We started with the crispy artichokes, a surprisingly salty, cheesy plate. Long strips of Parmesan melted on top while rich, creamy ricotta hid underneath. The artichokes were fried to the point of tasting like junk food -- in a good way.
The market oysters were my favorite size (not too big), and my favorite strength (not too mild, not too briny). They went great with our bottle of txakolina, a very dry white wine.
The octopus was as pretty as a picture, almost tender to a fault, with an odd pairing of fingerling potatoes that strangely seemed to work. Served on top of a small drizzing of kalamata olive oil vinaigrette with red peppers and feta cheese for maximum saltiness.
The beet and navel orange salad came with the obligatory goat cheese -- a whole wedge of the stuff -- along with a scattering of hazelnuts and lots of leafy arugula. The salad was set atop really thin slices of a roasted tomato tart. I haven't met a version of beet-and-goat-cheese salads I haven't liked, and this one was definitely a winner, thanks to the hazelnuts and abundance of cheese.
The only main entree we ordered was the Heritage Country Pork Chop, a huge, fatty, rich piece of meat that tastes nothing like your traditional pork chop. It was served on top of a generous portion of grits, with morel mushrooms and a few stalks of white asparagus. The grits complemented the fatty pork really well, everything melting into one another.
I really liked Dressler's first menu, but I think this one has a lot of promise, too. There's a good selection, interesting ingredients and a great wine list, too. I think its safe to say that Dressler is still ahead of the pack of restaurants of its caliber in Brooklyn.