There’s this fantastic little neighborhood gem, danny brown, that we just can’t get enough of. It has easily become our favorite restaurant in Queens; it simply does not disappoint.
Our first meal here was late last summer. We walked in on a Friday night hoping to get a table, but of course they were booked solid. Instead of leaving, we grabbed two seats at the bar and experienced a fabulous meal that left us wanting to return immediately. I had organic chicken “under a brick,” and the mister had duck confit. It was so ridiculously good that it has become the standard by which we measure all other duck.
Fast forward half a year, and I’m pleased to say we’ve been back about half a dozen times. We’ve tried a number of their regular dinner items, as well as some of the chef’s nightly specialties, and they’re all great.
Last week, we were feeling the urge and made an impromptu trip for dinner. Best. Decision. Ever.
Two apps. Two entrées. Two very happy diners.
First some bread.
Thick, airy slices are served with a sweet butter. Only complaint is that the butter is served cold. We prefer room temperature. Love the bread, though!
I started with sautéed diver sea scallops, accompanied by fennel, green apples, and a saffron emulsion.
I’m a sucker for scallops. I try not to order them every time I see them on a menu, but sometimes… I can’t resist. So glad I ordered this dish. Everything went together so well (a recurring theme at this restaurant).
John, a huge fan of mackerel as of late, went for a mackerel tartare.
Holy moly. This was outrageously good. Like, the best tartare we’ve ever had (*Drake wrote a song about this). The flavors were so complementary; I’m willing to bet this would convert even those who seemingly don’t like seafood. Unfortunately, I just peeked at their current dinner menu and this item is no longer available. UGH.
For my main, I got a second appetizer: a spring approach to gnocchi. This dish was served with braised veal, asparagus, leeks, and peas. I love a good seasonal plate o’ food.
Not quite Nica’s gnocchi, but still pretty damn good. It tasted like spring, and that’s okay with me.
Finally, after months of waiting, duck confit had returned to the menu! This was John’s obvious entrée of choice. Though prepared differently, this dish bore a striking resemblance to the last. But how did it taste?
…we were expecting more. It was certainly very tasty, but we had both built up the first duck confit we had here at danny brown, and this revamped preparation just didn’t compare to the original.
Overall, this was still heads and tails above most meals you’d experience elsewhere in Queens (or Brooklyn… or Manhattan…). By the end of our meal, we had no room for dessert, which is a shame because I absolutely adore their espresso crème brulée. Maybe next time.
(Speaking of, I recently acquired a kitchen torch from some friends at my bridal shower. I definitely see crème brulées in my future!)
If you’re in the ‘hood (e.g., can drive, walk, train, crawl, hitchhike within an hour’s commute), I highly recommend checking out danny brown.
danny brown Wine Bar & Kitchen
104-02 Metropolitan Avenue
Forest Hills, NY 11375