Price: $7-12 appetizers, $15-25 entrees
Location: 4033 Goldfinch St, San Diego, CA, 92103
The Quick Bit:
+ great variety of dishes
+ great wine alcohol selection of cocktails and wines
+ great interior space
Δ tables were very small and felt cramped
Δ dish seasonings could be more attentive
Since opening about a month ago, Brooklyn Girl has been one of San Diego's most popular restaurants. According to the manager, reservations must be made a week to ten days in advance. Luckily, I was able to squeeze in with a reservation to start off the evening on a Saturday to see what all the hype is about.
Brooklyn Girl is the creation of owners Michael and Victoria McGeath. The McGeaths are veteran San Diego restauranteurs; perhaps they are best known for owning Trattoria Acqua in La Jolla. While their restaurants have mainly been Italian, the McGeaths decided to try a different concept for their newest restaurant. As Victoria was originally from Brooklyn, the restaurant was named after her and the concept was to mimic a comfortable neighborhood restaurant in Brooklyn.
To realize their vision, the McGeaths brought on Chef Tyler Thrasher, who previously worked in San Diego restaurants Jsix and Oceannaire Seafood room. Chef Thrasher's vision is to create food typically found in New York City, but to only use sustainable local products to realize the vision. While this is not possible in the beginning, Chef Thrasher hopes to use all local products to create his menu.
|popcorn - sweet chili|
All meals start with complimentary popcorn instead of bread. The popcorn was great when it was freshly made, but it got stale relatively quickly. Still, the popcorn was a tasty treat and the chili had the perfect balance in sweet and spice.
|on board - (left to right) point reye blue cheese, saint angel cheese, duck prosciutto, soppressata, chorizo|
After hearing that all the cured meats were done on premises, I decided I had to try out some of the selections. The selection of cheeses was nice in that there was versatility to the choices. I personally enjoyed the saint angel. The duck prosciutto was great and a complimentary addition - it was full of rich duck flavor. While I wanted to like the soppressata, the cut diameter and slicing width was too small to really derive any flavor. The chorizo was a big hit as it contained big bold flavors backed up with aggressive chorizo spices - easily the favorite of the table. The only downside to the board was that the flatbreads that came with the board seemed either too stale or just were too difficult to eat.
|gnocchi and short rib - yukon potato, oven dried tomatoes, beech mushroom, chianti au jus, pecorino gremolatta|
The gnocchi was recommended to our table as one of the restaurant's signature dishes. The short rib was braised to be perfectly tender and a knife was not even needed to cut it. Unfortunately, the gnocchi seemed somewhat overcooked and the combination of the pecorino and salt cause the dish to be overseasoned.
|fijiian ono - white bean cassoulet|
This dish was one of the specials of the evening. The ono was cooked perfectly and the cassoulet was perfectly al dente. The peaches added a nice sweetness ot the dish that didn't overpower the rest of the dish. Overall, this dish was very well-balanced.
|14oz brined duroc pork chop - crispy brussel sprouts, hot mustard oil, sweet soy|
This was my favorite entree of the evening. The shallot and brussel sprout bed was cooked to perfection and the flavors complemented the pork very well. While the pork was tender and juicy, it did have a crust of salt; coupled with the soy reduction and the dish seemed overseasoned. However, I still felt that this dish was the most balanced dish of the evening.
|bourbon bread pudding - bourbon reduction|
This was my favorite dish of the evening. The bread pudding was very warm and really captured the essence of the bourbon. The dish was not overly sweet and it was the perfect way to end the meal.
|strawberry rhubarb crisp - rolled oats, ginger gelato|
The rhubarb crisp was also excellent and the only downside to the dish was that it was overshadowed by the bread pudding. There was a large amount of rhubarb so the dish was not overly sweet, which gave it a good amount of complexity. If I had a minor complaint, it's that the ginger gelato was lost against the balance of the strawberry and rhubarb.
As Brooklyn Girl is still a new restaurant, I am willing to cut the restaurant some slack as it finds its stride. The variety of dishes on the menu were very interesting and there were some great flavor combinations. Additionally, the desserts were enjoyable and the restaurant has a great cocktail and wine list. If that wasn't enough, the restaurant also has coffee pour-overs. With all of these things going for the restaurant, I can't wait to see how this exciting new restaurant develops over the coming months.
I tried to bring in a bottle of Curran Grenache Blanc and was surprised to find the wine on the wine list. Looking at the rest of the list, there really was a great selection of wines and they were not overpriced. As such, Brooklyn Girl receives the oeno-byte award.