By Jane Meyer
Most peoples’ ideas of Gowanus in Brooklyn are not ones usually associated with great food and culinary artistry. The Pines is leading the charge to change people’s perceptions of Gownaus. A challenge for any restaurant is to satisfy multiple taste buds in multiple ways and The Pines in Gowanus, Brooklyn does just that. Chef John Poiarkoff’s daily menu will satisfy the dedicated food geek always on the lookout for the next gastro adventure as well as the couple just looking for some good food and drink on a lazy Tuesday night.
Chef Poiarkoff’s contemporary American classic dishes are unique and delicious. The Pines boasts fresh market curated ingredients as well as in-house made specialties. For the wine and beer snob Zev Rovine has created a list that of artisanal vintners’ wines as well as craft brews and some snazzy cocktails.
The interior of The Pines is inviting and warm and of special note is an open kitchen where diners are invited to watch their dinner be created. Born from the Gowanus’ Littleneck a few doors down, The Pines is foraging its own way. An interesting footnote to their story is that the Littleneck was funded through a kick-starter campaign. Residents can meet at the bar to sample one its many craft brews; from the very hoppy River Horse Hop Hazard to a session beer from Carton Brewery Boat Beer it’s a nice list that will satisfy most beer aficionados. To The Pines credit that not everyone wants to challenge their taste buds they also of course offer Budweiser.
Many plates are designed to be shared. We especially loved the Agnolotti with bundles of fatty tender pork with a faint smokiness coming through. Cooked for 12 hours, as it cools it is cold smoked over pecan wood. Finally, it is whipped with straciatella, egg yolks filled with Pecorino.
Not to be missed is the Amaranth – not as meat laden as the Agnolotti, but not for a vegetarian, indulgent with maitake mushrooms and Nduja (spicy pork sausage from Italy) it comes from the shoulder, belly and jowl along with tripe roasted peppers and a mixture of spices. Anything that contains the word duck is sure to satisfy me and The Pines serves a cavatelli with duck – a worthy indulgence.
As a final analysis, The Pines will entice both the couple just looking for some great food before they head home to catchup with John Stewart or Jimmy Fallon or the engaged food fanatic looking for the next culinary adventure.
284 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215