360 Van Brunt St., Red Hook
Reservations strongly recommended
Rating: (Five L's)
Price Range: $20-25, Cash Only
To put it simply, dinner at 360 is worth the arduous trek to Red Hook. From the F-stop at Carroll Street, you’ll either have to endure a long (and rather unpleasant) walk, track down the bus on Columbia Street, or call a car service to drop you off at the door. But no matter how harrowing your journey might be, once you’ve had a taste of Chef William Brasile’s soul-satisfying French fare, you may begin to calculate how long your daily commute from Red Hook would be, were you to move into a nearby apartment for the sole purpose of eating here every day.
Start out with a reasonably priced carafe (which is actually served in a beaker) of Gruner Veltliner, a lively Austrian white, as you peruse the $25 prix fixe menu and take in the politically charged Richard Mock prints that line the walls. The rotating three-course menu is completely satisfying, but if you’re in the mood to gorge yourself, check out the- la carte menu, too ? the small plate of silvery grilled mackerel, served over tender eggplant, olives, and capers, really shouldn’t be missed.
Next up, the Chilled Tomato Soup with a drizzle of pesto is a true taste of summer, and the quiche-like Alsatian Onion Tart is the closest you’ll comfortably get to a sweet and savory bowl of French Onion Soup before autumn rolls into town. The tart is served alongside a perfectly dressed and impeccably fresh scoop of field greens from Red Hook’s own Added Value organic farm.
As your server will remind you, this would be a good time to finish off your carafe and move onto that red he recommended ? a very drinkable and biodynamic 2004 Cheverny. n the midst of a less impressive meal, the Sauted Skate entre with buttery summer vegetables would have been a highlight, but here, it’s just satisfactory- the Roasted Pork with Mustard Vinaigrette is stunning and superior. You’re thinking you should eat here at least once a week. You might be in love.
But if your dining companion should accuse you of hitting on the wait staff, resist the urge to argue (what’s the big deal, anyway, they’re French and you’re drunk) and instead pass a spoonful of bright and refreshing Key Lime Mousse across the table in exchange for a bite of that Chocolate Pot d’Creme. Sometimes, to express gratitude for your patronage (or flirtatiousness, as the case may be), desserts are served with a complimentary Muscat. Life is sweet.