Perfection is something you strive for but never reach, unless you were never striving for it in the first place.
Plans are great, but mostly they involve a lot of effort and it is difficult to judge the results objectively once you have invested so much. Last minute is obviously unreliable and has potential for disaster but it also lowers the bar allows for the magic of chance.
Saturday last was that perfect evening happened upon with as little organisational effort as is possible when meeting friends.
I wish to clarify the ‘magic of chance’ quickly as there is nothing worse than getting to the point where everyone is hungry but no one knows where or what to eat and invariably you end up at the lowest common denominator which is never a good place to be.
I only leave eating out to chance when I know a neighbourhood well enough to be aware of the options, or that I trust the people I am with to leave it up to them…..a rare occurence as anyone who knows me will testify.
On this occasion I had the luxury of both options. My original thought had been to return to the Good Fork a restaurant I really enjoyed on my last visit, but our friends had other ideas and thanks to them we had a delicious dinner in the garden of HOMEMADE.
The menu is simple, broken down into snacks, salads, sharing platters and open sandwiches. It is perfectly suited for sharing and as soon as the first snacks arrived we knew we would be happy for the rest of the evening. This was no culinary masterpiece, the food as the name suggests is reminiscent of a meal you would put together at home having stopped off at some nice food store. Good olives marinated in warm oil with citrus zest, a garlicky artichoke dip smeared on a baguette, potatoes roasted with garlic and a spicy chipotle aioli. The salad was refreshing and light, with slightly tart granny smith apples, rocket and fennel.
The setting was idyllic, in some ways we could have been nowhere else other than Brooklyn, yet it also reminded me of a tiny Italian trattoria. We sat in candle light surrounded by walls on three sides and looked out onto a rough garden growing tomatoes, herbs and veggies used by the kitchen.
It is worth being reminded that all the finest food in the world cannot improve the company you are with but the opposite is true, as good friends and tranquil setting can turn a good meal into a great evening. We finished dinner and took a walk around Red Hook, which is like no other place in New York.
A perfect evening……..