DINING OUT: Stone Park Cafe
When we think of brunch in Park Slope, we think of our time and stomach-tested shortlist that unequivocally features Stone Park Café.
This is because while just about every restaurant in Park Slope offers a brunch option, Stone Park offers the kind of experience that pretty much defines brunch in Brooklyn: casual yet classy, affordable yet exceptional, seasonal yet not hastily thrown together. The menu focuses on freshness, and features inventive takes on classic dishes.
On the breakfast side, there are the Eggs Benedict with spinach or Canadian bacon or both ($13/$14), a Short Rib Hash and Eggs ($14), a large Quiche wedge with salad or fries ($12), and a range of omelets ($13; The Chef, The Greek, The Spicy, The Chosen, and build-your-own) stuffed with four fillings ranging from housemade sausage and smoked salmon to roasted garlic, pico de gallo, and feta cheese. The savory options continue with Biscuits and Gravy ($13), Anson Mills White Grits with a poached egg ($12; $15 with shrimp), and Buttermilk Pancakes or Sourdough French Toast ($12).
On the lunch side, there are salads, sandwiches we suggest the BLT with pork belly ($13) and the Oyster PoBoy ($14) and even an eight-ounce Stone Park Burger ($15) with your choice of cheeses, mushrooms and bacon.
On our recent trip there, we opted for the Steak and Eggs ($17), the Pan Seared Bluefish Cakes ($14), and a side of braised greens ($7). The grilled eight-ounce New York strip steak is grilled to your specifications, which in our case was medium rare. It came back perfectly cooked-yet-pink, and was tender to the bite a great juxtaposition with the eggs, which we ordered fried.
The two medium-sized bluefish cakes are to this dish what the English muffin is to Eggs Benedict, with a perfectly poached egg and spoonful of savory caper hollandaise atop each. However, the fish improves the meal exponentially, adding a lightly salty meatiness to each bite, which is balanced by a small pile of celery root slaw and tomatoes.
Each dish came with roasted potatoes and four slices of whole wheat bread, pre-spread with a bit of butter, which were ideal tools for sopping up egg yolks or dipping into the salty juices of the greens, which this Sunday were collards.
Stone Park also serves lunch and dinner, as well as dessert and a three-course market menu ($34) on Sundays through Thursdays. There is also a meticulously sourced wine list that pairs with anything on the menu.
Open since September, 2004, and located at the corner of Third Street on Fifth Avenue, across from J.J. Byrne Playground, Stone Parks sidewalk seating and glass-paneled front and side windows are inviting, and although almost perpetually busy, the wait-staff moves things along swiftly and expertly.
According to owners, childhood friends, and Park Slope natives Josh Foster and Josh Grinker, their aim is to raise the bar in Brooklyn, using our collective background in some of the citys finest restaurants to offer value, comfort, and superb food for diners in Park Slope and for anyone who wants to experience the heart and soul of Brooklyn.
They have succeeded.
STONE PARK CAFÉ
324 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Dinner:Sunday through Thursday 5:30 10 p.m.Friday & Saturday 5:30 11 p.m.Brunch:Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. 3:30 p.m.Lunch:Tuesday through Friday 11:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m.
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