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« You're invited! Book signing + cocktails & hors d'oeuvres | Main | Dinner at Balaboosta »

NYE dinner at Saul

  • Cuisine: New American
  • Atmosphere: casually-elegant, intimate
  • Attire: smart casual
  • Ideal for: small groups, 1x1, foodies, prix fixe/tasting menus
  • Price: moderate to expensive - a-la-carte entrees under $36, prix fixe menu $85/person*
  • Phone: 718-935-9844
  • Location: 140 Smith St. (between Bergen & Dean St.)
  • Website: click *here*
  • Directions:  www.hopstop.com/?city=newyork
  • *All photos from this meal can be viewed on Flickr

    Valentine's Day - New Year's Eve - and, sometimes, even my birthday are all dates that make me particularly uncomfortable:

    • For one, I'm always single on V-Day.  And even if I were dating someone around the day-of, then we'd likely break up on February 13th.  That, or I'd meet the love of my life on February 15th. 
    • New Year's Eve just always seems to get blown out of proportion.  If I do go out, I always find myself nodding off or yawning - secretly wishing that I was at home.  But then, out of nowhere, I'll get a shot of adrenaline when I begin to wonder, How am I going to get home tonight?  There's not a snowball's chance in hell that I'll come across an available cab! 
    • For someone who hates to be the center of attention, my birthday is especially awkward.  Sure, the gifts are great and the messages left on my Facebook "wall," from folks that I haven't seen or spoken to in 15+ years, are flattering - but everything else just seems so saccharine and contrived.  Birthday dinners and/or parties at a bar - in my honor - make me nervous.  "No, I do not want to slam two tequila shots just 'because it's my birthday,' whether your're buying the round or not."  OK, now I feel like Scrooge.  But honestly, I've always fantasized about renting a hotel room in the city - for myself - and spending my birthday relaxing, watching trash TV, and ordering room service.  All by my lonesome. 

    This year, my clouded outlook of New Year's Eve changed.  I was invited to a celebratory dinner by a lovely fellow who, just so happens, shares my passion for food.  We spent our second date across the bridge, in Brooklyn, at Saul.  Despite the fact that the restaurant has received a highly-coveted Michelin Star for six consecutive years, the atmosphere, attitude/vibe, and service was anything but intimidating or snobbish.  "This reminds me of a Boston restaurant," mentioned my date, "it's so cozy and intimate."  He was right.  Accented with exposed red-brick walls and dim lighting, Saul eluded an indescribable warmth.  Each table was topped with a single, fragrant rose.

    A special tasting menu was offered to diners on the Eve of 2011 - each course had two options.  Josh and I decided to order the exact opposite of each other so that we would be able to sample everything on the menu.

    Below, you will find photos of each of the dishes that Josh and I enjoyed throughout the course of our evening:

    NYE dinner at Saul, Brooklyn: le menuNYE dinner at Saul, Brooklyn: fresh, pinchably-moist sliced bread served with a ramekin of butterNYE dinner at Saul, Brooklyn: *amuse bouche* Jerusalem artichoke veloute (soup) topped with crispy, fried artichoke leavesNYE dinner at Saul, Brooklyn: bluefin toro (tuna) with Maine sea urchin, accompanied by a lardo-topped toast pointNYE dinner at Saul, Brooklyn: Hudson Valley foie gras terrine composed with veal tongue & black truffle, topped with a port wine gelee and accompanied by buttered toast pointsNYE dinner at Saul, Brooklyn: Japanese yellowtail filet topped with stir fried chive remoulade and a bay leafNYE dinner at Saul, Brooklyn: skin-on rabbit loin paired with an apple and fennel slawNYE dinner at Saul, Brooklyn: handmade squid ink spaghetti with bone marrow-infused tomato sauce and braised octopusNYE dinner at Saul, Brooklyn: aged ribeye with pomme fondant, pork belly, and mushroomNYE dinner at Saul, Brooklyn: butter-poached hardshell lobster served atop a pomme puree, wilted scallions, and finished with a port sauceNYE dinner at Saul, Brooklyn: *dessert* homemade "Baked Alaska" composed of chocolate cake, coconut and dulce de lecheNYE dinner at Saul, Brooklyn: *dessert* circular slice of flourless chocolate cake served atop creme anglaise, paired with dulce de leche ice cream and house-made caramel corn~

    Now if the pictures above weren't tantalizing enough, here's something else: the food actually tasted as glorious as it appears above!  Coming from my mouth, that is quite a statement, as I rarely find myself in dining establishments that serve such menu items.  While foie gras and the token "amuse bouche" are delightful every now and again, I get my everyday kicks from Mexican and comfort cuisines ("comfort" is such a relative term, isn't it?).  With that being said, my dinner at Saul was absolutely phenomenal.  Never before have I sampled a foie gras terrine or rabbit loin that a) I genuinely adored, and b) ate more than one forkful.  Both dishes blew me away to the point that I almost begged for more. 

    Our meal, from start to finish, was perfectly paced and nothing short of extraordinary.  I would not change a single aspect of my experience at Saul and look forward to a return visit in the future.

    Happy New Year!


    Read it & eat,

    The Lunch Belle   

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