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No. 7
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No. 7

I’ve debated posting this for a while, but it’s my fault for causing this internal debate. I got this recommendation from Gabrielle Langholtz (not the most active Twitterer) of Edible Brooklyn, and when I came into the restaurant, I asked to speak to the chef to introduce myself. I went out back to where a few of the staff were enjoying a pre-shift cigarette and talked to Tyler Kord. I gave him my card, told him why I was there, what I did, who I knew, and asked him for his recommendation on what to get. He was very happy to oblige me with all my questions, and when we left, we shook hands again and I thanked him.

Here’s the thing … I know I got an experience better than the other diners (we received two appetizers and two desserts gratis), and my food was probably prepared more carefully that night. I certainly didn’t get the typical No. 7 treatment – Tyler and my servers could have been complete douchebags for all I know (I’m pretty sure they’re not – our bartender had no clue what I did and he was awesome). When he recommended I get the Tofu for my entrée, I felt like he was fucking with me or that it was going to be one of those hipster Brooklyn places. Of course, it is – just not like I thought.

So let’s start with the drinks:

I got this smoky chipotle mezcal drink and my mom got the Rose Petal Gin. She liked hers better than mine and I liked mine better than hers. The bartender knows his stuff. He used to work at the Smoke place with the double entendre – I can’t remember the name (comments section, anyone) – in Brooklyn right near there. He’s got game. My mom wanted to keep getting her Rose Petal Gin and I only had the one drink that evening.

You can’t knock this bread. It’s chef-made and served with cucumbers and a white bean hummus-y spread. I did everything in my power not to ask for seconds. It’s crusty and fantastic. Food bloggers take note – don’t let your dining companions devour the bread course before you get your shots in – it could be gold.

These are the Kimchi Pierogies. Buttery on the outside, tart on the inside with that fried oniony crumble on top (I don’t remember if they were actually fried onions). This was my first time trying kimchi. I’m a fan.

There were five people dining together, so we got a lot of food. I’m going to cover everything that we ate, and I took notes, so I have a pretty good grasp of everything, but the descriptions may be pretty short. The pictures are the best that I’ve taken for dinner. The light is great in the restaurant, and we had dinner at six because my Mom and William are geriatrics. They came down from Maine to visit and took their respective sons out for a great meal. Thanks again you guys! Love you!.

The Hamachi Sashimi had Korean pear that tasted like melon when combined with the jalapeño, and basil. It had some toasted wheat faro as well, which makes me wonder why the wheat faro craze has subsided a bit. I need to figure out how to cook with this.

The Malpec Oysters came with olive oil and a mignonette. I wasn’t pumped about the olive oil combo with the oysters, but it was interesting. Malpecs are my second favorite oyster, Kumamotos are #1. I can’t say that I’ve had the opportunity to try as many as I should to be able to make this call, though. I need to eat more oysters. On the other hand, I eat so many shrimp, I got iodine poisoning.

The Blueberries and Manchego Frisee with pistachios (and maybe pumpkin seeds) was a strong salad. Than Manchego is not a mild cheese. The antioxidant-laden, tart blueberries countered the salty cheese and the oils in the dressing. This is definitely a must try if you come here.

I’m a big taco freak, so the Pork Shoulder Tacos had an uphill battle to fight. My notes were “Great bite! If it didn’t have the orange, the taco is just average.” Well played, Tyler.

C’mon son! Fried Broccoli? The little black bean dip it came with ruled my face. This was everyone’s favorite appetizer. I tried to take a bisection shot of this little guy, but that wasn’t happening. Doesn’t it look like it would offer up a fantastic bisection?

The Roasted Chicken came with pulled chicken. More people should do this fraternal meat twin thing. I was at Felidia and they nailed this with a short rib and a steak combo. No. 7 does it almost as well.

I has a problem with the Bouchot Mussels.

You see how big they are? They’re fucking huge. They’re meaty, juicy mussels and they’re a complete meal.

Now here’s the mussel I am used to eating. Bright orange. These are tastier. I don’t know if I would sacrifice big for tasty, but I’m sure I do it all the time, for instance …

With eggs. If you’ve read about the organic eggs from Polyface Farms in the Omnivore’s Dilemma, you understand what I’m talking about when you see this egg. Look at the yolk of this Soft-Boiled Fried Egg. It’s beautiful and orange, not yellow like the yolks we’re accustomed to. I haven’t taste-tested these before, but come on. They look amazing.

Now what tasted amazing was the Pecan Crusted Tofu. I had to order it. The corn was sweeter than the strawberries, by the way (the acidity in the strawberry took from its sweetness). The crust was crunchy for the entire meal. I was stunned at how much I liked it. I recommended it to Emily when she went a few weeks later, and it was her favorite dish, too (edit: Emily apparently been had tofu before I recommended it). I would like to think that I am no less of a man for ordering this over the steak …

I’d tried to convince my vegetarian mom to get the tofu so I could try the steak, she had her eye on the Grilled Mahi Mahi (a substitute for the swordfish). After one taste of the tofu, she kept asking me to switch with her. Not happening. Not that the mahi mahi wasn’t good. It was great, and the creamed artichoke accent was an excellent complement to the light fish.

The Chocolate Peanut Torte was my least favorite dessert tastewise but the most fun dessert on the menu. Banana salsa and the honey-mustard caramel were great deconstructed taste ideas to go with the peanut butter flavor. If you can get them to give you a spoonful of the banana salsa when you’re there, do it.

Where else are they going to get their ricotta than Salvatore? I had to share this taste experience with my the Mainers. We ordered the Bruléed Ricotta au Torchon and it was everything we hoped it would be. If you have one dessert choice, go with the ricotta. I was considering forgoing dessert altogether to share a slice from Cake Man Raven, but I think we made a good decision with this here.

At the end of the night, we joked with the people at the table next to us about telling the chef you’re a food blogger. Still, looking back on this meal and taking away the comped food and the care in preparation, I still have to say that even if your food is prepared with 20% less attention to detail, and is that much less enjoyable, you’re still going to be absolutely fucking stoked about eating here.

No. 7
7 Greene Avenue
Brooklyn, NY‎ 11238‎
(718) 522-6370

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • JoAnna July 9, 2010, 2:35 pm

    I agree with you that it’s kinda awkward to admit that you’re a food blogger in advance of making the reservation, but when you understand that their food costs are a small portion of the bill, you realize it’s not a big deal to comp an extra appetizer or dessert. The restaurant is there to make money, and if they earn a good review from you, they’ll make more through your referrals. One glowing review you give won’t catapult them into the Michelin if they aren’t consistent!

    Disclosure: I accidentally revealed my background when I went to TRU in Chicago (they called to confirm the reservation and got my business voicemail. “Chef Rick is looking forward to your visit, Chef JoAnna!”) I was offered a tour of the kitchen, champagne, and an extra dessert. My husband and I both got the tasting menu with pairings, so we did drop a bunch of cash (OMG it was $$$$) I don’t remember if the caviar staircase was part of the tasting menu or not. I can’t say I felt that I got better treatment throughout the meal, because the place is over the top for service and attention. The food is spectacular, that goes without saying. but the extra touches were nice.

    Keep it up and, uh, give me a heads-up before you come to my place! :-)

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