Last night Antonia and I went to Roberta's, a neighbourhood pizza restaurant in a frankly terrifying back street in Brooklyn. This is what we had (meat and veggie options listed in approximately the order they appeared):
Oyster with Meyer lemon granite (lovely)
(veg) Apple with straciatella, sorrel and black pepper
Cuttlefish and oxtail (the cuttlefish cut - and cooked - like pasta. Really successful combination with a deep oxtail ragu)
Linguine with cockles, uni and pepper/chilli
(veg) Orichietti with kale (I think. Might have been chard. I was too busy indulging in salt and pepper heaven on the other side of the table to check)
Powk jowl, black garlic, uni puree (not exactly sure what black garlic is. Left a bit of a bitter aftertaste but worked well enough as a whole. The uni and the pork were particularly successful)
(veg) Beetroot with pear, hazelnut and smoked ricotta
Stiped bass collar (from a 15lb monster) with razorclam, rainbow chard and chanterelles (Huge! Brilliantly crispy on top - moist and meaty underneath. Ironically, given what was to follow, big enough to be a main in itself.)
(veg) Chard, shrooms and egg yolk
Foie gras, frozen figs and olive caramel (wonderful foie, the other elements giving great sweetness but hard to pick out in their own right)
(veg) Chicory with blue cheese
Rack of venison with persimmon and husk cherries (physallis I think...?) (Rare to the point of rawness but none the worse for that)
(veg) Romanesque with husk cherries and black garlic
(veg) Pizza with mozzerrella, tallegio, parmesan, black pepper and honey. White truffle shaved over at the table. (An absolute delight)
Steak (Deckel. Not familiar with this cut but I think it's the fatty extremity of the ribeye) with sweetbreads, leek and fingerling potatoes. More white truffle. (Just beautiful)
Cheese (three of them)
Lemon mousse (I think) with pine nuts, pine nut brittle and parsley (genius)
All this, remember, in a neighbourhood pizza joint. Although some of this food is on the menu, most of the regulars (and it was packed) seemed to have no idea that as well as the pizza oven turning out what looked like top-notch traditional pizzas, there was a entirely separate kitchen turning out some outstandingly creative and delicious food with some fantastic seasonal ingredients.
The chef had arranged this tasting menu as a favour to a local foodie friend who in the end was unable to join us. Big thanks to Joel (with whom we'll definitely be sharing a meal here on the next trip) for making the original arrangements, and especially to Carlo, whose infectious enthusiasm is more than matched by his talent in the kitchen.
I'll be amazed if this doesn't not turn out to be the highlight of a New York holiday that has already included some stonking burgers and a sublime meal at 11 Madison Park and promises more delights at Daniel tonight.
Roberta's 261 Moore St Brooklyn, NY +1 718-417-1118