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Monday, June 20, 2011

Buttermilk Channel (Brooklyn 5 of 12)


Last month we visited Buttermilk Channel in the very southern end of Carroll Gardens. (Note: it's a significant walk from the F/G Smith Stop) And actually during our early dinner, the crew for Men In Black 3 took over a 6-block section of Court Street.

This restaurant has one of the better "vibes" of any new restaurant I've experienced since Franny's opened. There's energy, happiness, brightness, and multiple great smells. Upon arrival, I think we were the only people there that the owner didn't know. Genuine hugs, hellos and smiles were dole out by the dozen. The restaurant filled up beyond the owners' circle as we were leaving.

I waited for SOS (getting the pattern, here?) at the bar and enjoyed a "mug" of Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold. Nice bartender; he provided me tastes of a few different bitters. That was fun. SOS arrived and wanted a cold diet coke (it was the May's hottest night.)

Onto the food. Everything was tasty, but nothing was worth a special trip. If you live near here or are visiting a friend, this is a great option.

We started with a lovely butter lettuce salad with a green goddess dressing. The dressing was fine. But the lettuce was tremendous. What a strange thing to say, but I can't remember the last time I had lettuce this perfect in texture and flavor.

Additionally, the slow-roasted spareribs were enjoyable, but more forgettable.

For entrees, SOS had the hamburger with cheese (classic choice by her) and I had the lamb salad. The burger was nice - charred exterior, juicy and rare interior, melting grilled onions and slightly-too-salty fries. You could have this same burger at 15 different Brooklyn restaurants.

Now, the lamb salad was different. It included shreds of braised lamb shank and a soft-boiled egg over romaine (nice but not revolutionary like the above). There were small roasted cauliflower florets and a few other ingredients. The gooey egg, soft lamb and cool, crisp romaine were a great combination. It was an excellent composed salad.

Now, would you go out of your way for amazing butter lettuce? If so, then this is the place for you. If not, keep Buttermilk Channel in mind for your next visit to Carroll Gardens.

Dinner for two with snacks, appetizers, and entress was $83 after tax and tip

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June Cocktail - Mojito



In Mid-August, I'm posting about the June cocktail. Why? Well, the mojito has been difficult for me to figure out. We've made a lot of them and I'm still not sure I have "perfected" a house mojito. Perfected is in the eye of the beholder (me in this case, and I feel there's still work to be done.)

Anyhow, the mojito is above-everything refreshing.

Early in the process, I realized that we loved the mint flavor but don't like a big wad of mind in our glass. We also realized that the the drink can tolerate a significant amount of lime juice.

So, the Localvore Mojito is:
  • 2 ounces rum (more on choice later)
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 2 barspoons of confectioners' sugar
  • 10 - 15 leaves of mint (spearmint or peppermint)
  1. In a pint glass, combine lime juice, mint leaves and sugar.
  2. Muddle for a honest 30 seconds (same amount of time if you double or triple the drink).
  3. Add rum.
  4. Add a lot of ice.
  5. Stir.
  6. Strain into glass already filled with ice and rim has been slicked with juiced lime section
  7. Fill glass with mineral water.
  8. Give one quick stir.
A few clarifying points we found:
Confectioners' Sugar - I tried simple syrup, superfine sugar, agave and even made a sirop de canne. Nothing made a nicely sweetened drink like confectioners' sugar. I don't really know why.
Rum - I enjoyed trying a few different rums. A darker rum worked better than white rums. But I don't know if I'd spend a lot of money on a rhum agricole for mojitos. I am trying to keep my bar American and found this Massachusetts rum to be delicious.
Stirred, not shaken - I didn't want so much dilution or frothiness, so I stirred.
Lemon - When making a batch, I substituted lemon for a quarter of the lime and found that it was different but delectable nonetheless.
Bubbles - Whatever you do, do not use something without significant bubbles. It makes the drink more lively and tasty. Again, I don't know why.