Stone Park Cafe
324 5th Ave, Brooklyn 11215
(At 3rd St)
Located next to Washington Park in Park Slope is an outpost of pure deliciousness known as Stone Park Cafe. I’m so anxious to tell you about their food that I’m not even going to bother with any sort of introduction except that you should definitely check out the Old Stone House located inside the park before or after you have a meal at Stone Park Cafe. Lots of old Brooklyn history! On that note, let’s dive straight into the food!
Tarte Flambé: We started things off with the tarte. A wonderfully crisp pastry with creme fraiche (similar to sour cream but much less sour and not as thick), lamb bacon, caramelized onions, and some frisee. Now I have never heard of and I definitely never had lamb bacon before but as most of us already know, anything called “bacon” is usually just plain awesome and such was the case here. The bacon was very lightly crisp and with good reason. I think if it was fried any further you would not only lose its unique flavor but you would definitely lose its texture and size. For some reason the the flavor of the lamb bacon reminded me somewhat of really good prosciutto. Now take that flavor and combine it with the very slight sourness of the creme fraiche and the sweetness of those lovely caramelized onions and you end up with a salty and slightly sweet flavor with a slightly creamy texture. The crispy tart adds just the right of amount of crunch and texture contrast to the soft and creamy creme fraiche and bacon. An amazingly delicious appetizer that may slighly remind you of a mini pizza. Although there was 4 of us, I could have easily devoured this entire appetizer on my own. Highly recommended!
Scallop & Marrow Tacos: Being a huge fan of bone marrow, these days if I spot it anywhere on any menu then I will most certainly have to order it. The last amazing bone marrow that I’ve had was at Flatbush Farm but I think Stone Park’s bone marrow has officially taken over first place in my book. Although the bone marrow was buttery and delicious on its own, it was the addition of the scallops which I thought took it over the top. I loved the fact that this dish was served over a bed of rock salt because what you need to do is take some of that incredible bone marrow, brush it slightly against the rock salt and finally add a piece of scallop but don’t forget the caramelized onions as well. The end result will probably be one of the best scallops you’ve ever tasted! The soft and slightly chewy texture of the scallop with the gelatinous bone marrow was simply glorious and the sweetness of those caramelized onions, wow! Now mind you, the bone marrow was served with small sides of cilantro, avocado, jalapeno, and lime but because I was so overwhelmed with just the bone marrow and scallops on their own, I completely forgot about those other fantastic ingredients. I am almost certain that if I were to add those additional items, this bone marrow would have been stellar!
Grilled Baby Octopus: Ahh those wonderful mollusks! Octopus has always been a huge favorite with me but only when properly prepared. Bad octopus is usually like a bad steak, tough and chewy. How was this octopus? Soft, tender, and flavorful! The chorizo added a wonderful spicy zest and the fingerling potatoes provided a nice starchy and mellow sweetness along with the sweet tomatoes. Personally I really dislike lemon on any seafood but just the right amount of preserved lemon was used with this dish to provide a very gentle and not overwhelming tang. A well seasoned appetizer bursting with a lots of flavor!
Grilled Hanger Steak: What a fantastic cut of meat this was! Prepared perfectly medium, just as requested. This was a tender hanger steak. It probably would have been already great with just the usual salt & pepper but in addition to that, the steak was prepared in an absolutely delicious and slightly sweet red wine reduction that was perfect for dipping. Served on a bed of spatzle (German egg noodles) and sauteed spinach, this dish definitely ranks high on my list of hanger steaks.
Grilled Lamb Top Loin: If you like lamb you will definitely love this! If you’re one of those people that are turned off by that distinct gamey lamb flavor then you will still love this! I love gamey meat but this lamb let you know that it was lamb without the overwhelming taste that is usually associated with lamb. Once again perfectly prepared and very tender. The sliced lamb was served on top of minted barley, crispy artichoke hearts, and ground lamb kabob. I don’t really know what it is about mint that works so well with lamb but the minted barley was a great taste and texture contrast. The crispy artichoke hearts were amazing! Sweet and perfectly crisp! They could easily be served as an appetizer on their own. And just when you’ve thought you had enough lamb, you get a somewhat different taste of lamb in the kabob which will remind you of sausage. Overall an excellent lamb entree!
Center Cut Pork Chop: I’ve mentioned before that usually I am not a fan of American style thick cut pork chops but I had a feeling that Stone Park Cafe would not let me down even if I took a chance on a thick cut pork chop. I was definitely right about that! All I can basically say is WOW! I really don’t think I’ve had such deeply flavorful pork chop in a very long time. When I say flavorful I mean the rich flavor extends all the way through that juicy and tender pork, not just a thin layer of flavor on top. Adding even more flavor were the pickled mustard seeds and demi (a rich brown sauce made from the stock of beef and veal) which covered the top of the pork chop. The slight zest of the seeds with the rich sweetness of the sauce was fabulous. The accompanying potato rosti (grated potatoes which are shaped, mixed with various spices, and then fried) was crispy on the outside with soft, delicious, and lightly sweet potato on the inside. The sauteed green were flavorful as well. One hell of an amazing pork chop to say the least!
Onion Rings: I’m only mentioning these onion rings because they were one of the best I’ve had. Wonderfully sweet onions in a perfectly light and crisp batter that wasn’t greasy at all. The dipping sauce made me think of a cross between Russian dressing and chipotle sauce. The onion rings on their own were great but the sauce made them even better!
Latte: By now I was nearing a food coma but of course a meal like that is never complete without coffee and dessert! Hands down one of the best lattes ever! Perfectly creamy with that perfect hint of roasted flavor not to be mistaken for burnt coffee. I would have had 2 cups but I still needed room for dessert.
Affogato: Classic Italian desert usually consisting of vanilla ice cream and hot espresso poured over it. Stone Park cafe used caramel ice cream instead along with hazelnut whip cream. You already know that their coffee is outstanding so you can only imagine how delicious this was especially when the ice starts melting and combining with the espresso.
Apple Turnover: MMmmmm so warm and delicious! Thinly sliced apples on a wonderfully chewy and lightly crisp pastry. Sweet and tangy. The vanilla buttermilk ice cream is so rich and delicious. Who needs apple pie when you have something like this?!
Summer Blueberry Cheesecake: A very rich and decadent cheesecake with a wonderful graham cracker crust with a delicious and sweet blueberry topping. I only wished that the cheesecake was more firm but that’s just a personal preference.
Chocolate Brioche Pudding: OMG! If I had to choose one killer dessert at Stone Park then this would most definitely fit the bill! If you love bread pudding then you will love this even more. If you love a rich chocolate brownie then once again you will love this! The best way I can describe this dessert is that it seemed like a cross between bread pudding and fudge brownie. The texture of this on your tongue is unreal! Smooth, rich, creamy, over the top decadence! I purposely had to eat this with small bites because I wanted to savor every last tiny bit of it. When combined with the accompanying scoop of caramel ice cream this dessert is absolutely heavenly! A MUST HAVE!
Stone Park Cafe is one of those restaurants where I can confidently walk in, order something completely random from their menu and know that not only will I not be disappointed but I will be presented with an everyday dish that is taken to extraordinary heights. Absolutely everything I’ve had so far, including their amazing brunches, shines with delicious and pronounced flavors! I simply cannot recommend Stone Park Cafe enough! It is a crime to be in Park Slope and never and never taste the incredible food of Stone Park Cafe!
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