Shannon and I were in NYC for a press visit to things like Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal and other major forces in The publishing world. But…we have to eat; so, with rain pelting down so that you could barely see outside the cab window, we raced down the East Side Drive, crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, sped along some other highway playing bumper car with everybody else, slid off the I 75 or whatever it was and nosed into the dark, spooky dock area of Red Hook. Blocks of silent, dark godowns ( Asian term for warehouses), silent brick houses in rows about to be reduced to memories, and big, empty parking or storage lots seemed lifeless.
We were now at the docks where the QE II and the Queen Mary shelter before taking on human cargoe for glorious trips across the Atlantic to England. I can remember when the West Side of NYC on the Hudson River was a warren of big ocean going liners: The Ile de France, the SS United States, the Italian Lines, the Dutch Line and so forth. Beautiful, graceful monsters that went back and forth to Europe competing with the early days of jet air travel. On Saturday nights for $5.00 (a lot in those days—1960s) vyou could go aboard, bring some friends with you, and pretend you were going to Europe until they piped you off the ship with appropriate warnings and admonitions. Those days are gone, and with them those gallant and marvelous leviathans to be replaced by floating , many storied tubs that ply the waters of the Carribean. Ah, well, so be it.
On to the restaurant.
THE GOOD FORK at Van Brunt St in Brooklyn is housed in an old redbrick worker’s row house facing the docks. You open the door and BAM!! you are in the coziest bistro this side of Paris
with a cuisine that competes with not only Bistros but with some one star restaurants in that city on the Seine. No, I’m not kidding. The food: braised sweetbreads that hint of the Far
East, oysters dipped and flash fried so that they seem raw, plump, stingingly sweet, hangar steak with Kimchee couscous, fried egg on top, and spices that only the nerviest chef would try. That’s just a sample. The wine list? A delight. Nicely priced, a mélange carefully selected from France, Italy with a secret white from the Alta Adige), some Oregon and Washington pinot noirs, and some good Spanish riojas. Deserts are just that. What a treat. Try the apple tart---holy smoly. Try them all.
Ben and Soji Snyder both own and run this gem of a restaurant. Ben is a fine, professional actor with a list of excellent credits, an equally fine furniture maker and the maitre D; and Soji is a trained chef with a love of food and flavors and presentation. Her kitchen is a dance of three or four other chefs and flashing sauce pans and the sound of chopping and mincing. Garlic is in the air but does not overcome the other smells of green onions, lemon grass, star anise and red wine sauce.
Don’t miss this place. I wish it was in Vermont down the dirt road from us instead of in Brooklyn, but, alas it ain't!!!!! GO THERE.
THE GOOD FORK
391 Van Brunt Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
phone 718 643 6636
fax 718 643 6643