Saturday, September 20, 2008
Five Leaves and fifteen-dollar haircuts
My A.D. ("after dorm," not anno Domini) life in Greenpoint is a strange one because of all the changes in the neighborhood. An English-language bookstore, Word, opened in 2007 -- I would have killed for one growing up -- and numerous traffic lights were installed at stop-sign intersections, which isn't good for this pedestrian who's been nearly hit a handful of times. But did Teresa-Beata's business really have to go the way of Heath Ledger for his bar, Five Leaves?
My partner in hipster cuisine and I sampled the grub there last night, and for someone who wanted to protest the place with a poster asking for the return of fifteen-dollar haircuts, the fifty-dollar meal for two, not including tip, I found the trip was worth not making a big stink about losing my hairdresser.
The place was already crowded upon entering around seven-thirty, the whole left side taken up by winers and diners, leaving a narrow walkway between them and the bar for us to make our way to a table in front of the kitchen. The slightly slow service asked what we wanted before we had any menus, but they were otherwise attentive. I ordered a "Five Leaves burger," an Aussie burger with a fried ring of pineapple instead of avocado, and he ordered a hanger steak with potatoes and shallots. We had the same red wine, which I couldn't pronounce, but it was good. Rarely do I enjoy wine straight from the bottle, but this one pleased the palate.
Since we were chatting up the waitstaff, the wait for our entrées didn't seem long. My burger came with crispy shoestring fries, and the meat was cooked to medium-rare perfection. My first bite, however, was disastrous; gooey cheesey sauce dripped down my hand. Regardless of the mess, the blend of flavors -- egg on a burger! -- provided a delicious dish. Though my buddy disliked his steak's gamey texture, he thought the veggie sides were excellent.
We were both very full from our respective plates and decided to skip dessert, though I really wanted to test the tiramisu. We'll be back and be sure to leave room for it next time. (Zucchini bread, made this morning, more than hits the sweet-tooth spot left vacant last night.)