Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Station's A Mostly Bodacious Creation

I Tell You, It's Bluddy Sheep StationWot a terrible day to be yapping indelicately about my latest west Slope restaurant discovery. For the gargantuan R.W. Apple is no more. I'm not exactly sure what Johnny Apple did in the late seventies, eighties and nineties - there's a ginormous gap in my knowledge between the early seventies, when Hunter Thompson was rather fond of hurling insults his way, and the last several years, when he would pop up to write an entire article about ham.

A favorite dish in our house is what used to be called crab meat Norfolk: slices of Smithfield ham, arranged in individual ramekins (the kind often used for crème brûlée), topped with premium jumbo lump backfin crab meat, dotted with butter and run under the broiler. Surf and turf, sweet with salty.

Sounds ace. I suspect that Apple would disapprove quite massively of my habit of claiming restaurants. He seems to have settled on a few old standbys, albeit dotted everywhere from Paris to Williamsburg (no, not that Williamsburg), and eaten them clean.

That said, I'm going to treat this little corner of Brooklyn as my own, and a thorough, and timely, claim to knowledge of all of its its eating establishments is an integral part of that. And thus, with a pretentious sweep and an unconvincing happy snap from my Nokia, I claim Sheep Station for Her Majesty.

Sheep Station is an Australian gastropub located on Douglass and Fourth Avenue, a mere block and a bit from my residence. The decor has the shacky flavour of an actual corner of the Outback, but the lounge-like lighting tends to play down the details. No sign, as one might imagine, no printed menus yet, and no credit cards for now.

We learned a fair amount about the background to the place. The owner looks not unlike a younger version of the bad girl's favourite Australian, Bryan Brown. He appears to have had a hand in sundry Smith Street ventures, including, for a short period, Quench, and would provide, I think, convincing evidence that Gowanus is the new Carroll Gardens, only with worse greenery.

As a place to hang and drink, it does the trick very well, even providing three sizes of beer, so as to leave, say, a Mrs. Cutesome able to continue her dayjob later into, um, the evening. No Brooklyn Lager, but no Six Points either, and Fosters only in bottles. It does its best job of laying on Belgian beers, and should get round to having Guinness on tap soon.

The menu consisted of Green salad, beet and manchego salad, Australian burger (cheesburger with beet, pineapple and fried egg), cheeseburger, lamb sandwich, lamb cutlets, mussels, fish and chips and oysters. Mrs. Cutesome seemed satisfied with the lamb sandwich, and I found the fried fish to be if anything better than the Park Slope Chippy. The fries were your standard skinny, unpeeled gastropub fare - not to my taste (give me soggy slabs of potato, you buggers!), but probably what the market's after. The mussels and oysters were done by the time we camme to order.

Big shout out to bartender Sheila, who was probably forced to change her name when she came to work there, although not her accent, because she sounds a little like Ellen DeGeneres. There's also a back room, and should you require something on Fourth for a birthday party, and it's too cold to use Cherry Tree's garden, you should definitely take a second look.

[UPDATE. Welcome, Brooklyn Record readers. This blog is mostly about Brooklyn and metal and restauarants and hating on that stupid stadium project. But there is the occasional whimsical foray into high finance, politics, and half-baked "Brits do it differently" observations. So a mixed bag. enjoy]


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