Sunday, March 20, 2011

Crif Dogs Brooklyn, Kin Shop (New York, NY)

Crif Dogs Chili Dog & Fries
Yesterday, we snacked like Hobbits. In the early evening, we stopped by Kin Shop for a quick bite on the way home from Brooklyn Winery, in part because we were under-dressed for the suddenly cold, windy weather, and Kin Shop seemed like a nice, warm place to duck into midway between the L train and home. This excursion followed an early afternoon round at the new Brooklyn outpost of Crif Dogs, which involved a chili dog for Justin (his enticing description: "explosively juicy") and a side of fries to share. I was wary of the thick layer of yellow mustard applied to the bun of Justin's chili dog. Chili and mustard, together, just seems sort of wrong to me, immorally polygamous when married at the same time to a good, juicy hot dog. However, the cleanly potato-y waffle fries, fresh from the frier, were everything fries should be.

Bar Dining at Kin Shop
On this particular early Saturday evening, Kin Shop was packed to the gills, but as walk-ins, we were able to slip to the back and sit at the bar, where we had access to the full menu and a good view of the open kitchen (no Harold). We ordered a Calamity cocktail with Sauza Blanco, Yellow Chartreuse, calamansi nectar, fresh lemon & sugar/salt rim -- nicely mixed -- and a somewhat boring, unidimensional glass of Malbec. To accompany our drinks, we also had the Hand Cut Beef Tartar with chili jam, rice crackers, quail egg & mushroom soy dressing and the Roasted Bone Marrow with crisp taro root, radish greens, roti & yellow bean sauce.  

Roasted Marrow Bone
The marrow bone came split length-wise, with four wedges of the restaurant's fragrant, flakey, buttery roti on the side. Consumed together, the marrow and roti had the same irresistible appeal as movie theatre popcorn, dripping with melted butter. The acidity of the yellow bean sauce (which tasted to me like sour cream or creme fraiche) really provided a welcome contrast to the unctuous marrow, even while the richness of the sauce enhanced that of the marrow. Crisp taro root was the perfect textural foil to all the soft, melty stuff. 

Beef Tartar
The beef tartar was excellent in terms of texture and I loved that it came with crispy rice crust (which I think is called khao tang in Thai). However, the beef, itself, was very bland, a far cry from the incredibly fresh and flavorful meat in a similar dish I'd had at Momofuku Ma Peche a little while ago. The egg was oddly flavorless, too, I think because it was served too cold. Mushroom soy dressing added a nice spike of umami, but it wasn't entirely enough to save the dish from blandness.

We could've lingered. Our bar stools were comfy, a few new dishes (stir fried rice flakes) beckoned. But we figured we should speed walk the last leg home before we lost our alcohol-fueled warmth.

Other Girl Eats City Reviews for Kin Shop:

Crif Dogs Brooklyn
555 Driggs Avenue 
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 302-3200

Kin Shop
469 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(212) 675-4295

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