Just a Taste? The Three Best Tasting Menus in Brooklyn

August 22, 2012 6:09 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Frej Food
The tasting menu at Frej. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Tasting menus are probably the best thing in the world, and the Brooklyn restaurants that offer them know exactly what they're doing. Here are our three favorites from a borough of many worthy choices.

Third Place - Zenkichi

Stepping into Zenkichi is like stepping into a Miyazaki movie. We don't mean that eating the food there will turn you and your parents into giant pigs, though we wouldn't be surprised if you ended up licking the plate and your fingers. I almost don't want to spoil the surprise of the restaurant's decor for you-- there's a breathtaking drama to it that must be experienced to be believed. Their approach to interiors in a city famous for expensive and limited space is nothing short of genius.

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That anyone can even talk about the food there is a testament to how good and memorable it is. Zenkichi's Omakase, a traditional Japanese tasting menu, moves on a seasonal rotation. It also makes concession to American tastebuds in that there is a combination of lox and cream cheese on it that I wish were not there. It's the low note of the menu, but that said, it's the best I've ever had it at a Japanese restaurant.

All the other food is quite exquisite, with the black miso cod coming front-and-center as the star of the menu.

Second Place - Frej

You can probably count the number of restaurants in the world that offer New Nordic cuisine on one hand, if not two fingers, and Frej is one of them. Or half of one of them, given that it's still technically a pop-up.

Frej is famous for its absolutely excellent tasting menu at an unbeatable price-point. $45 gets you six courses of food prepared by chefs who have worked at both wd~50 and per se. And it's very easy to get excited by options like Beef Cooked with Hay, which comes with some godly carrots.

Walk, don't run, to the phone to make a reservation. They're booked well in advance for now, but we have a few tips on how to cut through that.

First Place - Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare

Putting Chef's Table here isn't necessarily revelatory, but it's worth mentioning over and over again for the simple fact that this restaurant is the reigning king of Brooklyn cooking. Accept no substitutes, and challenge everyone who says that Peter Luger is the only reason to come to Brooklyn.

The only catch? You have to book up to three months in advance. So get started now.

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