In honor of Bastille Day I am skipping my Tuesday Top 5 to toast France (I am at the French Culinary Institute afterall) and post the update of this past weekend’s festivities (even though only some of it is French!).
Sunday was a glorious day for wandering the streets of Brooklyn! Staying true to my love of mixing cultures and adventures, I headed out to the Cobble Hill Bastille Day celebration followed by an evening of southern Italian treats and the movie Mondovino (about the globalization of the wine industry), accompanied by two Filipina friends and my friend Hayley (who speaks so many languages, she encompasses at least 5-6 cultures in one)!
The 7th Annual Bastille Day on Smith Street: Several blocks of Smith Street were covered in sand for Bar Tabac’s Petanque Tournament (like bocce, just French). The streets were packed with revelers enjoying the icy-cloudy goodness of Ricard pastis and chilled Lillet Blanc in celebration of French Independence (a couple days early). Since we weren’t playing in the sand, and the crowds were a bit much, we escaped for an all-American lunch.
Trout: If anyone remembers my post about Habana Outpost, you know how much I love a great outdoor dive, especially if the food is good and the beer is cold. Nothing fancy here – beer in plastic cups, food served in paper-lined red plastic baskets – you could be at a roadside stand out at the end of Long Island… but you’re not – you’re on the (busy) corner of Pacific and Smith Streets in Cobble Hill. We had big, juicy, perfectly cooked Niman Ranch hot dogs that overtook but didn’t overwhelm the bun, served with tasty coleslaw (mayonnaise, but not too much). We also shared a basket of Parmesan fries (crispy goodness made better by the addition of crumbly Parmesan cheese). With beers and a 20% tip for the crazy busy but always friendly server, it was still only $30 (cash only!).
From French Independence and American classic summer fare to the Carroll Gardens section of Italy…
After stopping for one more round of Lillet to fortify us for the 4 block walk from France to Italy, we decided that dessert before dinner was the best way to go – it helped that we were standing accross the street from the Court Pastry Shop – a true Brooklyn-Italian experience (and sadly a dying breed).
(Sfogliatelle and cannoli)
Since this was a Sunday evening in July, the last stop on the tour was definitely Enoteca on Court for a wine movie in the garden (this time, as I mentioned earlier, it was Mondovino). The movie was OK but the meal was outstanding! We have definitely developed addictions to the spicy-porky goodness that is n’duja (a Calabrian specialty).
We also had the stuffed artichoke – exactly like my grandmother used to make!
But the real reason we come here (and will continue to, after the movies end), is the real Napolitana pizza! In my recent post about pizza, I focussed on Italian-American pizza without giving much attention to the traditional Napolitana-style pizzas coming from Italy in the form of specially designed ovens and masterfully trained pizzaioli. The pizza at Enoteca is the real thing, for me it is the best pizza in NYC… and I don’t just say that because they sent both of our pizzas out in the shape of hearts!
Or because they graciously sent us out lovely desserts (the gelati and sorbeti were fantastic!)…