Tuesday, March 29, 2011

je t'aime petite crevette ! dine in brooklyn 2011 !

Dine-in Brooklyn is Brooklyn's own version of Restaurant Week and features countless restaurants in each neighborhood for cheap eats: 3 course meals for $20.10 for lunch, $25 for dinner.  So not only is the price point better than NYC Restaurant Week, the duration is better too!  All restaurants participate during the ten days - including a weekend, which is a total score for a work traveler like myself.

One of the clear winners among the options was Petite Crevette in Carroll Gardens; not only is it located in Thanan's future home neighborhood (he wishes!), it also has a stellar Yelp reputation.  I enlisted my trusty crew of eaters: Anne, Ish and Thanan, to check it out with me.

The motley crew: Anne, Thanan and Ish!
Visiting Petite Crevette will make you use all the words you see employed in Craigslist small apartment ads: cozy, quaint, and charming.  Petite Crevette is definitely all of those, and upon arriving at 7p on Saturday, the house was full, and we had to wait ever so patiently for a table to clear up.

If your friends are also social media experts, you can watch them check in on Facebook and Foursquare during the wait.

The other part of the wait will involve you staring at the chef through the window.  You will be amazed at their tiny kitchen, how ridiculously good everything looks, especially the soft shell crab and the whole fish.  You may drool a little bit too, and the chef may take note, but he will understand.

Finally upon seating, and squeezing your body between the narrow space between the tables, you will squeal with glee at the cozy/quaint/charmingness of the whole place and how the decor is a hot mess but somehow works when taken together in a fell-glance-swoop.

The waiter will describe the specials of the day (soft shell crab + red snapper that just came in that afternoon) so you will forget anything else that you might want to eat.  The menu is posted on brown kraft paper at the back wall of the restaurant for reference though.

Cute restaurants offering BYOB can be so fun!
Okay - enough with the small talk!  Here's our food!  Please note: We ended up ordering dishes in addition to the Dine-In Brooklyn menu because a half hour of staring at the kitchen will make you do crazy things like that!

This bread represents serious love at first bite.  Soft, pliant and studded with delicious sesame seeds.
The amazing olive oil, herb, sea salt and tomato mixture that accompanied the bread. Like. Omg. Srsly. Love. at. first. oily. bite.  This oil enabled us to polish off three loaves of bread.  I could have eaten three more loaves after that.  Diana probably could eat ten.
Fried oysters.  They come 4-6 per order depending on the size.  We received five.  The batter was crunchy, slightly thick, and the oysters were fair-sized and plump.  It was good, but the batter overpowered the oyster flavor for me.  
Dine-in Brooklyn appetizer option: tuna carpaccio.  Anne was pleased and happy and didn't talk to us once while eating this plate.
Dine-in Brooklyn appetizer option: seafood chowder.  Thick, flavorful broth with chunks of fish and vegetables.  A nice, warm prelude to the meal.
Special of the day: soft shell crab served with the vegetables of the day: mashed potatoes, lightly sauteed julienned carrots and zucchini.
The soft shell crab was battered in the same cornmealy batter of the fried oysters, but I liked it better on the crustacean.  This was my favorite part of the meal - hot, crispy and the good kind of crabby.  Thanan also was a superfan and volunteered himself to help Ish eat his share of the plate (what a nice, self-sacrificing kind of guy!). 
Dine-in Brooklyn entree option: tilapia fillet with vegetables of the day.  The filet was lightly sauteed and naturally flavorful.  It was topped with their standard protein topping: tomato puree and fat, salty capers.  The potatoes were perfectly buttery and creamy, and the vegetables were simple and fresh.
Anne had another Dine-in Brooklyn entree option: seafood curry which came with mussels, fish and other seafood in a coconutty curry.  The third loaf of bread definitely came in handy to soak up the deliciously rich sauce.
The other special of the day: grilled red snapper.  We each flaked off pieces of the fish, and marveled at its wonderfully smokey flavor.  The fish was simply grilled and drizzled with a bit of lemon and yet was perfect.  So fresh. So flavorful.
The food was so good, even Anne offered to help Ish finish his plate.  
Another good self-sacrificing samaritan at the table!
Other strange things the good food will make you do: make faces like this in public as you're attacking beautifully fried soft shell crabs.
For dessert, they ran out of mixed berry tarts, so we all defaulted into the other option: flourless chocolate cake.

The flourless chocolate cake was so dense, thick, and rich.  Blanketed in an equally luscious, not quite whipped but fluffy heavy cream.  Each bite just felt right.  

At the end of the meal, we all were so...happy.  It might have been the two bottles of wine talking or how warm and comfortable we were feeling in the cozy corner of the restaurant, but we all were just so satisfied with everything.  Granted, the service at Petite could be a little more prompt and attentive, and I am not sure why every protein is topped with tomatoes and capers, but hey, let's let bygones be bygones.  Petite Crevette is definitely a neighborhood gem that is worth a visit!

Petite Crevette
144 Union Street NY 11231-2908
(718) 855-2632
Petite Crevette on Urbanspoon


  1. Everything looks delicious. Sounds like the whole experience was really awesome.

  2. i am drooling at everything, especially the bread and oil mixture! and the tub of cream on that cake!! so great :)