Don’t serve Our Man Sietsema an unsustainable fish. It makes him very cranky. And woe to the menu that conjures up comparison to Children of the Corn. Alas, that is the fate that befalls Braeburn, the new haute barnyard spot in the West Village that Our Man takes on this week.
But! Don’t get him wrong. He likes several things at Braeburn, the selection of hard apple ciders, for one. Plus:
“The fist-sized and strangely boneless “all-natural rib eye” ($32) is as fine a hunk of beef as I’ve had in a month of Sundays, though the word “natural” in this context is meaningless. While the roasted “Pennsylvania chicken” is splendid in its chanterelle stew, its origin in the Keystone State is no guarantee that the chicken was humanely raised or organically fed.”
Soooo…things get juicy from there. It’s always fun when Our Man (generally a food-loving open-minded guy) gets something to sink his teeth into. We hear of “fussy platings” and “lessons of cooking school” (derogatory, obvs). A cod dish (unsustainable!) in bonito broth and bok choy causes Our Man to muse that “Clearly, we’ve been teleported to a local farm in Japan.”
And in the final analysis:
“Like the dishes on Top Chef, many of Bistrong’s compositions suffer from the “one ingredient too many” syndrome.”
Yowzah! We love it when Our Man gets annoyed.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 26, 2008