Mon-Thu, 6pm-10pm; Fri-Sat, 6pm-10:30pm; Sun, 5pm-9:30pm
R at Prospect Ave.
Over in a not-so-traveled corner of Brooklyn, the Greenwood Heights crowd has wholeheartedly embraced Lot 2, an unassuming spot with bare beams and exposed brick that has changed chefs and, consequently, culinary direction in the sixteen months it’s been open. As it turns out, Lot 2 has more in common with Roman’s than a neighborly vibe and creative house cocktails. There’s the fervent locavore streak that permeates the small, often-changing menu, the reliance on local farms for fresh produce, the short but thoughtful beer and wine lists. (As at DBGB and Vandaag, the brews are listed with their alcohol percentage, a helpful and burgeoning practice.)
The menu, under chef Daniel Rojo, is less nose-to-tail and more comfort-foody than under his predecessor, as evidenced by dishes like a first-rate, perfectly proportioned grass-fed Cheddar burger, lamb spare ribs with parsnip and carrots, and an amply garnished crispy chicken breast. There are equally filling vegetarian options, too, like arborio rice with asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, serrano chili, scallions, and mint. But the defining feature of Lot 2 (other than the truly stellar duck-fat potatoes that accompany the burger) is the $30 four-course Sunday supper, already a neighborhood tradition. The weekly menu is posted online and the meal is served family style. So you might start, as we did one night, with a heap of arugula, rather aggressively seasoned, mixed with soft-roasted beets and speckled with freshly snipped herbs. Next might come an all-American arrangement of tender pork loin (Heritage, naturally) served with rich brown-butter applesauce and a crisp-edged pan-fried stuffing, flecked with leeks and greens and as soft as custard. Two warm chocolate-chip cookies is the kind of dessert your mom might make. This idealized version of homey Americana won’t convey you as far away as Roman’s Italy, but it’s equally transporting.
Cheddar burger with duck-fat fries, $15; set menu on Sundays