Dining Out: Skating up an appetite at Bluestone Caf
Bluestone Café definitely nails the first commandment of real estate: location, location, location. Sitting next to Prospect Parks new Lakeside ice rink and outdoor community space, the restaurant is a relaxing oasis with floor-to-ceiling views of skaters enjoying the parks winter wonderland.What makes Bluestone really stand out, however, is its menu of Brooklyn-inspired casual cuisine, created by Executive Chef Andy Seidel and designed to satiate any palate. Thus far, his ambitious goal of pleasing the masses as much as possible has met with some success. Case in point: both the Three Grilled Cheese and Kale sandwich ($7.50) and the Mac & Cheese ($5) have been popular sellers among kids and adults alike.The sandwich comes on two thick slices of buttered and toasted bread and features a perfectly gooey-yet-not-messy combination of three types of cheese and still-crisp leaves of kale and tomato slices.The Mac and Cheese is equally impressive with its cheesiness-balance, providing more than enough cheese without being overwhelming, and comes served with or without a light topping of breadcrumbs. There is more than just cheese to choose from, of course. Start with a Soup of the Day ($6.50) or try the current in-season regular, Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk Bisque ($7.50). Dotted with pumpkin seeds, the crunch and color of the seeds juxtaposes beautifully against the soups gorgeous burnt orange color and thickly creamy texture. The Black Pepper Chicken Wings ($8.50) is also a study in juxtaposed flavors, with the strong and warming kick of black pepper paired with a dip of cool and sweet blue cheese dressing. Bluestones entrees come in the form of hearty sandwiches. The Bluestone Original Burger ($7.50) is a char-grilled hamburger served with pickles, Bibb lettuce and special Lake Sauce, served on a Brooklyn-made potato roll. Made to order, the burger meat still retains a residual smokiness that, combined with the soft bun and crunchy vegetables, makes for perfect bites, especially with the Lake Sauces pickly tang. Also available as sliders, the burger can be served with cheese, bacon or thin cut onion rings for an additional $2 each. Vegetarians also have a delicious option in the Grilled & Roasted Market Vegetables sandwich ($8.50), which can be served with or without the herbed goat cheese, although the light and creamy mixture is an amazing and surprisingly refreshing accompaniment to the seasonal vegetables, which on our visit included artichokes, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes. Gluten-free breads will soon be available, as well. Taco lovers can also rejoice with the Wonton Mahi Mahi Tacos ($8.50) a trio of crunchy wonton taco shells stuffed with a sizable chunk of seasoned fish, shredded red cabbage, scallions, a dollop of sour cream, and a thin slice of jalapeñowhich provides a medium amount of heat but can also easily be removed if its too much for you. Finally, top off your meal with a homemade chocolate chip cookie, oatmeal raisin cookie or one of the many pies, cakes and ice cream from local Brooklyn businesses such as Robicellis and Blue Marble Ice Cream (up to $7.50). Then wash it all down with a Hot Spiced Cider, Moccachino, Espresso, Latte, Coffee, Hot Chocolate or Lake Swirl ($2 to $5.50). A destination restaurant in more ways than one, Bluestone Café also features three party rooms and will soon add rooftop dining and weekday service.Bluestone CaféProspect Park, 171 East DriveEntrances near Parkside/Ocean Avenue or Lincoln Road/Ocean Avenue718-462-0010www.lakesidebrooklyn.comFriday-Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.Sunday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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