Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Old Reliable - Stone Park Cafe

Restaurant Name: Stone Park Cafe

Location: 324 5th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn

My husband and I have eaten at Stone Park Cafe a number of times now and I find that our experiences there are falling into a clearly identifiable pattern.

Stone Park is just so....reliable.

Here's what we've found to expect:

1. Something will inevitably go awry with the service. I don't mean to imply that the service is bad, inattentive, or even indifferent. Instead, it seems that out of earnest, well-meaning actions, something inevitably goes haywire. On our most recent visit, the person working our table switched halfway through the meal (for no apparent reason). After taking away our entree plates, the waiter put down a new set of silverware and disappeared. After fifteen minutes of waiting, we finally waved him down to request dessert menus. He was aghast - he had thought we were waiting on another course we had already ordered. Totally typical of this place.

2. 90% of the food you order will be very good - nice, tasty, hot, fresh...but nothing spectacular, nothing truly memorable. 10% of the food will provide you with a delightful, unexpected brush with greatness. On our most recent visit we had a flavorful (but certainly not transcendent) burger, an inventively-conceived but only moderately well-executed "Knuckle Sandwich" (lobster knuckles served as a mini-burger/slider), a perfectly average piece of cheesecake and THE MOST fabulous, fresh salad of raw shaved Brussels sprouts tossed in a lemony, lightly mustard-y dressing with tiny knobs of parmiggiano cheese. The salad was simply out of this world. This is classic Stone Park.

So, if you're looking for a reliable meal with one or two hidden gems lurking behind plates of "just fine".....head down 5th avenue towards the park!

Bon Appetit!
Stone Park Cafe on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I live in Manhattan, but when I go to Brooklyn, this is one of the few places I will go because it matches Manhattan quality without the pricetag.

I have had the same experience with this restaurant, but would like to put a slightly more positive spin on things. I think the food is very good, often exceptional, but comforting at the same time. There are no bells and whistles, no gratuitous flourishes. I agree that the service can be informal at times, maybe a little spacey, but it's never incompetent. So there, very good, not transcendent, but who can pay for transcendent anymore?