455 Myrtle Avenue, Clinton Hill
In my house, our painstakingly balanced marriage threatens to topple over the most inane, frequently food-associated things; divorce is threatened over someone letting the brown sugar go hard, or who was the last to wash dishes. (Though, let’s not fool ourselves, I’m always the last to wash dishes.) But no matter how many similarly silly little battles have been presumably fought and won in the Nate Smith-Sophie Kamin household, the fact is that their partnership—forged in both life and work—spans over 14 years, spawning not just two children, but two impressive restaurants besides.
238 Malcolm X Boulevard., Bedford-Stuyvesant
The techniques and traditions that inform French gastronomy are so equally entrenched in American food culture that we barely even register their presence anymore, whether we’re digging into a bowl of macaroni and cheese doused with béchamel or spearing bites of carrot cut into meticulous brunoise.
But as globalization goes both ways, there are also very few restaurants left in the city serving entirely unfettered French fare. You can currently find Spanish mackerel rubbed with charmoula on the menu at Café Boulud, and lobster and tarragon ravioli (a spin on classic thermidor) at La Grenouille. This makes Bed-Stuy newcomer L’Antagoniste—and its utterly faithful renditions of out-of-favor warhorses such as Blanquette de Veau, Tournedos Rossini and Duck á l’Orange—seem positively audacious. (Even more so because of its bathroom wallpaper, patterned with frolicking threesomes captured in various states of congrès sexuelle.) (more…)