Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Do Or Dine...

Abi and I have been wanting/meaning to go to Do Or Dine for aaaaaaaaaaaaaages, and last night we finally went.

Do Or Dine (named after Bed Stuy's motto - Do Or Die) is a unique little restaurant in Bed Stuy, it opened a year or so ago and there's been a lot of hype about it ever since. The head chef Justin recently took time away from the restaurant to enter 'The Food Network's Next Star' programme - and won!

He was the 'quirky' one on the programme, cooking things like deep fried fish skeletons (for Halloween) - and there are similar (but less gruesome sounding) things on the menu at Do Or Dine.

So, Justin's got a popular restaurant in Brooklyn, he won a TV competition which means he'll be a host on the Food Network now, he'll probably end up having a book out soon too, but he was there last night, being front of house, greeting everyone who came in, taking drinks orders and bring people their food.

From the outside, you wouldn't really know it was a restaurant - Do Or Dine took over an old bodega/deli shop in a not very nice area on Bedford Avenue (not the fancy gentrified end of Bedford Avenue, it's at our end, the Bed Stuy end), they didn't really change anything on the outside, expect spray paint the metal gate that goes down over the windows...

They've still got the old awning up and everything... which I love.

Then you walk in, through the curtain and it feels like you're in someone's living room or dining room or something, it's very cozy and relaxed, there's a disco ball in the ceiling, a lovely old bar in the back corner and a brilliant mosaic tiled floor...

I think we arrived at the perfect time - we were there at about 8pm, but by the time we left there were people waiting for tables as you can't make reservations. We were able to walk right in and get a table without any problems though.

The menu was amazing - a bit confusing - but fascinating too. Some of the descriptions were a we bit odd, listing ingredients neither of us had ever heard off (it could be seen, and probably is, a wee bit pretentious  but we didn't really mind, as long as we knew what meat we were getting we were sure it would taste delicious)...

The dish that Do Or Dine is probably most famous for is their Foie Gras Donut! Which is on both the starters and the pudding menu... we gave that a miss, despite our curiousity.

Instead, Abi had some amazing nacho dumplings (they tasted like cheese nachos but in tidy little thai dumpling parcels) and I had frogs legs (!) in a Dr. Pepper Glaze. It was the first time either of us had had frogs legs - the crispy bits were delicious, and the glaze was amazing... it does taste a lot like chicken, if chicken was a fish.

Then Abi had a delicious salmon with super crispy skin and crispy mashed potato and I had duck breast on some white beany/buckwheaty type mixture and kiwi... it was all so so delicious!

Even the drinks were good - Abi had a cocktail with a sprig of Rosemary in it, which sounded weird but tasted amazing.

We could see why there was so much hype about the place - and it was certainly popular, by the time we left every table was full and there were people at the bar. There was a great atmosphere, very relaxed and not all showy and snobby, as it could have been serving the experimental food that they do.

Apparently they do a mighty fine brunch, so I think we'll be heading back to try that out soon!

It's great that there's a restaurant like Do Or Dine in our area, I think it'll attract people away from places like Williamsburg and show them that there are other exciting areas around Brooklyn. There's still so many places and areas we've not visited yet - but if there's some delicious food to be had there, we'll go!

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