‘Fare’ game! Downtown supermarket becomes Bklyn’s hottest restaurant

It’s like a private Food Network taping — with a tiny group of friends.

The prep kitchen of the Downtown grocery Brooklyn Fare seems an unlikely contender for the most unattainable restaurant reservation in New York, but since opening last June, adventurous foodies have waited months to gather around a stainless steel worktable and sample the ambitious cuisine of chef César Ramirez at his hit eatery, the Brooklyn Fare Kitchen.

Luckily for those of us dissuaded by the restaurant’s months long waiting list, the kitchen finally went ahead with a small expansion — adding six extra seats for a total of 18, and a second dinner seating. Meaning, if you’re lucky, you just might snag a reservation for September.

“We didn’t want to change the concept — we wanted it to still remain really intimate,” explained Brooklyn Fare owner Moe Issa.

Five nights a week, diners have the opportunity to (for $135) sample Ramirez’s seafood-heavy small plates menu, which, on any given night, might feature a king salmon parfait with basil gelee, avocado, maple syrup and mustard, or a slow-cooked egg with sweet pea puree. With the expansion, Ramirez, a veteran of Bouley and other four-star spots, hopes to add wine pairings this fall, pending a liquor license.

Despite the success of the Brooklyn Fare kitchen, surprisingly it hasn’t turned out quite how Issa hoped.

“It was really meant to be an experience for the neighborhood,” he said. Instead, the kitchen most often draws people from around the country and the world, thanks to accolades from GQ and Time Out New York.

“Everything that we try to do is top notch,” said Ramirez. “I think people noticed that. I cook what I love to eat, and people love it, too.”

The Kitchen at Brooklyn Fare [200 Schermerhorn St. at Hoyt Street in Downtown, (718) 243-0050] For reservations, speak with Heidi or e-mail kitchen@brooklynfare.com. Reservations for private parties of 12 or more also available.


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