I should start by saying the food at Brooklyn Fare is very good, delicious in fact. Chef César Ramirez is inspired by Japanese cuisine and French technique; the result being a fairly long tasting menu of nibbles to a standard Michelin deemed as deserving 3 stars. Ingredients were top notch; perch, red snapper, sea urchin, trout roe, langoustine, grade 5 wagyu; all cooked to a high standard.
The setting is interesting; a counter with stools overlooking the kitchen with a small amount of chefs calmly tweezing food onto plates without talking to each other. There’s a central serving area where one member of staff is penned in for the duration of dinner and she serves food, most just a mouthful in size, in a robotic/passive aggressive manner; “langoustine and kohlrabi. All in one bite.”
The atmosphere was stifling. The sort that overly posh, white table clothed restaurants used to be in the old days. The dress code is business attire. One poor bloke got so hot he took his jacket off, to the panic of the staff, who asked him to put it back on. It all made for a very awkward atmosphere.
There is strictly no photography of the food allowed yet they actively encouraged selfies and would happily snap away noisy drunk customers, who were far more disruptive and offensive than a quick snap of a dish. Note taking is not allowed either. At times, staff seemed more rule keepers than servers.
The whole experience is less about you as a diner but them as a restaurant. Chef would wander round seeking praise, and the customers would ladle it out, which all felt like such chef wankery. What is worse, it’s bloody expensive; $657.26 for two people (roughly £448) JUST FOR FOOD. Plus you have to pay a week ahead of dining.
So all in all, value for money seems horrendously poor. At Per Se we left with a jug of homemade granola, Eleven Maddison Park a few bars of their delightful Mast Brothers chocolate. Brooklyn Fare wouldn’t even print out a menu. They even insisted on keeping the hand written receipt for their records.
It all boils down to why you go out for dinner. If it’s to stroke a chef’s ego and be told what you can and can’t do, then Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare is probably for you. The problem is the experience simply does not warrant the dollar.
Would we go back? No.