On Wednesday I had the most fabulous time with my fellow blogger Judia Black, author of the amazing Blog enJoie – on our joint blog post ” Food Crawl Through Clinton Hill” . This is our second joint blog post together, we had the most amazing time at 2011 Food Network’s Food & Wine Festival and were both very excited to collaborate once again.
Clinton Hill is a wonderful neighborhood I have been calling home for the past 13 years , best described by New York Times writer Suzanne Hamlin – “Sandwiched between Fort Greene and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill in Brooklyn might just be the quintessence of urban living in New York City. It is affluent and not so, seedy and grand, ethnically diverse, a magnet for artists, musicians and filmmakers, and rich in architectural style .” Clinton Hill is also home to many culinary delights, and I always enjoy sharing them with you all on my Blog. Judia suggested we do a post together about some of my favorite restaurants I enjoy eating at … a sort of food crawl through Clinton Hill. The plan was set in motion this past Wednesday. Our food crawl through Clinton Hill took place during a two hour lunch period in which we went to four restaurants I frequent regularly. How excited I was to have Judia as my cohort on this food crawl, she had already seen photos of some of the yummy dishes from these places, I posted on Face-book.
Our first stop was a diner I wrote about previously on my blog called Clinton Park Cafe. This is a place I go to daily for my coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice and the most delicious breakfast items. During our food crawl, we wanted to pick out a signature dish each restaurant is known for. The owner Steve and his cousin Savvas have become such good friends of mine, the friendliest two you would ever meet. Steve insisted we have for lunch the spinach pie, chicken greek salad and the pastrami sandwich with pepper jack cheese, horseradish mayonnaise , served with sweet potato fries. Judia and I were on sensory overload, it all looked so divine, smelt so good and tasted beyond delicious.
We said our good-byes to Steve and Savvas and like two giddy school girls sauntered to the next spot on our food crawl through Clinton Hill. Chez Oscar - A culinary bohemia, inspired by Harlem Renaissance & Paris bistros. Chez Oscar cranks out french cuisine, jazzed up by Brooklyn’s vibe and diversity. On the weekend this is the place to eat and be seen, the brunches at Chez Oscar are already legendary. During the week it is a little calmer and perfect for having lunch with a friend, business meeting, or alone reading a newspaper. Judia and I entered and naturally grabbed the table near the window, observing the beautiful art-work that adorned the walls of the restaurant. One of Chez Oscar’s specialty lunch item is the lamb burger and frites, this is exactly what we ordered. The hostess invited Judia, a certified sommelier to go behind the bar to choose a good wine to accompany our dish. She made an excellent choice, a red wine named Cotes du Rousillion , they are made from Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah. It was just a perfect match. It is always a good look to have a certified sommelier as a friend ( smile). We both enjoyed our lunch at Chez Oscar tremendously.
We were having insane amounts of fun, Judia and I on our food crawl through Clinton Hill. Our bellies full, we continued on to our next culinary destination- Putnam’s Pub & Cooker - Self-styled a “Pub and Cooker,” the large, saloon-type aesthetic at Putnam’s evokes the kind of smoke-filled halls of 19th Century New York. I have been obsessed lately with anything that evokes a ” throw-back vibe”. Putnam’s did exactly this for us. A beautiful bar, it looked like what a sexy saloon would have looked like in the 19th Century… just more modern. I have been hearing through the grape-vine that Putnam’s Mac N Cheese with gruyere cheese and truffle was to die for. This is exactly what we ordered and to go along with it, we decided to have one of their popular cocktails- The Sofie Bee ( Jim Bean Rye, Canton Ginger Liqueur, Lemon Juice, Honey and Creole Bitters.) Judia and I both agreed there was only one word to describe the Mac n Cheese at Putnam’s… Sinful !!!
With huge smiles on our faces, we were ready for dessert. Choice Market – this Clinton Hill café and takeout shop has the boho vibe of a hippie hangout in a college town—which, with Pratt just a block away, it sort of is. Another spot I frequent regularly for cakes, pies, fresh baguettes and salads, I knew this was the perfect place to take Judia for one of my favorite desserts, their creme brûlée cheesecake. Decadent beyond words and the perfect ending to a yummy adventure with my dear friend and companion, Foddie Blogger Judia Black. Please stay tune for Judia’s description on her Blog enJoie about our ” Foodie Crawl Through Clinton Hill.” I hope you enjoy the photographs I took on our food crawl as much as I enjoyed taking them.