Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dine in Brooklyn 2013: Dinner at Saint Austere

I've been reading a lot of Storm of Swords lately, and everyone likes to tell me the popular phrase, "Winter is coming," when they see me hold the heavy tome.

In New York, though, winter is not coming, winter has plopped its big, snowy white ass here in the city, and refuses to budge.  I'm so tired of winter, but I don't think I'll grow tired of winter comfort foods anytime soon.

Thanan and gang joined me at Saint Austere recently for Dine in Brooklyn 2013 (my favorite "restaurant week" type event here) - three sweet courses for a slim $28!

I started off with the polenta, with cipollini onions and sausage, and a dark, beautiful sauce.  Dude, was this forever good.  Creamy, savory with bits of spicy sausage.  I think about this dish every time I waddle to the train decked in heavy coats and garb (and okay, sometimes when I lie in bed at night) - it really is the ultimate winter comfort dish.

Thanan ordered the broccoli rabe, which sounded great, with hardboiled eggs, anchovies and parmigiano cheese, but it tasted something like you'd expect from a Chinese restaurant, which is fine, but completely boring compared to the polenta. (Get the polenta already!  Winter is here!  Fill'er'up!)

Harry ordered the pork belly croquettes - they resembled thumb-sized mozzarella sticks, had the creamiest paste interior devoid of all pork belly delightfulness, but came with a tasty little chicken liver dipping sauce.

My entree was the hanger steak, served atop buttery mashed potatoes and sprinkled with crispy onions.  I'm hoping that the regular menu offering of hanger steak is larger than this (came about four slices to the plate) for the $28 price, but this serving was fair for our tasting.

I had no trouble eating up this whole plate within a few minutes.  Dove each cut of steak into the mashed potatoes, scraping the plate clean, and crispy onions added the perfect bit of sweet crunch to every bite.

Small portions are definitely the theme for the night here, with Harry's entree of spaghetti and clams adorable, sufficient, but not altogether too filling.

The homemade cavatelli with pork sugo meatball looked like baby larvae, was cooked perfectly with a tasty thick tomato sauce.

The tiramisu dessert came in jars, a layered confection of dulce de leche cream, grainy espresso crunch of granita and cake.  It was rich.  It tasted like 1,000 calories.  It was delightful.

Saint Austere is a strange spot in Williamsburg - part casual bar, part tapasesque restaurant with tasty food.  The service is slow and leaves much to be desired, but that bowl of polenta might be worth the wait.

Han's Nonsensical Rating: I've been annoying myself lately by saying the following dumb rhyme in my head - "I just want some mo' po-lenta."  Gah, I'm hooked !  Only come though when you have time on your hands, as the service is super leisurely.

Saint Austere
613 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY
The Saint Austere on Urbanspoon