by Mr. Wonka
Brooklyn, New York
November 11, 2004
After being seated near the front window, one of many servers who double as students brought a small loaf of fresh, fluffy bread, olive oil, and green olives for me to snack on as I perused Harkema’s exhaustive wine and alcohol menu. Their food menu, which changes every 3 months, offers both hot and cold starters, as well as vegetarian, seafood, and meat entrées.
I ordered the tomato and apple tartar with guacamole and feta (4,80 euro) for an appetizer and a mild green curry served with shiitake mushroom spring roll for my main dish. Going by appearances alone, one might assume this would be a pricey joint, but I found everything from the food to the drinks to be reasonably priced.
By the time my food arrived at around 7pm, both the restaurant and narrow bar near the entrance were filling up, so make sure you call ahead and make reservations if you’re coming during traditional rush hours.
Both my dishes were tantalizingly decadent. I could have eaten a few more servings of the tomato and apple tartar, which was surrounded by a delicate drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette sauce. The shiitake spring rolls, which weren’t as exotic as they might sound, matched well with the colorful curry comprised of cucumbers, cauliflower, carrots, cashews, and other veggies.
I finished up with a mouthwatering dish of crème brulée (4,80), which was crisped to perfection on the outside and insanely creamy on the inside.
Slick without being snobby, hip without being elitist, Brasserie Harkema still has one thing in common with the old tobacco factory: they both produce simple, addictive fare.
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