A Sunday kind of love
Claim to Fame: A fine dining vet dressing casual food in its Sunday best
Reason to go: When you need a break from the low-slung reality that is Tuesday
To look out for: You know you’re going to eat that whole baby loaf of buckwheat bread!
If you live in Venice, California, your home probably looks like this. If you live in Williamsburg, New York, you might want to call this your home. Natural light, a generous bar, potted plants, Scandi-suave furniture and a beach shack-meets-rustic log cabin vibe makes this feel like your rich, arty friend’s weekend retreat. There’s a lively ground floor space, another dining room on the second floor and a private lair on the third, just to emphasize the at-home impression. Also, there’s the name, Sunday in Brooklyn, it conjures brunch with a bedhead, after having closed the bar on a Saturday night. It encourages a certain easy-going spirit, it’s the little devil on your shoulder, telling you to order another bottle of that highly drinkable, Slovenian Jakot, an amber wine and thief of time…because it’s Sunday in Brooklyn…because the sun is bouncing off the marble tabletops and the white ceiling beams, and the rotund, wood burning oven is filling the dining room with aromas that bring to mind your comfortable, favorite sweater.
Funny thing though, the ambiance is as laid-back as the food is multi-layered and surreptitiously sophisticated. It’s the brainchild of Jaime Young, an Atera alum who evidently didn’t retire his fine dining chops. Pretzels get a further Teutonic twang from dehydrated sauerkraut, they come with a brawny beer cheese, beefed up with ale; heirloom tomatoes are dressed with dried tomato-infused vinegar and olive oil scented with dehydrated black olives, crumbled dried dittos and tuna tonnato. Beet dip and gringo mole is accompanied by paper-thin, house-made lavash crackers, the earthy dip served two ways; seasoned with urfa and sherry vinegar, and mixed with cashew butter. The moreish mole is made of toasted Calabrian- and paprika chili pastes, black garlic, brown sugar, cocoa powder and cashew butter. Charred leeks, anchovies, sour apple, and butter sounds straight-forward enough, it’s not.
The leeks are presented slightly warm, coated in olive oil and lemon, and topped with anchovies, silky cool butter and apple slices in a clever play on textures and temperatures. There are enough small- and medium sized dishes to make up a full meal, but you’d be foolish to pass on the flank steak with BBQ:ed onion jus, a labor of love that starts out as 100 lbs of onions, grilled until deeply caramelized then pressed and reduced to a pleasantly sweet and sour molasses-like funk. Bringing it all back to that lazy Sunday in Brooklyn: a dessert of chocolate soft-serve with toasted marshmallows. Keeping it on that same note: Breakfast in Bed, a spirit-forward, nutty cocktail with sherry, vermouth, brandy and walnut bitters. Curing those who actually did close the bar on Saturday night: High Plains Drifter, a brilliant, mezcal-based reviver with bell peppers and smoked thyme. Other creative “adult beverages” of note that someone had fun naming: Drunk Elvis, Champagne Problems, Barbarella. There are also plenty of natural wines to get excited about and a few thoughtful, refreshing house-made sodas for the designated driver/responsible diner.