Whatever my relation may or may not be to the one of former owners of Eat Records, I’ve never had mixed feeling over its conversion into a localvore sanctuary. Jordan Colon, the head cook and owner of the revamped “Eat,” has dressed up the typically crunchy-granola seasonnique-style of cooking in a white-walled minimalistic quasi-classy restaurant!
Few restaurants in New York who tout the localvore heritage actually look, taste, and feel the part… more often their “commitment to farm-to-table” or ”sustaining self-reliant food economies” and other modern hippy jargon are practiced only behind the kitchen door. But at Eat, when you look down unto the tomato pulp covered hands of the chef or over towards his well worn bike, you can feel the sweat of the ride to the local Greenmarket through which he brings you the sunshine and soil of “food is purchased directly from organic farmers in the northeast region.”
Walking in, you meet the serve-yourself wooden slab table filled with cotton napkins, silverware, and reappropriated wine bottles of water with mason jar glasses nestled under the wood framed chalkboard menu (which includes farm/source information). There is no host, no waiter, and no corkage!!! The laid back atmosphere feels like a intimate supper club (al la super early loft bound MonekyTown) as you seat yourself at one of the few mid century-esq wooden tables flanked with matching benches. The dinning room’s stark warm white walls soar up to witty incandescence light fixtures of mesh colander and dried flowers. Eat also has one of the smallest bathrooms I’ve ever had the pleasure of bumping my knees into the sink of.
We began with a modest and earthy Seasoned Soup ($5). The mild warm broth swims with firm chunky carrots, sunchokes, turnips and parsley roots dug up from the fertile floral grounds of the Northeast. The soup is juxtaposed with cool juicy sunflower sprouts that crown the bowl with the hope of spring.
Next came out the supple White Beans over handmade Wood Fired Bread with fresh pressed tuscan oil ($6) Though anointed in oil, the richly dense bread overpowers any herby sensuality the oil may have brought, which was not really made up for by the perfectly cooked but bland beans.
The Cheese Plate ($6) was a love/hate dish… The silky raw Jersey cow milk Bardwell farm Rupert cheese was highly converted by my entire table, while the Bobolink Farm “jean louis” blue cheese sat relatively untouched (thought it was eventually eaten). It is served with the same homemade bread as the white beans, but this time drizzled in delicious honey (a move that would have greatly helped its predecessor).
The paper thin slices of root vegetables in the Radish and Turnip salad ($5) are as clean and crisp as a tall glass of ice water. This is a salad that could only succeed at a restaurant, like Eat, that uses “truly organic vegetables consumed within a day or two of harvesting.”
Green spelt with sweet potato, swiss char and red beans ($8) A mild dish heaping with nutty al dente spelt but rather mild char and beans.
Mashed Potato with carrots, cabbage and poached egg ($8) Although I am not completely sure what the runny yolk of the egg added to the dish; it is relatively devoid of flavor and added no texture to the already soft potatoes and cabbage… But! Mashed potatoes are delicious earthly manna and these are no exception. The sweetness of the cabbage and carrots is faint and mellow and thought it may at first seem to need salt, doing so would be an insult to the inherently savory flavors of the vegetables.
The mildly sweet Apple Tart with farm cheese ($4) was as disappointing as it looks.
We consumed the entire menu offering of the evening! One of each dish (well, we each had out own soup) easily fed four adults for a shockingly affordable $55 (including tip!). Although Eat is not exclusively vegetarian, they are adventitiously demonstrating that the best of the best of local ingredients are vegetable, legumes and grains… but we all already knew that, didn’t we…
124 Meserole Ave
(between Manhattan Ave & Leonard St)
Brooklyn, NY 11222