Magazine article The New Yorker

The Vanderbilt

Magazine article The New Yorker

The Vanderbilt

Article excerpt

The name of this new Prospect Heights restaurant implies synonymy with its neighborhood, which, when you are opening up not far from several well-established joints, could easily misfire. Luckily, the co-owner Saul Bolton is a longtime presence in Brooklyn, possessor of one of the borough's four Michelin-starred eateries, so the feeling as the Vanderbilt took shape in the course of several months was mostly one of eager anticipation. (At least one resident took a dim view, however, complaining online that the new place's menu concept--small plates--was cribbing from Beast, the tapas spot across the street: "Personally I like to support the original believers in Prospect Heights.")

The Vanderbilt departs from the homey, carefully worn aesthetic that generally prevails on this strip; the feeling is sleekly industrial and spacious. The long room encompasses a sizable bar area, with vertiginously high stools, stainless-steel light fixtures, and exposed pipes; an open kitchen, with seats at a marble counter where diners can look over the shoulders of the cooks; and a dining room of wood-panelled walls, wooden tables, and hardwood floors. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the street scene as much a part of the decor as the paisley upholstery.

Bolton and his partner, Ben Daitz, who also runs the Cambodian sandwich shop Num Pang, have given the menu an Asian inflection, and the best dish might be the roasted Brussels sprouts, dressed with sriracha, lime, and honey, each bite a perfect combination of sweet, spicy, and tart. …

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