Sunday, October 7, 2012

Saturday Splurge: Stone Park Cafe (Brooklyn, NY)

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Fair warning... I'm about to get a little intense. But such is my love for Stone Park Cafe in Park Slope. I know this would never ever happen, but if I was forced (at gunpoint) to pick one restaurant to eat at for the rest of my life (serious situation, I know), even under duress, I would have enough sense to scream 'Stone Park! Stone Park!'.

Every single time I eat here, I find it hard to stop eating. Or pay the check and leave the table, for that matter. Stone Park Cafe was born in 2004 when two friends Josh Foster and Josh Grinker (who grew up together in Park Slope) decided to go into business together to offer innovative, yet comforting, fare to the community they grew up in. Considering the class of its food, Stone Park could easily be pretentious, but instead, it's nothing short of warm and welcoming. I have always been greeted with a big smile - the kind of smile I'd expect when attending dinner at a friend's house. Now that's how I like it!

Stone Park prides itself on it's seasonal menu, with ingredients sourced from local farms. The menu is ever-changing, which is why it's clearly the best pick when forced to choose one restaurant for the rest of your waking life. I took my friend Marissa there this week for her final dinner out in New York City. She's hitting the road to San Francisco, so I figured it was my last attempt at convincing her to stay. The food was fantastic, but apparently she's still moving. Wait...where did I go wrong?

We both started with a smooth glass of pinot gris (we are self-professed winos after all), followed by an appetizer - the short rib slider. Just imagine a housemade potato roll topped with a thin layer of creamed spinach and a hearty slab of short rib, topped with a quail egg. I'm pretty sure I had dreams about it afterwards.

I have got to stop diving into my dishes and forgetting to snap a picture! This is becoming a problem!!
For our entrees, we both went the pasta route. It was rainy outside and a little Italian comfort food just felt like the right thing to do. Marissa ordered the swiss chard raviolini with seasonal mushrooms, sage and pine nuts and I cleaned my plate of squid ink tagliatelle - a beautiful bowl of chipotle pepper, gulf shrimp, pancetta and scallions. Some people say 'death by chocolate', but for me, it's 'death by squid ink'. Ridiculously good!

We should have stopped there, but the dessert menu was calling our name. Might as well make a night of it! We chose the Affogato, a beautiful combination of housemade caramel ice cream and hazelnut whipped cream, topped with espresso. We showed that dessert who was boss... and in record time, at that.

Dessert - Round 2
Our generous waiter than decided to send Marissa off to San Francisco the right way... he showed up with 2 glasses of dessert wine on the house AND wait for it! wait for it! a second dessert that he said we just HAD to try! You know what they say... when at Stone Park...

So, needless to say, we needed an ambulance to roll us out of there when we were done. That's how I would like to eat for the rest of my life! Thank God I chose Stone Park!

324 Fifth Avenue (at 3rd Street)
Brooklyn, NY 11215

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