Al Fresco Nibbles

I think my inner gypsy went on vacation without me this month!

For the past couple of weeks I’ve done very little wandering, I’ve done very little planning of new journeys, and I’ve spent most of my time enjoying the company of my family and some close friends doing precious little more than walking around the streets and parks of NYC enjoying the familiar. All wonderful things that I am grateful for, but not exactly great travel or adventure writing… what can I say?

Palo Santo 7-10-09
Garden at Palo Santo, Park Slope BK

I do have a little material, my life is never that static. Friday evening a friend and I wanted to get some wine and nibbles for dinner someplace with an outdoor garden/patio area. We were at a loss for where to go (if anyone has any suggestions for the future, please put them in the comments). We considered ‘Inoteca on the Lower East Side but wanted a little less of a “scene” (although it would normally be on the top of the list). We considered Elizabeth in NoLita but wanted less of a bar tab (it can get a little pricey if you’re not careful). We also wanted something on the way home (both in Brooklyn) because it had been a long week. I went through my lists of “places to try” and found one that’s been on the list for a couple years and was right in my neighborhood – Palo Santo. This place was recommended by the owner of another great restaurant in my neighborhood, Rosewater, so it must be good.

This is a tiny neighborhood place in the ground floor of a brownstone in Park Slope. There are a couple of tables in the front garden and one table for two in the back grotto-like garden, next to a gurgling fountain. This is the most romantic table in NYC, too bad I was sharing it with one of my female friends instead of a hot date – but, Hayley is great company unlike my last hot date, so I was more than happy to share this beautiful place with her! We had a bottle of Argentinian Malbec which went beautifully with the ambiance and most of the several plates of nibbles that we shared.

Beans Palo Santo 7-10-09
Freshest bean salad

We had miniature hand-pressed corn tortillas with a “salad” of one perfectly shaped, perfectly ripe avocado with slivers of pickled hot peppers and sweet red onion, dressed simply in lemon and olive oil. Sometimes simple is perfection, fortunately this was one of those times. We also had market-fresh green and wax beans dressed with red wine vinaigrette and slivered sweet red onions, scallop ceviche which was fresh, refreshing, and simple (seems to be a theme here), grilled fish skewers seasoned with ground dry chiles and served with a drizzle of light creamy sauce (forgot what it was) and some crispy crostini, and our favorite of the evening, grilled rabbit tacos on hand-pressed corn tortillas. The menu changes daily according to the market, which I hope guarantees that the food is always this fresh and flavorful. They also have a great selection of entrees and a $25.00 three-course prix fixe if you are that hungry – we just wanted to nibble, and we were absolutely satisfied with our meal. I’ll definitely go back!

Clean Plate Club
Clean Plate Club

 Saturday was a family day – wandering the streets of Tribeca, a 1-year old’s birthday party in a park in the West Village (Billy’s Cupcakes seem to beat Magnolia, but not sure if they beat Sugar Sweet Sunshine), a shopping excursion to Whole Foods (wish there was one in my own neighborhood!), and a wonderful dinner at home with my family (my sister’s best summer pasta and salad meal).

Today is the Bastille Day Street Festival in Cobble Hill and movie night at Enoteca on Court (playing Mondovino tonight) – I’ll keep up to date and maybe post the recipes for my sister’s best summer meal very soon.

2 thoughts on “Al Fresco Nibbles

  1. I love Palo Santo! The tacos are always spot on and as are the pinchos… next time you’re there try anything that has the chimichurri sauce on it… it’s made with all fresh herbs that they grow on the rooftop of the restaurant!

  2. I went to Palo Santo once for brunch this winter and have been meaning to go back, thanks for the reminder!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: