Monthly Archives: January 2008

A Tour of Cambridge

Cambridge is one of those streets I just never have a reason to walk down. The other day, while out taking photos, I decided to take a little detour.

It paid off handsomely, with discoveries like these:
looks like a face

This little garden entrance looks like a face!

skinny building

Skinny house!

strange tiny house

I love how this one is slightly crooked, and set back a little from the street.

pretty details

I love the details on these gingerbread-esque row houses!

Not pictured is the man I spotted pulling down his pants and taking a shit on the sidewalk. That’s right. I saw someone shitting on a Thursday afternoon, right here on Cambridge.

Saffolding Accident on Clinton!

This just in from a reader:

NY1 just reported that there was a scaffolding collapse on Clinton Ave resulting in a death. Looking out my window, i see lots of police cars at around Clinton and Fulton where there’s a tall building under construction (they said it was a 13 story fall).

Is this that tall building going up on Clinton near Atlantic?

Here‘s the info from the NY1 website.

First Friday @ RePop: February 1

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Happy New Year! If you haven’t been in yet since the ball dropped then you are cordially invited back to RePOP as we kick off our first art exhibition of 2008!

We are pleased to announce February’s exhibition featuring the fine art of the shop’s curator’s, Carl Grauer and Russell Boyle.

Prone to collaborating in the store, on canvas and in life these artists have taken a long overdue sabbatical from conspiring together to present a series of individual works. “Family Matter” is a reflection of those ghosts buried in the closet beckoned out for examination. At times melancholy and other times whimsical, Grauer and Boyle bring the observer into a personal realm of portraiture and surreal interpretation granting permission to laugh at their own trials while taking us on a ride through the depth of them.

Artist reception and party is 7:30 – 11pm every First Friday of the month! So come on down to the Navy Yard, grab a glass of wine, mingle with the artist and get your vintage groove on.

68 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Revisiting Autour du Monde

A reader emailed me an excellent review of Autour du Monde (Fulton at Clinton)!  If you haven’t been, check it out.  Let’s not forget the businesses on Fulton that are suffering from all that construction!

It took us awhile to try the new restaurant on Clinton and Fulton, Autour du Monde, but I’m so glad we finally went. I had read the earlier comments here, including some snarky ones by people who hadn’t even been there. And to be honest, those remarks, plus the smallish, eclectic menu posted by the door, didn’t fill me with confidence. But I’m so glad we finally went.

The meal started with bread, oil, and balsamic vinegar placed on the table. The oil and vinegar together were weirdly scrumptious. I think it must have been very good balsamic to be that rich and smooth, the perfect salty-sweet balance.

When I studied the menu, I was surprised to realize that I could have ordered almost anything on the menu happily. That never happens to me: though I’m almost an omnivore, I won’t order a dish if it has a side or a sauce I’m not crazy about. For some reason, 90% of the menu was right up my alley. (I know that’s a subjective thing, but two of my three dinner companions felt the same way; the fourth is a chicken-and-fish-only-vore.)

The three appetizers we chose bode very well for the rest of the meal: the excellent, meaty crab cakes with a hint of curry and possibly red pepper sauce were light and large; the veggie-packed spring rolls were light and fresh and had an intriguing dipping sauce with flavors we couldn’t quite place (tamarind? — our server, also a co-owner, called it the chef’s take on various east asian flavors), and the cheese-and-caramelized onion tart (more like a flatbread) with a small salad was mellow and outstanding, not to mention gratifyingly large (a generous four-way split). We agreed that the ‘tart’ would make great takeout all on its own — something to pick up for dinner on the way home from the Clinton-Washington C train stop.

The four entrees we chose were equally eclectic: the baby chicken with almonds and broccoli was extremely moist and flavorful; the skirt steak got a yummy unexpected kick thanks to a light topping of chermoula (a basil and parsley blend); the spare ribs were out-of-this-world tender and complex without being heavy; and the salmon (also with the chermoula or something closely related) was cooked perfectly, very intensely flavored, with four adorable mini veggie-and-olive skewers. Each dish was familiar enough to feel like comfort food — but also just-offbeat-enough to demand our attention.

Finally, two desserts: a gorgeous lightly “cardamomed” creme brulee with a perfect caramelized sugar crust (not a black edge anywhere) and one of those fairly ubiquitous but in this case extremely fresh-tasting molten chocolate cakes with a small spoonful of vanilla ice cream. The only off note was the biscotti that came with the creme brulee — they had a pretty good texture but not enough flavor.

That plus a charming, personable host from Antibes, a full bar and (I’m told) a good wine list, and we have a real contender. Though it doesn’t have the sophisticated outward appearance of an Ici or Olea (and I blame that mostly on the look of the menu alone), it is a very close competitor, I would say. And no, it really is not an ‘around the world’ joint, as some of the naysayers on this blog were complaining in an earlier post on CHB.

Fulton needs interesting, truly good-bang-for-the-buck places like this. And the endless street construction right out in front can’t be helping. Apparently they do morning croissants and lunch/brunch, too. Would love to hear a fuller report on those offerings.

Is it perfect? Probably not. Is it a vegetarian’s dream? No. But let’s give Autour a fighting chance. I say it’s definitely worth your time and money.

Brick Oven Pizza Coming to Wallabout

Washington Ave will soon be home to another new hangout. Owner Joseph Falco is working on transforming 37 Washington (which has been operating as a pizza place for the last 14 years or so) into a brick oven pizza spot.

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It’ll be called Il Porto, and will offer pizza (brick oven and regular), other menu items, wine and beer, plus sidewalk cafe!

The restaurant will span both pizza storefronts on Washington, and will feature historical photos of the Navy Yard inside.

Estimated opening is sometime in April — just in time for some warm weather First Fridays at RePop and openings at P.E.P.

Pretty cool.