Monday, May 17, 2010

Cortelyou's Castello (and other things)

Jacques Cortelyou, hailing from Utrecht (and French Huguenots) came to Nieuw Netherlands, was appointed Surveyor General of the colony, and subsequently drew the first map of Nieuw Amsterdam (now more commonly known as New York City) in 1660. It is after him that Cortelyou Road in Ditmas Park, part of Victorian Flatbush, is named. The name of this map, the Castello Plan, comes from the Villa di Castello in which it was found some two and a half centuries later in 1900 after having been sold to Cosimo III de’ Medici c. 1667.

On February 26th, the aptly named Castello Plan, a wine/tapas bar, and gourmet child of (the very Dutch named) owner Ben Heemskerk and chef Natasha Pogrebinsky, opened to the public. While I'd noticed it's opening in mid March, I had not yet had the chance to check it out. Well, I must say, I am in love with this little place after having had brunch there the other day. Quaint and cozy inside, with rustic wood paneling, wonderful heavy doors, and complete with terrace outside, this little place is an absolute win. And this is from the brunch alone. I cannot wait to try out their dinner and late night menus. They make their own bacon, their own fruit preserves, serve dangerously delicious bellinis and mimosas, and entire pots of tea. The food was out of this world, and the presentation was beautiful too. Regrettably I took no photos of our plates (The Boys and I having ordered the same thing), Allison took some of hers, but I'll be sure to take pictures the next time. We all sat around the table in silence for a good while just gobbling up every last morsel on our plates. And oh, the cheese selection! We had two rounds of the Blu di Bufala, a blue cheese made from the milk of Water Buffalo, and served with raspberry preserves, rustic bread, and walnuts. We are so lucky to have a place like this in the neighborhood, and luckier still that it's open late! Everything about this place is just adorable - the menus with an old map of the neighborhood on the backs, the bottle list especially with it's cork binding - the little terrace shaded by trees, and the service was impeccable to boot. Absolutely wonderful. The people who were waiting half an hour to brunch at The Farm on Adderley have NO idea what lies just across the street! Not to knock The Farm, I love their food, service not so much, waiting so long for brunch even less. But The Castello Plan is an absolute gem, and I can't believe it took me this long to eat there!

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