Brooklyn's Backyard Hosted by Adam Richman

The New York City Wine & Food Festival 2012 takes over the historic Williamsburg Savings Bank, in downtown Brooklyn

Arthur Bovino
L&B Spumoni's chicken cutlet sandwich at Brooklyn's Backyard Hosted by Adam Richman.

Driving down Flatbush Avenue past Junior's, I can't but help think of my grandma's old five and dime store, a Jackie Robinson homerun away from Ebbet's Field. Tonight Brooklyn's favorite daughter, Barbara Streisand, was singing across the street while inside the old Williamsburgh Savings Bank building borough president Marty Markowitz was singing the praises of Brooklyn and introducing Adam Richman who was cobbling around on a cane. His Mom told me it was a sports related injury. "That's what you get for being a weekend warrior" she tells me. I told her that if Adam was ever truly on the disabled list that I was ready to pinch eat for him anytime, anywhere. Entering the art deco bank building for the FNNYCF&W Festival's 2nd annual culinary ode to Brooklyn, you make your way to each of the teller's booths to make a delicious withdrawal.

First up, Fort Defiance served up some sensational choucroute: smoked kassler (smoked boneless pork chops) on top of a bed of indescribably delicious sauerkraut. On the opposite side of the glass, Fort Reno was smoking up ribs with an actual smoker. The third Fort, Ft. Greene's own FoodFreaks were back with a 3 cheese grilled cheese, tomato soup for dunking and fried brussels sprouts. The battle of chopped liver between Mile End and Fleishers Meat was a stand-off. Rucola's branzino crudo went head to head with Acme's salmon jerky and Allswell's shark ceviche. Sidecar stopped by with their Guy Fieri endorsed brandade.

TALDE's top chef Dale Talde imported lettuce wrapped chicken larb which met its match in Der Kommissar's East meets West Pakwurst. Longest line of the night (other than taking your photo with Adam) was the iconic Brennan & Carr's roast beef au jus. L&B Spumoni Garden's mortadella-covered fried chicken cutlet hero was even better than a tomato-covered slice of their parmesan-dusted Sicilian pizza.

Peppa's Jerk Chicken and the ball boys from Arancini Bros. made up for the no-show by David's Brisket. Tchoup Shop brought some NOLA to Brooklyn with crawfish and mini- buttermilk biscuits which complimented Blue Sky Bakery's banana chocolate mini-muffins. The chocolate room did mini-mint chocolate chip ice cream hot chocolate floats and Junior's served mini-chocolate mousse cheesecake parfaits. As I wandered outside into the crisp night covering a rapidly evolving downtown Brooklyn, I could see clearly the bright future of Brooklyn's food scene. Fortunately, there's also still plenty of historic food treasures co-existing in the borough. As if to prove my point, when I drove by the new arena, I swear I could hear the distant strains of "The Way We Were".


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