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‘Thistle’ be good news for Slope foodies

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Thistle Hill Tavern, the newest addition to Park Slope’s Seventh Avenue restaurant row, is a new school eatery with an old-world feel.

The menu is market-fresh new American and will change frequently to reflect chef Rebecca Weitzman’s vegetable-heavy whims — pork belly may come dressed in pickled ramps now, but wear something entirely different next week.

The restaurant, with handsome, wood-paneled walls adorned with weathered maps and portraits, invokes, as its name might suggest, the feeling of a place that might have been there a 200 years ago, had Park Slope been more than farmland.

Never mind the ambience though; it would be worth the trip without it. Weitzman, who last week took the crown on the Food Network TV show “Chopped,” has crafted a menu that is nothing short of incredible — the food is thoughtful, proof that details matter.

The roasted leg of lamb ($13) was the star of the menu — moist and simply prepared, served atop an earthy bed of cracked wheat salad with charred eggplant, feta, arugula and tomato coulis. Grilled octopus ($15) comes crispy on the outside, tender on the inside with crunchy fried artichokes, kalamata olives and a creamy pool of polenta. A beat salad with watercress and Gorgonzola “croutons” ($11) excels as well, balanced in sweetness and acidity, even for the beet-wary.

Many of the cocktails are reworked old world cocktails, such as the Brooklyn Eagle ($10), a satisfying concoction of bourbon, triple sec, sweet vermouth and lime juice — proof that the Brooklyn Eagle is good for one thing.

Owner David Massoni has taken care to make sure Thistle Hill Tavern is also the sort of place you could pop into for a beer and a snack on the way home from work, with modestly priced snacky items like the fried fennel ($5), a “grown-up onion ring,” and the subtly spicy, endlessly fulfilling tureen of nuts and seeds ($6) — both are perfect with a beer.

Perhaps the trend of Seventh Avenue’s overpriced, mediocre eateries is on its way out. Thistle Hill Tavern is surely a good start.

Thistle Hill Tavern [441 Seventh Ave. at 15th Street in Park Slope. (347) 599-1262]

Updated 5:18 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

jose from sunset park says:
is the best thing that could happen to Park Slope
May 19, 2010, 10:19 pm
mau from near the park says:
Re: "Perhaps the trend of Seventh Avenue’s overpriced, mediocre eateries is on its way out."

That statement definitely indicates that the writer has not been eating on 7th Ave for very long. Many an eatery there has opened with tasty food, only to be dumbed-down by the mediocre palates of the patrons that frequent these restaurants and keep them afloat. These same people, with the culinary acuteness of 6-year-olds, have a lot of $$$. So the food goes the way they want it. If you don't believe me, look what they did to the Thai restaurants between Atlantic and 9th Sts. It's all so bland now, but not when they first opened. Same for all the decent ethnic restaurants on 7th--they had to dumb-down or get lost!

I will definitely try Thistle Hill before that happens to it too--and everything tastes like MASHED POTATOES w GRAVY or MAC&CHEESE or PIZZA, for $15, happens to them too. Then I will go back to making my own food or eating at restaurants in Manhattan.
May 22, 2010, 1:25 pm
PJ from Park Slope says:
We ate there on Tuesday night, I had the pork chop and my wife the burger. Pork chop was overcooked, tough, and otherwise over-seasoned. The Burger-bland, flavorless, and served slightly cold. In summary, both of our meals sucked and I find it hard to believe that this place will last outside of the initial buzz created by a new restaurant in the area. If it does, then maybe Mau's comments are accurate.
July 1, 2010, 4:48 pm
finch from park slope says:
four of us ate there and all four loved it. beautiful, if a little small. food was really really good and menu diverse enough for all our tastes. highly recommended
July 19, 2010, 2:53 pm

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