DINING OUT: Farm fresh Thai food bursts with flavor at Brooklyn Heights’ Pinto
Pinto in Brooklyn Heights gives the concept of the farm-to-table restaurant a reboot, serving up elegant Thai food made from produce purchased at New York’s beloved farmer’s markets.
Chef/Owner Yo Nanthavatsiri envisioned the eatery, his second, as melding two popular trends, explaining that he takes the traditional recipes handed down by his mother and grandmother, and reinvents them using seasonal ingredients available locally, for food that is quintessentially fresh, in more than once sense of the word.
“That’s why our Thai food is different,” he said.
For instance, he went on, “We make our own curry paste. It’s not from a can, like other restaurants.”
My dining companion and I sampled items from across the menu, and were delighted by both their flavor and their presentation, as well as by the attentive service.
We started by tossing down a selection of the eatery’s non-alcoholic beverages, each $6 (its liquor license is coming soon, says Nanthavatsiri). We were particularly taken with the Lime-Basil Soda, which was incredibly refreshing, and the sweet and smoky Pinto Ice Tea, which came with ice cubes made of frozen tea, as well as a sugar syrup so we could sweeten it to our taste. The third beverage, Lychee Soda, served garnished with blueberries and lychees, was light and sweet.
We tried two appetizers, the Mushroom Crunch ($7), breaded mushrooms with jalapeno tartar sauce that was crispy on the exterior, tender within, and Nam Prik Noom, grilled chili dip ($10), a spicy concoction served with a gorgeous array of vegetables including three colors of carrots (purple, yellow and orange), as well as thin slices of apple, radish chunks and Boston lettuce leaves.
For our main course, we sampled Kao-Soi Chicken ($18), a tender chicken breast served with a nest of crispy noodles, and bathed, as were the noodles, with a warming curry sauce, as well as Spicy Basil Lo Mein Noodle ($18), which was sweet and hot at once. Chunks of veggies and tender squares of beef were tossed with the noodles which were redolent with basil.
The dessert menu is small, but rewarding. We enjoyed the Banana Pudding and the Organic Berry Panacotta (both $7). The two sweets came out layered in tumblers, the Banana Pudding with cookies crumbled on top, and the Berry Panacotta enriched with fresh blueberries and mint, as well as honey.
It was a sweet and satisfying finish to a sensational meal.
128 Montague Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Lunch, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., dinner, 5-10 p.m., daily
Free delivery in Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO
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