Monday, September 5, 2011

Wish it Was Closer: The BKLYN Larder, Brooklyn, New York

The impending chaos of Penn Station was the only thing that prevented me from buying most everything at the BKLYN Larder. Melissa Clark of the Good Appetite blog and column led me there after a Twitter exchange about buckwheat polenta. I assumed that any place that actually carried such an item would, inevitably, be a find. And it was. There were glorious containers of cherries, artisan bitters, special jams, olive oils, house-made pickles, and beautiful grains and pastas. (Think Fromaggio's...but with counter space and a table to sit and eat!) Gizella kindly created a lovely platter of cheeses, salumi and chocolate for me to try. She even created a guide to suggest which order I should eat them. I love that. I adored the range of cheeses-nutty, sharp, filling. The chocolate, Askinosie Cortes from Honduras, was a perfect compliment-fruity, dense, sour. But my favorite treat on the platter? The Saba! Huh? Right. Saba, apparently is the grape must syrup right before it becomes true balsamic. This version, from San Giacomo was the like best possible cross between maple syrup, chocolate and figs. It was heavenly on the cheese or on a spoon. I was just as smitten with the simple sounding beet salad. The chunky beets were tossed with olives, lush capers, chopped mint and, my favorite, long pieces of orange rind. The bitter orange transcended the sweet-saltiness of the rest of the salad. It was perfect and one I will definitely try to replicate at home. Apparently there were fewer items than normal at the Larder due to a power outage. And customers, used to a range of prepared salads, chickens, etc. were clearly a bit startled. But everyone seemed content to order sandwiches. I was happy just so sit, eat and enjoy what I had.The BKLYN Larder, 228 Flatbush between Bergen Street and Sixth (Park Slope/Prospect Heights), Brooklyn

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