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A Different Perspective: Reynards

August 15, 2012

 

The mention of Williamsburg conjures up images of the strip of Bedford Avenue with its eclectic stores and hipster crowds.  And for the most part, I feel like I have done my part of exploration in the area.  Sure, there are a few favorites that I am willing to revisit, such as Samurai Mama and the dollar oyster Happy Hour at Maison Premier, but what else is there out in the first stop into Brooklyn?  Well, on the back of MD’s sudden desire to fully explore Brooklyn, we headed there last Friday to check out a new restaurant near the water on Wythe Avenue, Reynards.  Located right across the street from Brooklyn Brewery and Brooklyn Bowl, Reynards is part of the Wythe Hotel and of a Williamsburg that is more industrial and spacious.

With the luxury of space comes a restaurant with beautifully soaring ceilings and expansive windows.  The main dining room is located right off of the bar with a spacious seating.  Still early on in the evening so a quick drink at the bar before sitting down.  MD had already enjoyed a glass of Salty Dog with grapefruit and vodka while waiting for me and was working on another.

Feeling in the mood for something light, an Aperol Spritz for me.  And while we were sipping at the bar, why not order something off the bar menu to nibble on?  The eggs mayonnaise was two perfect bites of a dressed up deviled egg.  Delicious.

As soon as we sat at our table, I start perusing the menu.  Sucker for steak tartare, there was no way we would not order it here, especially when served with oysters folded in.  We each took a bite on top of the buttered baguette and agreed that the steak tasted much better on its own, preferring to enjoy the rich flavorful butter and bread separately.  Even though the oysters were a little lost in there, this was still a fabulous plate of tartare.

The country pate, another dish that gets us both excited,  was made that night with pork and pork liver.  Remember liverwurst?  This tasted like a fancier version of it.  A dab of pungent mustard and sliver of pickled onion on a baguette slice, we could have been in Paris.

Even though we are nearing the end of summer, corn is still quite in season and it seems like everywhere.  Reynards was no different and served a lovely charred bowl of sweet corn that was mixed ricotta and mint chili vinaigrette.  Sharp and spicy, the sweetness from the corn still came through beautifully.

The steak for MD was served with a light summer salad of heirloom tomatoes, arugula and broad beans.  The meat itself was a little overcooked for medium-rare but the outside was salty and buttery, very similar to that found at steakhouses.  Well done!

I can’t remember the last time I had duck so duck it was for dinner.  Again, slightly overcooked with a skin that was not properly rendered of the fat, I did my best with the duck itself.  Whatever bites I did get was quite smokey and actually very wonderful.  Regardless of how the duck came out, the hen of the woods mushroom with corn and tarragon vinaigrette was another hit with us.

For dessert, a small wedge of incredibly rich and dense chocolate tart with cracker jacks and sea salt.  Even though it looked small, this packed quite the punch and was very satisfying.

Another drink before we headed back into the city.  This time, we sipped the cocktails at the rooftop bar of the Wyeth Hotel to this amazing view of the skyline of New York.  Standing from far away, it’s hard to imagine all that goes on within those twinkling lights.  We can get so lost in the everyday that we forget what a small part of life in New York we are.  Funny how all it took was a short subway ride and a Friday night date to put a little distance between us and the everyday for that realization to sink in.

Reynards | 80 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 |  http://reynardsnyc.com

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