From NYC to Paris in the Blink of An Eye: Café Paulette (Brooklyn)
Brunch has to be one of my favourite meals, but given that I’ve waxed poetic enough about my love for this weekend feast, I’ll instead jump right in to blather on about a great new find in the trendy Fort Greene neighbourhood of Brooklyn. Next to the base of Fort Greene park along Dekalb Avenue is a small café you might walk by if you didn’t know it was there. With large picture windows and a small intimate dining area replete with votives, polished wooden tables and a wine-stained banquette, Café Paulette is the type of place you walk into and immediately lose yourself.
Quite certain that you walked out of Brooklyn and into the heart of Paris.
A café and wine bar run by Frenchman Lionel Guy-Bremond, Café Paulette is about transporting customers from the concrete jungle of New York to the banks of the Seine through the use of decorative accents and a menu of family recipes. The bistro is typically French in that seating is tight – expect to rub elbows with your neighbour given there are only 26 seats inside – and the food offerings are what you’d find in most Parisian brasseries, which makes it the perfect place to grab a spot of brunch or a warming glass of Pinot Noir on a cold winter’s night.
The decor aside, which invites you to stay for hours on end, the menu is the real draw of Café Paulette with offerings that include coq au vin, various open faced sandwiches (tartines) topped with all manner of goods like smoked salmon, goat cheese and braised leeks. There’s also rich dessert offerings like a tarte au chocolat or a sampling of cheese accompanied by figs and roasted nuts.
Brunching with a couple friends and we shared the smoked salmon tartine, the salad with bacon and a soup of the day that was a mix of leek, potato and other hearty winter vegetables. Thought it shortly before 13:00 and the place was already busy with customers, the servers were organized and swift and our food arrived by the time we were done with our first round of fresh juices and espressos. The portion sizes were modest, enough to fill you 70% of the way up, but the food was fresh, tasty and hearty enough that we couldn’t be bothered to go looking for that extra 30%. It wasn’t at all necessary. Instead we opted for another drink and at the end of it all balled up our napkins and threw them next to our plates with pleasure.
And the damage? Well it barely made a dent. For three people to eat and drink we each paid less than $25 for our brunch (including tip).
It may have been my first time, but I have a feeling it won’t be my last.
136 Dekalb Ave,
Sunday – Wednesday: 11:00 – 22:00
Thursday – Saturday 11:00 – 23:00 pm