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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American Brooklyn Moderate Great

A few weeks ago I was on a media panel with Florence Fabricant, held at the French Culinary Institute. As you all probably know, she’s a regular columnist for the New York Times’ Dining Section where she’s been working for the past several decades. She’s a cool customer to say the least. She’s sort of the Anna Wintour of the food world: statuesque and icy, with a thick bob of silver hair and a somewhat stoic air of accomplishment. Quite frankly, she’s entitled to it. She’s the gold standard in food reporting, and I was (and still am) slightly intimidated by her—the sort of intimidation that’s part star struck admiration (some people get star struck by George Clooney, for me it’s Florence Fabricant), with some degree of insecurity mixed in.

But there we were sitting side by side on the same panel on food media, and what else to do? We talked about restaurants. I mentioned I had just moved to Brooklyn’s Smith Street and her eyes lit up. (Oh, good, I thought. Maybe she likes me! I had been transformed into a teenager.) “There’s so much happening there lately,” she said, with a genuine note of excitement and interest. “There’s a new wine bar called Black Mountain that’s very good. And I know everyone always talks about The Grocery, and it’s okay, but nothing to rave about,” she added, quite frankly. “You must try Saul. It’s fantastic.” What else could I do, but obey. I wanted to ask her if she’d join me for dinner one night, but I was not that brave. My friend Jamie was kind enough to make the trip and have dinner with me, though.  

I’m not sure how much you know about Saul, but the restaurant has been around for almost ten years now (it preceded the Grocery by a few months) and it earned a Michelin star in 2008. The chef and owner, Saul Bolton, has spent many years cooking in some pretty serious kitchens in Boston (with chefs Gordon Hamersley and Jody Adams) and New York (at Bouley and Le Bernardin) and he was ready for a place of his own. He was living in Brooklyn with his wife, and they decided to open a place close to home. They bought a building on Smith Street and installed Saul, a contemporary American restaurant, in its storefront.

The vibe at Saul is lively and warm. It feels like a “nice” restaurant, one you’d take your parents or a loved one to ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Brooklyn :
+ Chickenbone Cafe-- Closed   + Pier 116-- Closed   + Chestnut   + Lunch at Peter Luger's   + 360   + Palo Santo   + The Good Fork   + Porchetta-- Closed Now   + Bocca Lupo   + Flatbush Farm   + DuMont Burger   + Dressler   + Farm on Adderley   + The Grocery   + Saul   + Black Mountain Wine House   + The General Greene   + Char No. 4   + James   + Chestnut   + No. 7   + Vinegar Hill House   + Motorino   + Buttermilk Channel   + Buttermilk Channel   + Vutera   + Watty & Meg    + Prime Meats   + Aqualis Grill   + Jack the Horse Tavern   + Roman's   + Fatty 'Cue   + Thistle Hill Tavern   + Broken English   + Trix, by Dara Pollak   + An Ode to New Orleans in Williamsburg: Maison Premiere, By Dara Pollak   + Brooklyn Wok Shop by Dara Pollak   + Arthur on Smith   + La Vara   + Gran Electrica   + Pok Pok Ny   + Ganso    + Reynard   


Andrea, your insecurity in the presence of actual food professionals is certainly justified. Saul is a very good restaurant. It's arguable Brooklyn's best. Somehow your review misses all the nuance and precision of the food and turns into exhibit A of the case against unqualified food criticism. If Ruth Reichl is Vanity Fair and Florence Fabricant is the New Yorker, you've shown yourself to be Teen People. I wish you continued success in your pursuit of attention. How's the new apartment?


Your description of the sweetbreads is driving me nuts. I live very close to Saul, and have seen all the good press, but I've never made it in there myself. I think it's because of the storefront, which I don't think does it any favors--would you agree? Having read this, I'll have to try it now.


Loved this article - it's the kind of writing I love - personal with your great sense of humor and the review makes me hungry and I want to eat there.

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