Whether it’s Father’s Day or not, I love an outing with my favorite kid at F. Monteleone’s Bakery, on Court Street in Carroll Gardens. This place is the real deal, and they are not fooling around. Cannolis dipped in chocolate, thick cheesecakes, rich Napoleons, pretty glossy fruit tarts, and a brilliant assortment of fragrant and buttery Italian cookies. But that isn’t what my 22 month old is after. She craves their creamy and amazing gelato, and so do I.
The flavor choices span the rainbow – but Eve doesn’t feel the need to stray. She loves the strawberry, which is so fresh you can taste strawberry seeds in it. I’m partial to the pistachio which is sweet and nutty. They have a nice bench out front, so you can park it with your treats and watch the people walking by. It’s a relaxing way to enjoy the old neighborhood with some of the best Italian sweets west of the Mediterranean. As my own dad would say, “What’s not to like?”
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
At the end of my street, there’s a large warehouse that houses a studio cooperative of artists who do set, scenery and prop design. They keep the front bay door open, so you can see everything inside and they are always working on something strange and fantastic in there for a play, commercial, movie or whatever. They are always blasting music, and it looks like an amazing place to work.
Apparently one of the more high-profile pieces they designed was the giant gnome featured in an A&E hit show that I have never seen, “Shipping Wars.” I know this because much to the delight of the kids in the neighborhood, the gnome has apparently come home to live outside the studio permanently! I found a promo video online that shows them making it here.
I really enjoy having this giant gnome as a neighbor.
Smith Street and the corner of Third. Brooklyn.
Carroll Gardens is named for the neighborhood’s signature setback gardens, which was planned with great foresight by the surveyor Richard Butts back in 1846. Walking along on a sunny spring morning, these front yard gardens can make you stop in your tracks to admire the variety of things growing. As busy as New York life can be, it’s great to have a place where you can stop and smell the roses. For making our mornings better, Mr. Butts, we salute you.
Date night for the Shafers! We decided to try newcomer Battersby, on Smith and Degraw in Carroll Gardens. The two chefs (in photo) cut their teeth at Gramercy Tavern and Blue Hill, so I was expecting something amazing. I wasn’t disappointed! If Vinegar Hill House is the best restaurant in Brooklyn, then Battersby is hot on their heels. Tiny space with a great vibe and the food was outstanding. The menu changes all the time but for me the highlights were the short rib salad, veal sweetbreads, and the duck breast with foie gras tortellini in duck consomme. My wife’s sea bass was also pretty close to perfect. I haven’t had a “you have to eat here!” recommendation in a while, but guys, you have to eat here.