I8NY on the Brooklyn Grange


Almost all the produce was harvested that afternoon on the farm, which happens to be the largest rooftop farm in the world. We ate on precarious stages. Laguardia-bound planes flew like kites overhead and CCR crooned from a thatch of kale. Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of eating dinner at the Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm at the hands of I8NY, a fantastic supper club/sandwich stand/market-driven think tank (you might say).


In a city that manufactures "experiences," it can still be hard to find that genuine moment -- a time when you lose yourself to the stories of your friends, the tines of your fork, the wine glass sweating with condensation. It doesn't have to happen over a meal, but Sunday, it did.


The meal started hearty with a gazpacho of cucumber, almond, mint, borage and a bellyflop of yogurt. It was paired with a crisp toast, moistened in the middle by garlicky chickpeas and sungold tomatoes (top pic). Then we moved to a tortelloni filled with beet-bled goat's milk ricotta, topped with opal basil and a buttery orange sauce. Imagine a fat cheese blini taking a dip in crepe suzette's pool -- that is, summery and rich and toothsome.


And this is where the photos got bad but the dinner got great. (The fabulous rose helped, too.) Here is tender roast chicken with shisito peppers, tomato, and a killer soulful hot sauce. This was definitely my favorite dish of the night, and I'm not ashamed I groped for Julian's still-meaty chicken bones in the dark.


Finally, we finished off with vanilla ice cream (made by Pam Yung of Torrisi) with bing cherries, blueberries, and husk cherries. By then, the wind had picked up, we made many new friends. People refilled their own wine glasses from wash basins filled with bottles. Business cards were exchanged early on, but they blew away halfway through. By the end of night, we just naturally remembered.


Photo courtesy of James Song