Mon-Fri, 5pm-11pm; Sat, 10am-2pm and 5pm-11pm; Sun, 10am-3pm
F, G at Seventh Ave.
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On a genteel, tree-lined street in Park Slope, applewood feels, at first, like a caricature of a certain kind of newly fashionable, wholesome Brooklyn restaurant. There is the name, carefully chosen to evoke a sense of natural goodness and well-being. There are the cheerful mom-and-pop proprietors, the Sheas, who live nearby and slave in their restaurant around the clock (he’s the chef, she works the front of the room). The Sheas are devotees of the Slow Food movement, which means all the produce they serve is grown on self-sustaining farms outside the city and all the meat is hormone- and antibiotic-free. The walls of their restaurant are colored pale yellow, the tables are made of sturdy maple and there's a crackling fireplace in the middle of the room. I’ve been conditioned to expect a certain kind of simple, aggressively nourishing dining experience when these factors are involved. But then applewood is a new kind of Brooklyn mom-and-pop joint. Among the small-plate appetizers, there might be fresh Maine lobster, poached in butter one night (tossed on a mash of polenta and mascarpone) and served cold, on a nest of fennel and mint, the next…applewood isn’t Le Bernardin, of course. It isn’t even necessarily Brooklyn’s version of Le Bernardin, but you get the idea. Refined ingredients like sturgeon often appear on the menu (doused in a mushroom-and-veal-stock reduction the night I ordered it, and flavored with truffles), and only one of the entrées costs under $20.Brunch
Sat., 10 a.m. — 2 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.—3 p.m.
The menu changes constantly, but if the pork is on it and you’re a practiced carnivore, order it.
Creamy lobster broth, $8