As soon I heard about Diner, a tucked away tiny diner-turned-fine-dining establishment near the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, I knew I had to check it out. No set menu, only about 20 tables, sounds like my kind of place. The restaurant met and even exceeded my expectations. It was cosy with low light levels and crowded but we didn't have to wait for a table.
Everything I tasted at Diner was simple delectation. My friend started with the turnip soup with bacon, and it had the richest smoky flavor. I began with a beet salad with fennel, grapefruit, and Parmesan cheese. The fennel shavings offered such a complex layer to the flavors, and I think I am going to start using it in my own salads at home.
For the main course, I ordered breast of guinea hen, cooked medium rare. It was served with a cauliflower puree and roasted sprouts and squash. This may have been the first time that I've had guinea hen, and it was moist, rich, and delicious. My friend had a piece of tile fish, which had a nice flaky texture, and while alone it had a bland flavor, coupled with the curried lentils and cauliflower puree it became an event on the plate. I later saw a complete tile fish at the Lobster Place in Chelsea Market, and was amazed at its coloring and large scale!
Restroom review: 1 tiki torch - it was tiny and so cold I thought I must be in a port-a-john outdoors in the winter.
We left no room for dessert! After this one glorious meal there, I'll need to visit it at least once a season. At least. :-)