Hunter's in Brooklyn, New York

image of Hunter's in Brooklyn, New York

We were recently invited to Hunter's, a restaurant located on the thriving Smith street in Brooklyn. It is a young restaurant considering that it opened in November 2012. Its name and different drawings on the menu and their website screams hunting, and the association of hunting and restaurant made me think, besides meat and animals like boar or deer, of natural / organic products. Well, Hunter is the name of the dog of the Chef, Angelo Schifilliti, who co-owns the place. I can tell you that when talking about his dog, we could see a light in his eyes: he loves him so much that he gave his name to the restaurant!!!
image of Hunter's in Brooklyn, New York

The place has a nice decor, with exposed bricks, tin ceiling, wooden floors and wooden furniture. We went for dinner and the light was dimmed and warm, giving an intimate feel to the place. The restaurant was unusually packed for a Tuesday and they were slightly understaffed; however, it did not affect the service that was extremely courteous and efficient, and not only to our table. I mentioned to Jodi at some point during dinner, that it reminded me a little bit the restaurants at La Butte Aux Cailles, a popular area in Paris, full of bars and unpretentious restaurants similar to this one. 
image of The Handsome Hound at Hunter's in Brooklyn, New York

When I learnt that they were participating in the Shaken and Stirred best of Brooklyn cocktail contest that day, I inquired about the cocktail list. It is made of two categories: signature and seasonal. I decided to go for the Handsome Hound (guess to whom it refers to?) that is one of their signature cocktails. 
image of water bottle at Hunter's in Brooklyn, New York

It was made of Breuckelen corn & rye whiskey (the bottle is used for tap water!), orange & barrel bitters, sweet vermouth and brandied cherries. I can tell you that this cocktail delivers and is perfect if you like whiskey!

Then, we had a tough time deciding what to order. The seasonal menu is small, but here were so many things I wanted to try. So we asked our waiter what their popular dishes are and followed some of his suggestions. I ordered the chicken liver & bacon mousse, one of heir signature dishes. 
image of Chicken liver and bacon mousse at Hunter's in Brooklyn, New York

It was served with a deliciously sweet shallot marmalade, pickles (carrots, onions and haricots verts - string beans) and some bread. They present it in a rustic way, on a piece of wood, stacking the different components next to each other. The mousse was fantastic: smooth and a bit smokey (not too much), thanks to the bacon. I ate it with and without the shallot marmalade that added a nice sweetness to the dish, counteracting the sour taste of the pickles. 

Jodi ordered their butternut squash agnolotti (home made!):

image of Butternut squash agnolotti at Hunter's in Brooklyn, New York

They were served with sage brown butter, spiced pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and Brussels sprouts. This was spectacular! The agnolotti were thin, so there was a nice proportion butternut squash / pasta. The brown butter was perfect with it and I loved that they put the pumpkin seeds that added some crunch. It was my favorite dish. Also,t they serve in two sizes: appetizer or entree. 

For entree, Jodi ordered the Mac&Cheese, made with fusili pasta, smothered in Parmesan, cheddar and gruyere. 
image of Mac and cheese at Hunter's in Brooklyn, New York

It was very creamy and they were generous with the amount of cheese! It was topped with breadcrumbs that added a nice crunch (again?). It is an entree and it might be a good idea to serve it as a side!

On my side, I decided to go for the chicken. I admit that I hesitated with their burger, but the burger is not seasonal. 
image of roasted chicken at Hunter's in Brooklyn, New York

It was a roasted organic chicken (good serving), butterflied, laying on sweet potato mash and roasted Brussels sprouts. The chicken was perfectly cooked and moist. I loved the garnish: the Brussels sprouts were delicious and the mash had this nice sweetness hat made me want to have more. 

Then, it was time for my favorite part of the meal: dessert. Ok, I lied: my favorite part is The meal!!!

Jodi ordered the ricotta fritters with dulce de leche:
image of ricotta fritters with dulce de leche at Hunter's in Brooklyn, New York

They were made to order and came hot. I think this is the kind of dessert that can be addictive! I ate them with or without the dulce de leche that was a bit dense. 

I decided to order the nutella bread pudding. 
image of nutella bread pudding at Hunter's in Brooklyn, New York

It was a nice piece, served with whipped cream. In term of consistency, it was perfect. I really do not like dry bread pudding and this one was soft and moist. It was good, but I admit that I expected the Nutella taste to come through. 

This was a great experience: delicious food and great atmosphere. I really like their menu that is not big and it shows hat it is better to have a small menu executed well rather ham a big menu poorly executed. In fact we asked the Chef how he creates his menu and he said: "I serve what I would eat". Of course, he goes through quality control: his wife, who is the only person who tells him the truth about his food, bluntly, a sentiment familiar to Jodi when she asks me my opinion about her painting...

Enjoy (I did)!

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Please note that I was contacted directly by the restaurant or a PR and that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!