Seersucker

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I went to Nightingale 9 in Carroll Gardens not too long ago, and loved it. But wouldn’t you know, this Vietnamese restaurant has a sister who hales from the South? Since Nightingale 9 was so amazing, I had to check out this other spot. A few doors down, you’ll find Seersucker in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

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Focusing on a seasonal menu, this lovely and inviting restaurant serves Southern cuisine with a bit of a NYC twist. The service is awesome, and everything on the menu looked great. To drink, I had to go for their Smokey and The Bandit (chipotle infused white pile whiskey, smoked brown sugar syrup, lime juice). This drink was incredible. The glass is served out to you, upside down, on a mini cast iron skillet, filled with smoke. Once the smokiness is infused in the glass, it’s lifted up and in pours your drink. It’s not particularly spicy, but has such a great smokiness and warmth, which is balanced out with the slight sweetness of the brown sugar syrup.

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Then, before your meal, you’re served some complimentary little biscuits with a salted molasses and apricot jam. The biscuits are unreal, and honestly don’t even need any spreads. They’re light, flaky and buttery and melt in your mouth. But, if you add the spreads, the apricot is my favorite. It’s fresh and sweet and really compliments the delicate savoriness of the biscuit.

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To start, I had the Bibb Lettuce Salad (radish, celery seed vinaigrette, NY butternut squash oil, toasted benne seeds). It’s deliciously fresh and light and the perfect start to your meal. I especially loved the celery seed vinaigrette, something I haven’t had before.

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For my entree, I ordered Grilled Pennsylvania Trout (morels, pickled collard stems, pea shoots). I really loved this dish. The fish bathes in this deliciously savory broth, soaking in the flavor. It’s tender and light, and complimented nicely by the delicate, plump morels and collard stems.

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With such an amazing meal, I had to get some of their dessert. I had a Rice Pudding (rhubarb compote and brown sugar crumble). This was the perfect little finish to the meal. It’s not too sweet, but the rice pudding is rich, creamy, and the compote is sweet with a light tartness. Together, they’re a match made in mason jar heaven.

The Shorts:
Name: Seersucker
Location: 329 Smith Street, Brooklyn
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Without a doubt. The whole experience was great and the food and drinks are no joke.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Everything was amazing, so, you can’t really go wrong here.  

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Alder

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An East Village neighborhood gem that I could return to over and over again is Alder. The restaurant’s aesthetic is sleek and minimalist, but the food is vibrant and exciting. The focus is on small plates with mostly familiar and accessible foods, but prepared and presented in a unique and special way. 

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To start off, I had a cocktail. One of the things that I think is brilliant that Alder does is, they offer a few of their signature cocktails in half portions aka, “shorts”. This is ideal if you’d like to try a couple cocktails but maybe only consume one drink total, or, if all you need is a liiiiiiittle bit more to top you off, order up shorts. I got Dr. Dave’s ‘Scrip Pad (rye, yuzu, amaro, smoked maple). It’s great, it’s a tad sweet, a little hint of fruit and smoke. It’s almost like a smokey fruit punch. 

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First off the food menu, I had the Cured Red Snapper (black garlic, fennel, timut, orange vinegar). This was incredible. The snapper is raw, perfectly sliced, tender and flavorful. The fennel is shaved into these thin ribbons, with this amazing citrusy vinegar flavor. And smeared at the bottom is a black romesco, which, I would absolutely love to purchase a jar of, it’s that good. It’s nutty, it’s sweet, a little savory and pretty ridiculous. 

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Then, I had their Pickled Beets (coconut ricotta, thai basil). The beets are a little sweet and citrusy, and go so nicely with the coconut ricotta which is textured similar to a smoother cottage cheese and slightly sweetened from the coconut. 

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Lastly, I had…sorry, I just blacked out thinking about this dish. It was, one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while. I had the Octopus (chorizo, sweet potato, banana). The flavors, the textures, the way each ingredient is prepared, it’s all perfection. The octopus is tender and flavorful, then you coat it in the sweet potato puree which is delicious and slightly sweet. And then, to add another texture to the dish is the banana, which is just like a banana chip, crunchy and sweet. 

The Shorts:
Name: Alder
Location: 157 Second Avenue, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? It was not my first time there, and it will certainly not be my last.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely. And please, whatever you do, get the octopus!