Dinner at Brooklyn Warehouse, Halifax
A few weeks ago a bunch of friends and I went out to celebrate my friend Jessica’s twenty-sixth birthday. Jess is a fellow Newfoundlander and a mutual friend of Adam and I, but in the most odd of ways. Jess is my distant cousin, who became a great friend upon the discovery of our relation when both our fathers happened to meet each other online, brought together by their passion for genealogy and the exploration of graveyards. Adam and Jess went to high school together and became close friends in university, and because St. John’s is a microcosm the size of a neighbourhood, of course we all know each other!
Jess decided that she wanted to go to Brooklyn Warehouse for her birthday dinner, and I could not have been more excited upon receiving that Facebook inbox describing the birthday plans. I have been dying to go to Brooklyn Warehouse since I moved here, but for some reason (maybe because Adam and I rarely go north of Spring Garden these days) I had yet to visit the fine establishment.
On a cold Thursday night we all headed to Windsor Street to Brooklyn Warehouse and were seated at the long table in the middle of the room. At first I felt exposed, but once we all arrived it felt like we were the only ones in the place. The restaurant is really cool, with eclectic dim lighting and trendy bohemian decor that exhibits lots of great artwork and cool nic-nacs which line the banquettes.
To start off, our friendly server asked us what we all wanted to drink and I have to admit, there is such a great selection, it took us all quite awhile to decide on various cocktails and craft brews. Aside from the awesomeness of a 1$ Corkage for BYOB on Wednesday nights, BW has a large selection of muddled and old-school classic cocktails, booze, and a great draught variety. I decided to be brave and order the Elderflower Fizz, which contained an Elderflower liqueur and an egg white! At first I was intimidated by the idea of a raw egg white in my drink, but thoroughly enjoyed the meringue-like layer that topped my cocktail. It was different and delicious, and I loved the anqtiquey glassware!
Jess and her boyfriend Patrick both ordered a Pimm’s Cup, which is a classic British cocktail and is awesomely old school. Pimm’s No. 1 is a liqueur, also known as a “fruit cup” which is an alcoholic mix, meant to be made into a long drink with soda or juice. The seven Pimm’s “fruit cups” rose in popularity in the 1800s in Britain and have become a classic beverage in the UK. I had a sip and I have to say, the orange, lime, and cucumber were refreshing and the presentation was cute in mason jar glassware, a trend which seems to be taking over the restaurant scene.
After taking such a long time to order our drinks, I was very happy to see our appetizers arrive, because I was starving. To start off, I had the PigFish which consisted awesome scallops and probably some of the crispiest, most flavourful pork belly that I have ever had. I know that I have discussed my love for pork belly numerous times in various blog posts, but it must be said that I was blown away by the texture of the fictionally named aperitif . The pork belly was so crispy on the outside and so soft and flavourful on the inside that my mouth waters typing the very words. Combined with the Hazelnuts and Sherry Caramel that was drizzled on the plate it was a food experience that I did not want to end.
The rest of the table was equally impressed with their appetizers and we all delighted in the flavourful dishes as forks flew from one end of the table to the other containing the delicious morsels for all to try. Jess’s best friend Stephanie ordered an appetizer titled simply “Mushrooms” that consisted of Shiitake, Cremini and Oyster Mushrooms with giant potato gnocchi in a flavourful and delicious sauce. Jess and Patrick shared the app Momofuku, whose namesake gives a nod to the Japanese Fusion restaurant that is taking over the world one noodle bar at a time. The noodle bowl consisted of soy Pork Belly, glass noodles and a poached egg in a delectable broth.
Adam ordered the Beef Tartare and claims it was the best that he ever had. The presentation of the appetizer alone was enough to make your mouth water.
The poached egg atop the local raw beef from Getaway Farm was amazing, and along with the horseradish, made an awesome trio of flavours atop the crostini. Adam thoroughly enjoyed, as you can see from the photo below:
Though the appetizers were amazing, we were all anxious to receive our mains and the local fair continued into the main courses. Alyson ordered the Steak Frites and was delighted by the Béchamel sauce that covered the Getaway Farm’s Rib Eye and I was no less pleased with the taste that I received! Adam was also very happy with his interesting main: Lobster Chowder. The seemingly simple dish was amped up like a hundred notches by the vanilla-foie gras broth and giant lobster claw smothered in brown butter. It looked, smelled, and tasted amazing. I think that perfecting the trifecta of senses is hard to attain when it comes to food, but Brooklyn Warehouse had it in the bag with this entree.
Both Laura and Patrick ordered the Brooklyn Burger which was also made from local ingredients, topped with PEI cheddar and Brothers back bacon, and both were extremely happy with their classic selection. Jess had the Duck Confit which consisted of a giant crispy duck leg and an awesome mixture of lentils and blueberry braised Napa cabbage. Not a huge cabbage lover, Jess was less than impressed by the side, but raved about the Duck and after my taste test, I could not help but agree.
For my main I ordered the Squash Tortellini, as did Stephanie. Even though I usually order meat for my entree, the server, who was also a self-proclaimed carnivore, suggested the Tortellini. I am so glad when I take server’s advice and they are right. It was amazing! There were so many of my favorite flavours going on, I could barely contain my love for this main, and neither could Stephanie The combination of flavours from the creamy squash stuffed ravioli, the coconut curry sauce, and the gruyere slivers atop was a unique collaboration that I never would have considered, but was so good in all the right ways.
By the time the forks were put to rest no one had room for dessert. Jess’ quarter century plus one birthday celebration ended with laughter as we closed out the restaurant and parted ways on the sidewalk. Overall, Brooklyn Warehouse is an awesome place for a romantic dinner, or a large group of friends celebrating someone they love. I am excited to try this restaurant again, maybe for a romantic dinner with Adam, and because the menu changes monthly, I will no doubt be able to Explore. Eat. Repeat. the Brooklyn Warehouse for many months to come, in search of the illusive PigFish and other local fair that the creative chefs concoct. Happy Birthday Jess!
Things Worth Mentioning:
Cost: 135$ including tax and tip for two people who had 2 apps, 2 mains, and multiple beverages each!
Things I liked: The classic cocktails in classic glassware, the decor and, of course, the PigFish.
Things I didn’t: We all found the Duck salad appetizer uninteresting, but there was little else to complain about.
The best place to sit: Anywhere in the winter months, but outside in the newly renovated outer dining area in the summer months to come.
What to order next time: Whatever the servers tell me to!