You know…Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare is a three-Michelin-starred, 18-seat restaurant appendixed to a supermarket. You know, chef Cesar Ramirez is Mexican but inspired by the Japanese impeccability.The chef’s table concept is developed from a sushi bar. But, chef Ramirez is a man with great toys – an impeccably modern kitchen centrepiece, an overwhelming collection of “bling” pots and pans, a world-exclusive selection of finest and most uniquely designed porcelain. Chef Ramirez flies in the best fish and shellfish from all over the world to his restaurant. There is no menu here. Just around 20 dishes. You know chef Ramirez specialises in fish and shellfish. His approach is both inspired and firmly grounded in Japanese ethos. No allergy is catered for. If you can’t eat fish, you go somewhere else, he says. And I agree, wholeheartedly.
What you may not know is that to dine at Brooklyn Fare you have to call precisely on Monday at 10.30am NYC time (or keep your phone on redial a few minutes before) 6 weeks in advance. You also may be in need of more than one phone to dial at the same time (I used three). You need to pay for the whole meal one week before your designated dining appointment. $250 per person (I think?). You will receive an email detailing the BF etiquette – a “business attire” dress code, no note-taking, no photography. You must be there on time, or else you will miss whatever that should have been served before you arrive. If you can handle this, go ahead..
Despite all that military rigidity, Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare was a thoroughly relaxed place to be and the meal a life-changing experience. The kitchen brigade led by zen-like-yet-gangster-like Ramirez was the most systematised. This was a foil to Michelle the most personable sommelier who brought joy to this reverent surrounding.
The cooking was not only highly innovative but a very candid showcase of world’s best ingredients. A shot of warm, liquidised squash toppled with yogurt foam got me into the mood. A pristine slice of raw red snapper arrived with tangy ponzu sauce and holy-crispy red snapper scales. A slice of white fish was served with pickled daikon and threads of ginger; trout with its own roe and mayo; hiramasa with borage; o-toro with crispy shredded leeks. Unctuous sea urchin was prepared two ways, one with yuba skin, soy, wasabi and dill (the most luscious and innovative I’ve ever eaten and the best dish of the evening), the other on a toasted brioche disc with black truffle foliage. There was also smoked caviar with potato. Then came a chawanmushi with truffled dashi and perfectly cooked crayfish. The sweetness from the egg and the crayfish was pure and accentuated by a hint of ginger. A large turbot fillet for 8 guests was pan-fried whole and sliced to form an individual portion with peas, broad beans and pea shoots. The flavour got heavier with red mullet that came with a Thai-influenced bouillabaise. A note of red-curried heat. I moved on to veal ravioli garnished luxuriously with dainty lobster, foie gras, abalone and berry jus. Not at all a show-off dish but a well-balanced luxurious complexity. The texture of the cooked abalone was the most notable, very skillfully tenderised. The main event of non-fish dish featured a roasted squab breast – quite French – with artichoke and scallions. Goat’s cheese and Brie were paired with pear, lettuce and balsamic. Both of the desserts – one with chocolate, tonka bean ice cream and orange; the other sour cream souffle – also hit a high note. And we are left to ponder that chef Ramirez and Brooklyn Fare is nowhere to be seen on the respected World’s 50 Best Restaurants.. something is not right with this “World”..
WE LOVED YOU CESAR!!!! ARGHH!!!!!
(I am sure you wonder.. “no note taking”.. how did I remember all this? Well. I might be making all this up. You will need to go there to find out.. )
GO FOR: Innovative seafood paradise. Meal of a lifetime.
CHEF’S TABLE AT BROOKLYN FARE
200 Schermerhorn St
Tel. 001 (718) 243 0050
There are some photos on BF’s offical Facebook page. There is a confirmed expansion into Manhattan but “Brooklyn Fare” will be the only chef’s table..I heard