Talk about a Dutch oven!
Brooklyn Brewery’s chef is attempting to recreate the food 1650s Dutch colonists ate in New York — well, New Amsterdam — at a dinner party at Williamsburg’s Humbolt and Jackson on April 16. The history-loving culinarian said he hopes to teach New Yorkers a thing or two about the dining habits of their forebears, and to make them forget what century it is outside the restaurant.
“There will be an aspect of theater to it,” said chef Andrew Gerson. “We want to make you feel like you’ve transcended time.”
The “Nieuw Amsterdam” dinner will combine elements of colonial Dutch cuisine with dishes inspired by the fare of the region’s native Lenape people, Gerson said. Lenape cuisine in the 1650s leaned heavily on the seafood that was bountiful at the time, so Gerson will begin the meal by cooking up clams smothered in butter that he has infused with sumac, which the salt-deprived Lenape used as a spice.
On the Dutch side of mid-17th century dining, attendees will feast on salt-pork porridge, a New Amsterdam staple that Gerson will spruce up for modern palates.
“Porridge was a main form of sustenance for the settlers, but I’m going to make a nicer version,” he said.
For dessert, Gerson will fry up some olykoeks, a doughnut-like flatbread that he said was another Dutch favorite of the era.
And it wouldn’t be a Brooklyn Brewery event without beer. Gerson has paired each course with a house brew, designed to imitate the suds colonists were guzzling down at the time thanks to a shortage of potable water. Alongside the main course of venison, he will pour the brewery’s K is for Kriek, a cherry-infused Belgian wheat beer that he said is reminiscent of the sweet, barrel-brewed brewskis made in New Amsterdam.
The event is the first in a series of time-traveling dinners the brewery is cooking up this year, each inspired by distinct periods in the city’s past. In future meals, Gerson will celebrate the menus of the city’s first restaurants in the 1820s, the Prohibition-era, and the 1980s, when Brooklyn Brewery got its start.
Nieuw Amsterdam dinner at Humboldt and Jackson [434 Humboldt St. at Jackson Street in Williamsburg, (718) 349-3355, www.brook