The restaurant is unbearably cute, with fine touches here and there. I loved the brass leaf-shaped chandeliers and the lacquered tables that were covered in what best resembled shelf lining or summer picnic tablecloths. The restaurant has the spirit of eclectic Brooklyn bohemian chic down to a science. But the food--however cheap--couldn't stand up to the cuteness of the decor.
First, my drink, billed as "punch," was really just rum with simple syrup and a paltry squeeze of lime. When I asked my overburdened waiter for more lime juice, he took my glass and returned with a drink that tasted exactly the same as it had minutes earlier. Chicken liver pate, smooth and sweet, matched well with tiny slivers of baguette crostini, but deviled eggs lacked the requisite punch. Yes, they were smoky and salty, but where was the heat?
Pimento cheese on Ritz crackers would have been difficult to mess up, but the corn soup was a substantial disappointment, lacking texture and taste. Corn isn't sweet enough yet, maybe, but the dish was undersalted and overblended. I missed the subtle crunch of early season corn.
And then: pork chops. We ordered two. The meat itself was fatty and rich, but our chops, bone-in, were, sadly, overcooked. A side of grits was a little sticky for my taste and the side of squash reminded me of wan vegetable sides in bad pubs. But our side of asparagus, lightly blanched and served with a salty, creamy version of hollandaise, redeemed those soggy squash. Hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, slick with butter and woodier with thyme, almost made us forget those overcooked chops. Almost.
365 Van Brunt Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231