Kevin and I have gotten in such a habit of heading to Stone Park Cafe for brunch on Sundays that I'd forgotten what their dinner menu even looked like. The last time we ate dinner there, a member of the Senate walked on me in the (apparently, and unfortunately, unlocked) bathroom, and that ended up being the lingering memory, not what we ate. With my dad visiting for a few days last weekend, I decided it was time to find out what was on the summer menu. Happily, it turned out that there was lots of fish, lots of vegetables, lots of goodness all around.
He started with the corn bisque, which I've had in the past - it's sweet and rich, and served with a fat helping of peekytoe crab in the bowl. I started with the short rib 'sandwich' which is a few ounces of braised short rib atop creamed spinach served on a house made potato roll, with one perfect little fried quail egg perched on top of the beef. It's maybe the daintiest way I've seen short ribs served, and was sort of a more precious version of Stone Park's brunch short rib hash...which is, by the way, fantastic.
I had an entree of arctic char over a asparagus salad and mascarpone foam - the asparagus was a nice compliment to the fish, which can sometimes be a little bland; with the vegetables it came alive. My dad had the entree special - pan fried grouper over a zucchini pancake with curried vegetables, and he reported that the unexpected spice of the curry paired really nicely with the zucchini fritter and the fish.
We'd ordered a bottle of chardonnay with dinner, but the owner came over pre-starters to tell us that he was actually out of that particular bottle, but had another chardonnay to recommend -- one he'd just got in after meeting with the rep, he'd just put a bottle to chill, blah blah blah if we didn't mind waiting a few minutes it would be chilled and we could taste it, it was a Sonoma chardonnay that had seen no oak, he was sure we'd like it. It was from a new producer - one my dad had heard of - and was exactly what was promised to us: a crisp, refreshing, fruity white that had seen no oak. I remember (NO OAK) was emphasized on the back of the wine bottle. What I don't remember is the name of the wine...
We finished our meal with dessert; I had a parfait of fresh berries and peaches and my dad had a key lime mousse tart - I wasn't quite sure what a 'mousse tart' entailed, but it was exactly as it sounds...mousse in a tart shell, tart being the key word with anything involving key limes!
Our bill came to a total of around $160, which included wine, starters, entrees, dessert and coffee for two. I'd like to go back for dinner if only to get the name of the wine, although now that I think about it, the short rib sandwich, a glass of wine, and dessert just might be the perfect meal.
Stone Park Cafe (718 369 6548) is located on the corner of 5th Avenue and 3rd Street in Brooklyn. The restaurant accepts all major credit cards and reservations are recommended for dinner -- and tables at Stone Park can be booked via opentable.com, fyi.