This three-starred micro-restaurant serves intimate tasting meals cooked in copper.
Brooklyn Fare is a gourmet grocery store chain in New York founded in 2009 and currently operating four storefronts in the city. At the moment, the company’s store on West 37th Street in Manhattan also contains within it a micro-restaurant called Chef’s Table. The concept is compelling: eighteen guests sit at a counter while a chef and staff prepare an elaborate prix-fixe multi-course tasting menu.
The original Chef’s Table was at the store’s flagship property on Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn. The venue was a cramped D-shaped stainless-steel countertop where guests sat just a few feet from the busy staff.
Naturally, my eye is drawn to that hanging rack of copper. Here’s a better photo of that array.
This photo shows a slightly different angle.
I spot smooth-finish copper, cast iron handles with plain baseplates, and three silvery rivets: to my eye this is steel-lined Mauviel. The photo below seems to confirm it: the interior surface of the pans hanging at the back have the distinctive concentric-ring finish — like a vinyl record — left by Mauviel’s grinding process. With their thrice-riveted plain baseplates, the pans must have been manufactured prior to 2015, which is when Mauviel began monkeying around with rivets. There’s no way I can tell from a distance whether these are 1.5mm or 2.5mm pieces, but at Chef’s Table price point I would hope they’d invest in the good stuff!
Sometime in 2016 or so, Chef’s Table migrated to a larger space within the Brooklyn Fare store on West 27th Street in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan. The new incarnation replaces the cramped D-shape countertop (with a hapless server trapped in the center) with a more spacious U-shaped setup in polished wood. I am relieved to see that the copper came along in the move, though it has now migrated to a long crowded rack. I suspect some pans are double-hung with smaller pieces nestled inside larger ones.
I would love to see it, but alas, reservations are quite hard to obtain. The inimitable Adam Platt of New York magazine sums up the experience in his 2018 review:
Is this elaborate show worth the reservations hassle, the extreme prices (US$395 and counting), and the possible indignity of arriving at the back of some random Hell’s Kitchen grocery store only to be presented with an ill-fitting loaner jacket? As a vocal critic of the pretentious tasting rooms and omakase-style dinners that have overrun the upper echelons of the city’s fine-dining scene lately, it pains us to admit that, if you avoid the inevitable barrage of trophy wines and limit yourself to one visit, say, every year or so, the answer to the question is a hearty “yes.”
Has anyone experienced a meal there?