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Bricolage – A Vietnamese Gastropub Grows in Brooklyn

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frontI sifted through recent Eater Heatmaps in Brooklyn for something new and interesting.  Sent Alex a few options and she texted back “Let’s go to Bricolage and hit that shit hard.”

Some online due diligence reveals that two cooks from The Slanted Door in San Francisco partnered up with locals to create this much-needed Vietnamese gastropub in Park Slope.

drinkHaving read some Yelps and articles, I had an idea about what I wanted to try.  First, I need a drink STAT. This knot in my shoulder isn’t gonna soothe itself.  I order the Jaxon’s Punch. At least I think that’s what it was called. I drank them pretty quickly. My girl tried it and gave me the “too sweet” face.

Alex had a non-alcoholic drink that was bright and citrus-y. Jason had a Margarita. I was jealous it came in a rocks glass.

Between small and large plates, there are a lot of choices on the menu. Everything from traditional papaya salad and whole branzino to inventive Vietnamese crepes.

We started with Sriracha Butter Chicken Wings and they were a hit. I think we needed at least another order. The sauce was a bit spicy but my girl painted it on happily.

We should have ordered two Crispy Imperial Rolls, too. Pork, shrimp, glass noodle, wood ear mushrooms – fried hard, son!

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These Summer Rolls were a tasty treat, with a slightly spicy peanut sauce. Even if these shrimp look like they’re trapped in The Matrix.

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My girl had the Claypot Shrimp – and it wasn’t spicy enough for her. But she likadaspice!  Tasted good to me, but I was more than mildly obsessed with my own dish, the Unshaking Beef. Niman Ranch flank steak, pearl onions, scallion, lime-pepper sauce.  Mmm. The table dug it, especially those caramelized pearl onions. The lime-pepper sauce gave it just the right amount of Vietnamese funk.

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By now these drinks are giving everything in the room a soft haze. I have a great view of the kitchen. Perfectly charred steaks and chops make it hard to consider being a vegetarian. Those poor delicious animals. OK, this has to be my last drink.

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Jason had the Lemongrass Grilled Pork Chop, which I now realize I never tried. I could be better at this. But it looks good in the picture, no? I could go for one of these right about now. Looks simple and perfect.
20150823_190549Alex got the House Made Banh Canh Noodles – coconut milk, tofu, pickled vegetables, herbs. It was delicious. She let me dip twice. Those noodles were perfect, with a coconut flavor that ran deep.

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Lubricated with rum, I don’t even care when a kid at the next table drops a metal school-bus on my girlfriend.

“Can you get that for me?” the mother asks my girl.
“I will cut you and your child,” she thinks to herself.

There are two options for dessert. The table agreed on one so I ordered both. “And one more of these,” pointing to my empty glass.

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The Coconut-tapioca Pudding with five spiced ginger syrup was subtle and lovely. On the other end of the spectrum, the Chocolate Molten Blue Cheese Lava Cake was complicated. Yet even the skeptical among us were instantly converted – getting that deep chocolate into a bit of blue cheese dragged through salty apricot jam.  Savory to sweet something like 60-40.  A perfect way to end the night.

Bricolage is certainly another plus in the Brooklyn column. I look forward to getting familiar with their entire menu, including cocktails.

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