Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
What I love about Brooklyn is that there are plenty of restaurants that are true neighborhood gems, thinking more about giving back to the community than making huge profits. The Brooklyn Tree is one of them. Inspired by the book “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” written by Betty Smith, which is set in East Williamsburg, Chef Patrick Quinn crafted a menu with dishes that are a nod to the book, such as meatloaf, pickles or iced coffee.
It is a small place, with a casual yet warm setting that is dominated by a painting of a tree with Brooklyn in the background.
We tried quite a lot of dishes and I admit that there was none of them that I thought was not good. Here is what we got:
For drinks, we tried their ginger mint tea, honey lemonade (you really get the taste of honey) and iced coffee that is inspired from the book and made with coffee from Café du Monde in New Orleans (it is a mix between coffee and chicory - in the book, as they have no money, they drink chicory as it is cheap).
We started our meal with gazpacho, a perfect cold soup for the summer. It was made with heirloom tomatoes, english cucumber, toasted coriander.
Then, we tried their cheese puffs that were spectacular! They were ricotta fritters served with a sweet pepper and peach jam. Not greasy, they were really addictive.
Then was the tomato and cucumber salad. I was surprised about the size of the bowl as, for $8, it was quite big and know that it is not just tomatoes and cucumber: it has seasonal greens and crispy chickpeas with a tahini dressing. These crispy chickpeas were great, giving a bit of originality, as well as a nice crunchiness, on top of the one given by the cucumber.
With salads, you can add a side of meat or veggie loaf, or chicken. I decided to try their meatloaf, a comfort food that I rarely tried. It was served with a red pepper glaze that elevated the dish. It was delicious, dense, with a nice crust.
Next were two sandwiches. The first one was something Chef Quinn is working on: a buffalo chicken schnitzel with sugar snap slaw (that can also be ordered as a side). It was succulent: served on a muffin, the chicken was perfectly cooked and moist. And I love the crunchiness added by the slaw. I just wished it was spicier.
The second one was their signature burger, made with grass-fed beef with aged white cheddar, smoked tomato aioli, seasonal greens and house pickles. The bread was also an English muffin. When you order a sandwich, you get a side and we got the sweet potato fries, served with an avocado ranch sauce that was a perfect pairing.
That burger was sublime: the thick patty was perfectly cooked medium, juicy and tasty. There was also lots of cheese and also some crispiness from the pickled vegetables.
In fact, we also tried their pickled vegetables separately from the burger and they are a nice addition to a meal.
I loved the food and atmosphere at The Brooklyn Tree: I wish I had such a restaurant in my neighborhood. Chef Patrick Quinn is doing a great job creating dishes that make you want to come back. I should mention that the products used at The Brooklyn Tree are sustainable, from local purveyor, surprising considering their reasonable prices. So, it shows that you do not need to over-pay to get sustainable quality food.
Enjoy (I did)!
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