I was a little disappointed by Five Leaves. I had dinner last night at this lovely new spot. Don’t get me wrong, this space is gorgeous. Designed by the folks who did the interior for Moto, it’s rustic charm and decor in what would otherwise be an odd corner spot is a success. However, it is hard to walk from the front of the restaurant to the back without bumping into diners or folks seated at the bar (yes, its that narrow). We had a tasty fresh ricotta appetizer that was served with 3 half-slices of bread (we requested more and the server brought out a generous portion. I think he realized how silly it was to serve 2 people 3 little portions of bread for a huge bowl of a cheese you can’t really eat solo with your fingers). The drink menu is ok, if a bit pricey ($7-8 for eh white wine, and nothing that great on the beer list, $7 for bottle or tap). I ordered the soup of the day — butternut squash soup, vegan. It was tasty and better than average. I also had the mixed green salad. Also good. My dinner companion had the chicken with rice and greens. He seemed pleased. Overall, I think Five Leaves (also known as “the Heath Ledger bar” because of his investment prior to his death) is a lovely atmosphere, and probably a better bet for a drink and snack than a full dinner. Or maybe it’s just that it wasn’t Walter Foods that disappointed me…
My lovely friend Emma alerted me to the existence of a back patio at Baci and Abbracci (one of the many Italian places in my neighborhood). I’ve had the tasty beet and goat cheese gnocchi before, but this time opted for one of the salads. The service was not great (true Italian style), but the atmosphere cannot be beat. There’s a large tent over the patio, so you can go rain or shine! There was no wait on a weeknight at 9pm. I stopped by at 7 on Friday for a glass of wine and we were seated right away. It’s a nice little reprieve from the hectic dining establishments nearby.
Funniest movie I’ve seen in a long time. I liked it way more than “Knocked Up.” I kept getting distracted by the ridiculously fake tan on Mila Kunis. The female characters were much stronger and more complex than in the previous Apatow movies. The ex-girlfriend-as-evil-villain theme was carried a bit far (or maybe I just was hyper-sensitive to that since I saw it with my ex-boyfriend). Lots of laughs and full-frontal male nudity if you’re into that sort of thing (I thought it was a bit embarrassing, personally).
An aside: why is it so hard to see movies in NYC? We went to a 9:50 showing at the Union Square theater and ended up in the second row! How do you beat the crowds at new releases? Do I just have to get my act together and buy tickets online and show up 30 minutes early?
Last night I ate at Le Petit Marche for Dine in Brooklyn. It’s on a quiet block on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights. The decor is quite lovely — deep red and gold wallpaper, tin ceilings, very comfortable banquettes, and perfect lighting that made everything seem a bit soft, but not so dim that we couldn’t read our menus. It was a bit loud and the space is narrow (you have to wait for the servers to finish at the back tables before heading to the single-use bathroom). As part of the Dine in Brooklyn prix fixe, I opted for a salad with blue cheese, apricot and pear. It was delicious, but nothing outstanding. I had a taste of my friend’s sweet green pea soup, which was quite delicate and tasty. As a main dish, I had a roasted butternut squash ravioli with browned sage butter. As a vegetarian, this dish is nothing earthshattering or original. That said, it was quite good. For dessert, we were given two options: chocolate and banana bread pudding or apple crisp. After ordering the former, we were told the kitchen was out of the bread pudding. They substituted profiteroles. The pastry was a bit stale, but the hazelnut ice cream filling was good. The fudge sauce that topped the dish was delicious. The staff was friendly and took coats cheerfully for all 8 in our party. Overall, I give Le Petit Marche (with an emphasis on the Petite) 2 out of 4 stars.