10/29/2012 09:39:00 AM
First Bites: Brooklyn Sandwich Society, Dishing Unique 'Wiches in Fort Greene
“We thought sandwiches were a great way to get people to try different things,” said co-owner Melissa Gorman. “If there is something weird we want to cook with, people are more willing to try it in sandwich form.”
Hence, they offer six seasonal sandwiches stuffed with all sorts of interesting things including pan-fried squid, shiso, kimchi aioli and roasted leeks. All of this gets pressed between local fresh bread and you can get a gluten-free version for an extra $3. Each creation gets a local name, like The Grand: a squid sandwich, which comes with baby bok choy, cilantro, and hot and sour glaze on ciabatta. The Myrtle, named after the avenue nearby that used to be referred to as “Murder Avenue,” gets filled with aged Bloomsday cheese, sauerkraut, horseradish aioli and slow-braised beef brisket. For you non-meat eaters out there, they give you the St. Edwards, a miso-glazed tofu with shitake mushroom, cilantro and sambal aioli.
Sandwiches aren’t this joint's only game. They also have a whole menu of small plates including steamed wild mussels with fava bean tendrils, young leeks, and fried bread; roasted sunchokes with a tarragon and Meyer lemon crème fraiche; a juicy duck meatball with green endive and the strange, but good, Long Island squid stuffed with braised oxtail in a saffron broth.
Before Valbuena and Gorman were serving Fort Greene, the couple hosted Brooklyn Edible Social Club for three years out of their apartment. As the supper club grew in popularity, they decided it was time open an actual shop. At first, they looked near their Bedford-Stuyvesant home, but found nothing really spoke to them until they stumbled on the space in Fort Greene.
“We definitely weren’t thinking about this neighborhood because it’s expensive,” said Gorman. “But, the space is perfect.”
Aside from keeping the basic structure of the shop, they refurbished the rest of the eatery to give the space the look of an apartment. This means the lights are low and intimate, the service laidback, the furniture worn yet sturdy, and the walls are decorated in den-like objects including animal heads, vintage prints and antique mirrors. They have also added a rustic wainscoting made from old doors, painted the pressed-tin ceiling white, and covered some of the walls in subway tiles. They turned what used to be the coffee counter into a bar, and raised it up slightly to make it appear separate from the dining area.
So far, the restaurant is open every day save Monday, and soon, they said, they will start serving brunch and lunch. They also have a roomy backyard that will be up and going next spring.
Brooklyn Sandwich Society: 184 DeKalb Ave., Brooklyn, New York; 718-596-4147