For my birthday last week, my parents wanted to take me out to lunch. I started doing research for nice lunch places in Brooklyn, and came across The Grocery in Carroll Gardens. The very next day I read a post on SE: NY about it, and that article made up my mind.
The Grocery serves lunch from 12pm-2pm Thursday through Saturday, and when we entered the restaurant a little after noon the place was empty. I ordered one of the specials, bucatini with fava beans and mushrooms, while my dad ordered another special, a duck barbecue sandwich. My mom ordered the smoked salmon and poached egg dish off of the menu.
My parents both said that their dishes were great, though I was disappointed with mine. The flavors were all muted, indistinct. It could have used a bit more seasoning, and a splash of lemon juice would have been nice to offset the earthiness of the mushrooms and the vegetable broth it was cooked with. It tasted liek something I would have cooked at home, and then been unsatisfied by. Still, the service was friendly and they get extra points for playing Johnny Cash, but based on the food it wasn’t a great experience.
After lunch we walked up Smith Street and came across Provence en Boite, where we stopped for dessert at one of their outside tables. I looked up the name, which roughly translates to “Provence in a box”, and which is a pretty accurate summation of the place — a small French-style bistro. I selected a napoleon, while my mom got a fruit tart and my dad got a small chocolate gateau. My napoleon was rich but not too heavy, and a great treat on a warm day. At the end of the day I’d say skip the Grocery and go right to dessert at Provence en Boite.
Thanks again to my folks for lunch!
The Grocery — 288 Smith St., Brooklyn
Provence en Boite — 263 Smith St., Brooklyn