter on the toasted bread. The sedani pasta is something I haven’t seen before, here or in Italy. Sedani is plural for sedano – celery – which was the shape of the pasta, long thick, tubular noodles, served with a cauliflower sauce that was creamy, but very light. The other pasta, a strascinati served with a venison ragu was sublime, the pasta firm but tender, the sauce buttery, and not gamey at all. For mains we ordered two more pasta dishes, the buccatini with chicken and the gnocci alla Romana, the scallops and the guinea fowl (faraona). All were just as delicate, with combinations of seasonal vegetables and light sauces that slow you down so you can savor every bite.
My only disappointments were that they were a bit heavy-handed with the salt in some cases and our mains didn’t arrive at the table together so two pasta dishes sat getting cold while the scallops and faraona were finished in the kitchen– yet the faraona was cold on arrival, but still delicious.
Our unexpected treat came when Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) and friends sat down at the table next to us and he kindly agreed to a photo op with Marco making an amazing dining experience the perfect Brooklyn night out…….
Marco with Michael Stipe at Faro last night………