Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Checking the Traps

In the Dining section of this morning's New York Times, Sam Sifton has a funny review of the Carroll Gardens restaurant Prime Meats.
You can see people standing on Court Street nightly, staring through the plate-glass windows at a dining room packed with brownstone bohemians, third novelists, people with Web sites, with good art at home. They look slightly pained, these visitors from afar wondering about the life choices they made that put them in Chelsea or Park Slope or Montclair, and not down here in Carroll Gardens, this little Italian village off New York Harbor where life is obviously perfect.
Have a Manhattan made by one of the whiz kids back behind the bar, some mustachioed chemist with tattoos and an understanding of bitters that rivals a rabbi’s knowledge of the Talmud, then some brilliant oysters, fresh and clean and cold, tasting only a few hours out of the waters of Cape Cod or the Gulf of Maine. Eat some roasted bone marrow with crunchy radishes, vibrant gremolata, caramel-like roasted garlic and toast; some malt-rich pretzels and fiery mustard; a spicy hunter’s sausage; a few scoops of snoutish pâté or thin-sliced smoked pork belly. Devour a steak or an excellent burger along with some salty, crisp fries the color of burnished copper. Drink some grüner with it all, or a few tankards of Sixpoint ale.
The staff is exceptionally well trained and efficient, a crew of handsome men and women dressed as if ready to ride horses back home to Bushwick, where they trap beaver and make their own candles. And a meal in the restaurant proceeds with all the jollity and good manners of something scripted by Laura Ingalls Wilder and scored by the Grateful Dead. It is an extremely pleasant place.
I've only been to Prime Meats once – it opened after we left – but I can vouch for the quality. (I'm sure you care. I also think there are a number of restaurants in Seattle that do the same thing just as well or better, lest anyone start feeling jealous. It's not a's not a competition.) Read the rest of Sam Sifton's review of Prime Meats here.

And with that I believe it's time to hunt down some dinner.

Side point: The gold type on the big mirror in the photo above was my original inspration for the gold foil-stamped type on the Kristofferson record (though it ended up being quite different).

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