Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Charm of Dressler

There are three Michelin-rated restaurants in Brooklyn, and so far I've only visited one -- Dressler. The others are Peter Luger right across the street (visit pending next month!) and Saul in Cobble Hill. After a recent second visit to Dressler, I'm fairly certain they deserve that Michelin star, even though this puts them at the same level as Anissa (which I think deserves two Michelins stars. Can the tubby tire man just hire me already?).

Dressler is elegant without being pretentious; the iron chandeliers and lightboxes evoke a kind of modern bohemian chic feel. The room, and especially the bar, displays lots of beautiful, intricate metal work that, according to the site, was crafted from Brooklyn Navy Yard sculptors. It reinforces its Brooklyn presence. (Pic taken from their site)

The menu is mostly simple items, prepared thoughtfully with (seemingly?) few ingredients. Diver scallops are drizzed with white truffle oil, ricotta raviolini are served in a light tomato & parmesan broth, artichoke salad is served in a lemon half. Roasted beets & citrus salad are served with Greek yogurt and olive tapenade. Presentation is lovely and the flavors are simple yet unique.

I usually fight the urge to order the beef on a menu, but when I saw they had two kinds of steak in an entree, I did not bother to fight it. The grilled sirloin was cooked perfectly, and the braised short rib accompaniment was as soft as jelly. To kick up the comfort food factor, they serve it with mashed potatoes and a bit of creamed spinach, but the grilled ramps give it a little something extra.

On my last visit, I successfully avoided the steak trap (delicious though it was) and enjoyed the bacon wrapped monkfish with risotto. I think I prefer this monkfish method over the simple medallion slices at Le Bernadin, although this version was WAY saltier. Saltiness aside, the fish was incredibly tender, and you don't even know where the bacon ends and the monkfish begins. Such culinary beauty.

The service here was fantastic on both visits as well. The waitstaff is very friendly, attentive, and they have a sense of humor too. You can't go wrong with the bread the bring out pre-meal, either (parker roll or ciabatta?).

Michelin star deserved.

149 Broadway
(between 6th St & Driggs Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 384-6343

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