Like most working NYCers, I eat out a lot – and I have plenty of excuses; whether it’s my time to meet up with friends over a nice meal, I’m craving sushi or Indian or Korean food, or simply because I’m too tired to cook after working all day or haven’t had time to buy groceries. In and of itself, that’s not a bad thing but I’m finding myself ordering take out from the same usual suspects a bit too often of late.
That brings me to my two food related New Year’s Resolutions: (1) cook more and better (better meaning locally sourced when possible and new recipes) and (2) try new restaurants (especially in the outer boroughs).
So last night, since I was in the mood for seafood and I got home too late and unmotivated to cook chicken chili, we decided to take the opportunity to try Sel de Mer. This unassuming seafood bistro located on Graham Avenue between Skillman Ave and Conselyea St is a quintessential Brooklyn restaurant. In the vein of Diner, Marlow & Sons, Dressler and Dumont, Sel de Mer is a foodie’s dream come true. Providing expertly prepared dishes with the freshest and highest quality ingredients in an unassuming and relaxed setting, these restaurants all manage to be cool without trying, or maybe by not caring.
We started with an appetizer of two crab cakes – since in my opinion, nothing beats a good crab cake- that was dressed with arugula and remoulade. With only trace amounts of filler and just enough seasoning to maximize the crab flavor, Sel de Mer’s crispy, pan fried version is perhaps the best I’ve had in New York. The boy ordered “fish and chips” and I had the fried scallops with salad. Although the “friedness” of the cod was a bit heavy handed, the scallops were perfection. That being said, the quality and freshness of the seafood were unmistakable.
Rounding out the meal was an intriguing and delicious bottle of Saint Pierre de Serjac - Esprit De Vin “Cotes de Thongue” which had strong chocolate undertones.