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Sunday in Brooklyn is a market, a bar, a bakery and a restaurant all rolled into one with a perplexing name to boot. Confusing? Perhaps, but don’t let that get in the way of enjoying their superb cuisine. Located in the former home of Isa in South Williamsburg, Sunday in Brooklyn has some of the tastiest New American food in North Brooklyn. The three story space is gorgeous, with a wood-burning oven, exposed beams, and a sunny, white-washed dining room that will transport you to Southern California. The dinner menu is seasonal with dishes like a Wood-Fired Whole Fish For Two (MP) and Roasted Chicken ($24), Kohlrabi, Autumn Olive Berries ($24) with an assortment of inventive appetizers such as Black Cod Pastrami ($21) and Bone Marrow with Pickled Elderberries ($18). The brunch is a crowd-pleaser, especially their Malted Pancakes with Hazelnut Maple Praline and Brown Butter which are so decadent the New Yorker calls them ‘almost naughty.’ And yes, despite the name, they are open daily.
A perfect meal starts with a warm pecan sticky bun and coffee served in gorgeous bone china. Move on to the egg-and-sausage sandwich. Like the hot sauce, the mustard, and the roast beef, the breakfast sausage is made in house, spiked with sage and maple syrup…. At some point, someone near you will order the pancakes, and you will turn involuntarily to stare at the stack coated in hazelnut-praline-maple syrup and brown butter. Gesture to your waiter for an order of those. The sauce, the texture of butterscotch, slips down the sides like a slow-motion waterfall. It tastes like melted gelato. The pancakes, slightly undercooked, seem almost naughty.
Adam Landsman and Todd Enany, who worked at Major Food Group (Parm, Carbone), have joined with Jaime Young, who was the chef de cuisine at Atera for three years, and taken over the space that had been Isa. The ground floor houses a bar and a market where they will sell items from the adjacent open kitchen. The dining room is on the second floor, and there’s a rooftop garden. The place is driven by a minimal-waste approach, so there’s beer whey in a radish dish, and the potatoes served with the roasted chicken may not have been the most attractive at the market. Kingfish with sunchokes and marinated clams, black cod pastrami with rye sour cream, and pork chop with half-sour pickled mustard greens are some other choices.
At dinner, a squat, old-fashioned furnace roars away under dimmed lights across from the jagged natural-wood bar in the main dining area, helping Sunday in Brooklyn perfectly channel the type of urbane lodges that have popped up around the Catskills in recent years. The evening menu straddles a similar refined-rustic edge: Shavings of ham and lamb tongue are crisped up in the wood-fired oven for an appetizer, and juicy pork loin chops — aged and tenderized for two months in a mixture of pasty sake lees and koji (the bacteria responsible for miso) — get a last-minute roasting before joining soured mustard greens and hazelnut Dijon mustard on the plate. Petite honeynut squash come dressed with nuts and seeds and a smooth scoop of cultured cream cheese. And whole Boston mackerel are charred on the wood grill and dressed with lemon juice and earthy fig leaf oil, then laureled with a colorful, refreshing salad of raw sunchokes, pickled Hungarian wax peppers, and both pink and green meat radishes. Both the mackerel and that black cod, offered alone as a starter, make an excellent case for eating more fatty fish.
Fine dining in a more casual setting, with garden dining, an in-house bread and pastry operation, and a marketplace, selling smoked meats, cured fish, pickles, and more. Much of the dining room is reserved for walk-ins. If you do not see the reservation you are looking for, we encourage you to stop in!