The Park Slope Gastronome

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Another Tonight's Dinner (But Really Last Night's): Freeman's

I had a work dinner last night that didn't start til 9:30. Holy moly, I'm usually all tucked in by then. Ok, not really, but 9:30 is late for me. So I met up with the CLC and her posse at the Magician and downed pints of Brooklyn Pilsner. I shouldn't have had that 3rd one because I was super drunk by the time I stumbled west on Rivington to Freeman's. Along the way, I got the Mets score from my husband (3-1 at that point, who knew the drama that would come?), who was incredulous suprised that I hadn't asked for it when I had talked to him about 30 minutes prior. Also along the way, I got soaked because the jungle mist that made the streets of the LES glisten had turned into real rain. By the time I got to Freeman's, I was wet, still drunk and super hungry.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that our table for 20 was not ready at 9:30. Nor was it ready at 9:40. I think we got seated closer to 10, than 9:50. While I think the food at Freeman's can be pretty tasty at times, they really need to tighten up their service.

Because we were such a large group, we got served family style aside from our entrees (for which we got to pick from a choice of three). When we sat down, our party was greeted with plates of rustic bread and butter, as well as grapes and savory crackers. For our first course, we sampled hot artichoke dip with toasted baguette rounds along with a lovely spinach salad with chopped boiled egg, bacon and pine nuts. I really enjoyed the salad because usually uncooked spinach makes my teeth feel weird after a couple bites and I didn't get that reaction this time. Also, as you know I love bacon and I love the combo of chopped egg and bacon. And in my book pine nuts are always a winner. The hot artichoke dip was equally delicious and our crew did a great job of licking the ramekins clean. Anything that is baked til the top is golden brown and crusty is usually a sure bet. Not listed on the menu but served was a round of devils on horseback - sweet and gooey prunes wrapped in bacon. The prunes were stuffed with cheeses, but I was unable to discern the kind. Also, dear reader, does that half strip of bacon count in the Bacon-O-Meter? I say no, but am willing to listen to the masses on this one.

For our entrees, we had a choice of organic poached chicken, roasted trout or a smoked pork chop. I went with the latter and knew it was a sure bet because while dining here with Margo and the CLC about a month ago I was able to sample it. After placing our entree orders, the waitress took our menus away. I asked to keep mine for reference and was greeted with an odd look. Did the restaurant need to save its family style menu dated May 3, 2006, for another party of 20 that was going to be seated soon after us?

The chop arrived on a plate of coarse stone-ground grits and a small dish of chunky applesauce. The saltiness of the chops was balanced out by the unadulterated, pure flavor of the grits. However, I did not really appreciate my plate being taken away without being asked if I was finished. There was still a lot of food on my plate and granted, I was stuffed and she probably did me a favor, but I really felt that she should have asked me if I wanted my plate cleared. To accompany our entrees, there were shared plates of yukon mashed potatoes with truffle oil drizzled on top, as well as big chunks of roasted beets with ginger syrup. Loved the mash, but thought the beets could have benefited from being chopped a little smaller. Also I forgot to taste the ginger syrup.

When the dessert course came around, I was super stuffed, drunk and tired. Still I managed to try a nibble of all three: the pears poached in red wine with honey lavender ice cream, the hot chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream and the Bananas Foster with rum butterscotch sauce. None were all that memorable.

Bottom line is that I'm a big stickler for service and friendly attitude. Their food is pretty good, but I think Freeman's has a big head.

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Blogger Listmaker said...

i was not incredulous that you hadn't asked for a mets score. i was suprised since you always ask if you are out and i'm home watching the game.

secondly, i find it interesting that on your regular blog you simply refer to me as listmaker but on this blog, you refer to me as your husband. i suppose you just want to make things clear for your readers in egypt?

May 04, 2006 6:46 PM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

totally unintentional!!!!!

May 04, 2006 6:51 PM  
Blogger China-Latina Chowhound said...

Too bad they didn't serve Scotch eggs!

May 05, 2006 12:41 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

You mean like this?

May 05, 2006 1:47 PM  

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