top 10 restaurant faves of 2012

As 2012 comes to a close, I wanted to call out some of my favorite restaurants of the year – some are old faves, some are fancy spots I’ve only (yet) visited once.

Sausage Pizza - Franny's, Brooklyn

Sausage Pizza – Franny’s, Brooklyn

These are mostly NYC, except for San Francisco’s Alembic because I just couldn’t leave them out. Amazing. People frequently ask me what my favorites at the moment have to be, and well, as of the moment, these places hit the spot! In no particular order…

  1. Seersucker
  2. 606 R&D
  3. Jean Georges
  4. Alembic
  5. Colonie
  6. Battersby
  7. City Grit Culinary Salon
  8. The Meatball Shop
  9. Maysville
  10. Franny’s

Looks like lots of love for Brooklyn. Curious to see what tasty things 2013 has in store!

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breakfast changes at smith canteen and seersucker

Customer service is part of my job, so it can’t help but warm my heart to see restaurants making major changes in service to better accommodate their customers. I really enjoy breakfast at Smith Canteen. The coffee is probably my favorite so far in Brooklyn and I’m positively obsessed with their homemade Pop-Tarts. However, the waits in the morning during the workweek had gotten so long that I’d almost stopped going. Just too much time – a treat better saved for the weekend. If I was running too late, I knew that there would possibly be a sea of strollers to greet me along with a long line.

Everything Croissant Sandwich - now available at Seersucker

Everything Croissant Sandwich – now available at Seersucker

I walked in a few weeks back though to see a note on the door as well as a stack of a printed letter to customers explaining some upcoming changes. I’ve been in places I really like to find major changes but can’t say I’ve ever seen any be so transparent and detailed in communicating what was going on and why and with a whole week’s notice to boot. Coffee service would remain the same, as would the fabulous grab and go pastries. However, it also noted that their sister restaurant a few doors up, Seersucker, would start opening for breakfast and would be carrying some of the more invovled breakfast items they used to serve at Smith Canteen as well as some new additions.

Market Sour Cherry Pop-Tart - Smith Canteen

Market Sour Cherry Pop-Tart – Smith Canteen

I popped into each after the change to see how things worked. The line at Smith Canteen definitely moves more quickly, and I like that you can still get most of the basic food to go there. Seasonal muffins, basic croissants and such.

Breakfast Baked Goods - Smith Canteen

Breakfast Baked Goods – Smith Canteen

It was interesting to pop into Seersucker, having only been there before to eat meals on-site (great brunch here). I was a bit worried about how long it would take. Should I have called in? Would it be crazy busy with people dining in? Neither were a problem. There were some people at one table and there was a father with his little boy, no more than 2, propped up at the bar. I ordered at the bar and had my food and was heading back out in no more than 10 minutes.

I was able to get the same iced coffee as I usually get at Smith Canteen and I had to try the breakfast tacos while I was there. They were quite good and deceptively light. I noticed the reality when I wasn’t hungry later come lunchtime. They’re scrambled eggs, house chorizo, potatoes, and I went for salsa verde.

Breakfast Tacos - Seersucker

Breakfast Tacos – Seersucker

Overall, wonderful change for both Smith Canteen and Seersucker. If you haven’t visited either, highly recommend checking them out.

Smith Canteen – 343 Smith Street (at Carroll Street) – 347.294.0292
Seersucker – 329 Smith Street (between President & Carroll) – 718.422.0444

southern brunch at seersucker

I’d been dying to try Seersucker and figured it was a perfect time when two of my Southern friends were in town back in November.We instantly noticed that the wood pieces along the wall, mounted at a set interval, were intended to align to the ridges in seersucker fabric. Nicely done.

Seersucker - Carroll Gardens

Seersucker - Carroll Gardens

We had a plate of their biscuits – $10 for 4. They were served with three different types of spreads and preserves.

Biscuits with Homemade Preserves and Molasses Spread - Seersucker

Biscuits with Homemade Preserves and Molasses Spread - Seersucker

I really enjoyed my blackened catfish tacos (I was a bit antsy about doing that for brunch – but they worked well with the other items we ordered). They were prepared with cabbage, radish, lime, and hoppin’ john. Next time I’d probably do the buttermilk pancakes with salted molasses butter and bacon. Mmmmm bacon. Service was very attentive as well. Portion sizes were generous but not ridiculous. Just right.

Blackened Catfish Tacos - Seersucker

Blackened Catfish Tacos - Seersucker

The verdict on the pork hash was that it was good, though a little lacking on flavor. Gorgeous presentation though, as you can see below.

Pork Hash - Seersucker

Pork Hash - Seersucker

Probably the most surprising dish out of our party was the … vegetable salad? Yes, that’s right. Comprised of only vegetables from the local market. Not your usual salad, as there was no lettuce in this salad. Colorful and fresh, it looked like fall on a plate. Now that it’s winter, it seems to have rotated off of the menu. Here’s hoping for a return of this concept except with a spring twist come March.

Vegetable Salad - Seersucker

Vegetable Salad - Seersucker

Brunch Crew @ Seersucker

Brunch Crew @ Seersucker

Seersucker – 329 Smith Street, Brooklyn – 718.422.0444
Reservations Suggested – Note: Brunch Sunday Only