Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I had been hearing about the restaurant James for some time, and I hadn't made my way over to Prospect Heights, one neighborhood over from us, in a while. There has been so much opening in Prospect Heights lately, and I feel like I've got to get over there more often.

I had also read that James was rather small and that was definitely the case when I got there. Is this place any bigger than my apartment? I'm not so sure. A small restaurant like this means you need to get there early or hope you get lucky with a table (Although 2 person seatings were empty for much of the time we were there). Husband J's parents were in town, they prefer an early dinner, and so James was a perfect choice.

The interior of James. I want their chandelier for my apartment.

We shared a few appetizers.
Carolina Shrimp with Roasted Garlic Polenta & Harissa Jus

The jus reminded me of a seafood-based soup that you would find somewhere in the south of France (or at least I imagine you would as I've never been to the South of France..le sigh...). I was happy to get perfect, soft polenta after having a bad experience with some a few months back. Polenta should be smooth and airy like this.

My mother-in-law and I were both smitten by the description of the special of the night, which was rabbit.
Sorry, Bugs!

If you're wondering what rabbit is like, it tastes and has a texture just like chicken. :) This dish also had Mediterranean flavors with olives and tomatoes featuring pretty prominently in the sauce. I can say that the rabbit was well-cooked and that perhaps I'll have rabbit again as a dish.

My father-in-law had fish.
Roasted artic char, farro, roasted beets, celery leaves

I only tried a smidgen of this, but again, great cooking technique. Artic char is in the salmon family, and I loved how the chef was able to take advantage of the crispy skin and thick flesh. If you like salmon, then you'll like artic char. I want to cook and eat more with farro, which is essentially a whole grain. The farro here was prepared simply.

I was kinda shocked that Husband J ordered roasted chicken. Like me, he usually goes for more complex dishes when eating somewhere new.
Pressed young chicken, squash, chanterelle mushrooms, wilted spinach

At the same time, this was such well-cooked chicken. Again, the chefs have found a way to make proteins the star without overcooking anything or pulling anything odd that ends up mistakenly masking its true flavors. If you can make your ingredients stand out without fancy cooking techniques, then that is a mark of good cooking. That's what's going on here with this chicken. I will say that my only criticism is that the skin may have been a little too salty, which is crazy since many of you know I loves me some salt. :)

We also got an order of herb fries. I can't resist fries. These were large and the herbs fresh.

I also wanted extra vegetables, and we had an order of roasted beets. I have been loving beets lately.

Honestly, this is probably one of the best meals I've had in Brooklyn all year. This is more than a neighborhood gem, and perhaps even worth a ride out to Brooklyn on the subway. We'll be back again (and we get to walk there :)).

605 Carlton Avenue
Brooklyn, NY


Hannah {Culture Connoisseur} said...

Wow, everything looks quite impressive! I really love that last dish. What an interesting side. Something I would like to try sometime. What was it flavored with?

Daphne said...

YUM! That is all.

Try Anything Once Terri said...

@Hannah - If I remember correctly, it was fresh herbs and olive oil.


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