Is Applewood the perfect restaurant? It’s certainly a terrific addition to the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn, where I live. I ducked in for a quick dinner on my way home recently, and had a perfectly lovely time.
Chef David Shea and his wife, Laura, opened the restaurant in 2004, in a small building tucked on a quiet side street, to offer new American cuisine based on seasonal and local ingredients. The dining room, which seats about 30, feels like a comfortable farmhouse, and a roaring fire warms it with a rural charm.
I ordered grass-fed skirt steak served over steamed greens and a rutabaga puree. The beef was so tender I thought it had been cooked sous-vide, but David told me it was simply pan-roasted, testimony to the quality of the meat. Yet it still had the herby, sanguine tang I enjoy so much in grass-fed animals. Those flavors harmonized beautifully with a glass of Ferraton's Côtes du Rhône, which offered deep plum, licorice and garrigue flavors, firm but with a subtle opulence ($9 per glass; $43 for a bottle on the compact, well-chosen list). I rated it 88 points, non-blind, and reminded myself to return to Applewood soon.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Ferraton Père & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns 2006 (87, $11).
• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among reds from France's Rhône Valley.