The Tao Of Squash
We spurned the hearty oompah stylings of Zum Schneider, not so much because we're afraid of drunken German bankers, or that we do not know the words top the Quaffing Songs. We were just plain tired, and Avenue C is a rather unamusing death march east.
More importantly, we had been threatening to take cutesome to Sorrel for quite some time. Not because we had heard great things about Alexandre Tchistov and his Red Hook stylings, but because the place is in P Heights, and since Mama Duke's is no more, the North of Flatbush crew needs all the love we can give them right now.
Sorrel's back story is that it was the site of a rather scruffy Bodega plonked in the middle of an otherwise very sleepy few blocks. The nearest fleshpot is the mighty Freddy's. The Bodega apparently lost its lease after a humungous jacking up of its rent, a move that made little sense because the spot was going to be about a block from the stadium (yes, that stadium) were it to go through.
With that in mind we can't be sure whether Sorrel is meant to give off a temporary vibe, a quiet spot for the celebchef to hone his dark arts. No sign, brutal lighting, no bar, haphazard art on the walls. The sound system and glass front obviously represent a move on from the bodega, but you're not sure whether the guy's heart is in the spot.
So we get a table round eight, and then promptly turn back towards Flatbush to load up on cash money, because they don't take cards. No problem. We order some wine and some stuff off the market menu. The appetizers were a pretty zesty smoked mackerel, melon and potato salad, and a fairly undistinguished cold butternut squash soup. The service was a tad scatty, but the waitress was fairly upfront that they were short-handed, so we sat back and sipped and watched the world go by.
The main courses showed up - Wild Hake and Spaghetti Squash (the Cutesome, it loves the Squash) and Chickhan and mushrooms and rice - and were cooked to a T. But when it came to the dessert and bill and stuff, the staff sort of started hanging out in the kitchen and casting furious looks at eachother behind the skimpy curtain. One of the cooks had a ninja headband on (maybe they all do), and seemed grumpy. The boss man, clad in a French footbal t-shirt and a tad miffed at being dragooned into service as a runner, managed to be patchily assiduous and blazingly angry at the same time.
The couple next to us got so bored waiting for a check they invented their own. they must have got it fairly right since there was no hot pursuit by outraged food service personnel. We thought the chocolate mousse and citrus panacotta was good enough to get the real deal, although it should be noted that we guessed EXACTLY RIGHT.
But do go, even if the menu is likely to be completely different next time. Even with THERMONUCLEAR WAR going on below stairs it was still monster fun.