For our Monthly Dinner we decided it was time to head into Brooklyn for a meal. Haven’t you heard? Manhattan is so passé these days. I don’t care what’s cool (do I sound like an old woman now?), just as long as I can get a good meal there. We went with Colonie in Brooklyn Heights – not exactly the height of hipsterdom but a really beautiful area. The space has a warm, farmhouse type vibe, which suits the locally sourced food quite well. It’s a small restaurant and we originally had 8 people. The staff was very accommodating, though with that many people they told us we would have to do a 3 course prix fixe for $50. We ended up losing 2 people, which they were very gracious about, so we decided to go with the a la carte menu.
The menu is comprised mostly of small plates and bites, with a small section of large plates. Everyone decided to split some crostini, 2 ricotta and 1 duck rillette. True story: I used to hate ricotta. My grandfather would come up every Sunday with ravioli from Arthur Ave. in the Bronx and my dad would have to make my grandmother and I a separate bowl of regular pasta because we wouldn’t eat it. My palate has expanded since then. Anyway, their homemade ricotta was light and airy, with a touch of honey to sweeten it. The bread was perfectly crispy and held up well under the mound of ricotta on top. The duck was similarly delicious. I only got a bite but it packed a flavorful punch.
I decided to order two small plates as my meal, rather than going with one large. There were just too many things I wanted to try. I finally decided on the Acorn Squash Agnolotti and the Octopus with chorizo and potatoes. The agnolotti came out first. Little packets of squashy goodness with fried leaves of sage. Technically, it was supposed to come in a brown butter sage sauce but it was a bit sweeter and thicker than I expected. Everything was cooked perfectly and it literally tasted like fall. It was a fantastic dish. Warming and filling and everything you want in a comfort food.
After giving Ivana a taste of the octopus her first words were “It’s like butter, you don’t even need to chew it.” Thus describes how perfectly the octopus was cooked. It really was like butter, just melted in your mouth. I’ve only had octopus once before, at Babbo, but this was better. My only complaint was the portion of actual octopus was small and that there did not appear to be any chorizo…where was my chorizo?! They gave plenty of potatoes but there was barely any meat. That said, the dish was awesome. Salty, a bit spicy, and well-balanced.
Other notable dishes at the table: the chicken with mustard bbq, the skirt steak with fries, the halibut, and the sweet corn with polenta & hush puppy. I honestly thought the chicken was the best. The sauce it came with was completely awesome. It was mustardy and vinegary and just so damn good. It made the entire dish. The chicken was also nice and moist but really it came down to the sauce. The fries, from the skirt steak, were also some of the best fries I’ve had in recent memory.
Then came time for dessert. I wasn’t planning on ordering anything but since there were only 4 desserts on the menu we just ordered one of each. Glad we did. Each one was spectacular. The blueberry citrus tart and the sticky date cake were my two favorites but the doughnuts and chocolate torte were equally as good. The citrus tart was much lighter than the other desserts and it felt refreshing and summery. The others were a bit more dense, especially the chocolate torte, which I could only have a bite of because it was so rich. The maple ice cream it came with was to die for though. Definitely worth ordering dessert at Colonie. It exceeded my expectations.