My birthday was two weeks ago, but between Purim, busy family events, and other celebrations, I’ve hardly had time to think about it.
The actual day of my birthday was nice and calm: my mom and I went out for sushi and manicures, and a couple of days later, my friends and I went out to a concert. But perhaps the best part of my birthday was eating at Pardes, a tiny yet incredibly innovative restaurant in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.
Pardes advocates a certain approach to dining out that I really like: they keep their menu small and seasonally based and they change it weekly. Their restaurant is cozy (think: brick walls, brightly lit lanterns, an intimate window area) and they encourage you to order small plates to share, which are brought out staggered, to give you time to enjoy each one.
Once we got settled and ordered (it was a busy night, but we scored the window seats ) we were served the amuse bouche du jour: anchovy gougeres. They were light and savory, and right after that, we got our first plate, a hamachi carpacchio that was flavored with refreshing dill, cucumber, and pineapple bergamot water, and topped with a peanut crumble. I love carpaccio, and this one had a very fresh and subtly sweet taste. Our next dish was a fried chicken salad with spinach, a warm green goddess dressing, sunchokes and pickled vidalia onions. The fried chicken was super crispy and the salad was served with tiny little biscuits, their take on classic fried chicken and biscuits. After the salad, we had their original BLT (made with smoky, house-cured beef) which was amazing and fries with a zingy red wine ketchup and truffle aioli.
At this point, despite sharing all the dishes, we were starting to get quite full. But our next dish, a beef heart tartare served with a little baguette, asian pear chips, jalapeno and umeboshi plums, like an updated bahn mi, was incredibly bright and tangy, and we finished it in record time. Our last dish was a tomato braised lamb shoulder with fried eggplant, cashew cheese and kalamata olives. It completely reignited my love for eggplant, and I loved the Mediterranean flavor and the textural combination. By the time we finished, we almost didn’t have room for dessert.
Almost. You know me! I never skip dessert! We chose an intense bergamot chocolate mousse with earl grey jelly and hazelnuts, and to top it all off, they brought out scoops of refreshing mango champagne and apple cider granitas, on the house.
It was definitely the best restaurant meal I’ve ever had (favorites were the carpaccio, BLT and tartare), and I’m already looking forward to our next visit, which, hopefully, will be before my next birthday.
In other news, Spring! We didn’t exactly get face to face with it yet (hello, Friday’s snowstorm) but I’m super excited for the flowers to start blooming and for everything to be beautiful again. I’m going to be spending this week cooking and cleaning for Passover, and doing a little shopping. Enjoy your week, everyone!
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!” – White Queen, Alice in Wonderland.
Six impossibly awesome things.
PS: the restaurant’s dimly lit, so I couldn’t get pictures. But each of their dishes is a real work of art and plated beautifully. Check them out here!
∞ Spring personified in these pink tulips (one of my favorite flowers) ∞
∞ We celebrated Pi Day with chocolate mousse, cherry/blueberry, cheesecake, fruit custard and brownie pies! ∞
∞ Nail polishes I’m excited to use this spring! ∞
∞ I discovered this quote on my birthday and I love what a good reminder this is. Amy Poehler wisdom + a picture of my dying roses = tumblr-y inspiration. ∞
∞ My obsession with gold continues, in any and every form ∞
∞ Birthday cake for a dear friend: vanilla + lemon soaked cake, lemon curd and blueberry jam filling, vanilla buttercream, blueberry jam, candied lemon and blueberry meringue topping ∞