Brooklyn + disco balls + a waitstaff that could fit in perfectly in Breaking Bad = terrific Friday night dinner with Anne, Ismail and Thanan at Do or Dine in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Do or Dine is a hip new spot created by twenty-somethings who used to work at The Modern. They learned their tricks of the trade from chef pals, and now dish up standard American type cuisine with interesting, often Asian, twists.
Take their lamb breast, for example, which comes two small ribs to a plate, flavored with cumin and lime and adorned with a green leafy flag. The lamb was borderline gamey, amply spiced and fatty - chewy, melty and tasty.
The foie gras doughnut was a decadent affair - a crisp filled doughnut jammed with grape jelly and creamed foie gras.
The table was mixed on opinion - Anne didn't like the foie texture, wishing it was more in its pure state than the pureed one, Thanan liked it and helped himself to Anne's share, and I thought it was interesting and novel but mainly preferred the oily-crunch of the doughnut shell over the filling.
The tako taco featured tender bits of octopus, sour cream and tomatillo sauce.
The nippon "nachos" came as five vegetable dumplings on a plate. The charred crunch of the dumpling wrappers coupled with the pico de gallo produced the exact flavor of nachos but in a fun presentation.
The "fish and chips" appeared as a whole pan-fried snapper perched upon a pile of thick cut french fries, spine lined with yuzu and head topped with a glistening crown of golden roe.
This dish was a table favorite, the fries crispy despite being soaked in the oily goodness of the fish, the fish light and flaky and the yuzu providing freshness and crunch.
The New Zealand duck breast was thickly sliced and meaty like steak. The skin had just the right touch of fat.
Do or Dine represents Brooklyn restaurantery to the max. Hip waitstaff with cool vocabulary, a cozy, warm space and unique dishes. A good option if you're in the Bed-Stuy area, but I'm not convinced yet that it is a necessary destination spot.
After, we found ourselves in The Chocolate Room in Park Slope, a particularly delicious spot on a cold night with warm candlelight and air that smells rich with chocolate (mmmmmmm).
The waiter immediately greeted us with a dessert amuse bouche - a bite of chocolate chip blondie topped with a drip of melted chocolate. An absolutely lovely bite.
Thanan ordered the spiced dark chocolate. A pool of dense chocolate, utterly warm and brilliantly spiced - cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. So beautiful. So intensely delicious.
I ordered the chocolate layer cake, because I think I was swayed by the Oprah quote featured on their menu ("a luscious and perfect three-layer blackout cake"), but ultimately it was the right decision. It is a very good classic chocolate cake - with slight crumb, sufficient sweetness from the thin layers of icing and a slice big enough to share, though everyone seemed overdosed from their chocolatey drinks. This cake may have been perfect with a generous pour of Thanan's spiced drink across the top.
I love The Chocolate Room. I want to sit there all day and just breathe the air. ***fierce inhale without exhaling*** aahhh.
All in all, such a delicious Brooklyn night! (Love!)
Do or Dine
1108 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11216
The Chocolate Room
86 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217