The Grocery

The Grocery is a diminutive New American establishment in Carroll Gardens that is more serious than it tries to let on at first sight.  When we first called, the owner folksily fumbled about for the reservation book, before giving up and saying he'd call me back.  The unprepossessing green dining room is less poorly decorated than simply undecorated.  Seating is cramped, and there's no bar to wait at if you arrive early or your table is not ready.  All this austerity belies the complexity and craftsmanship of the cuisine.  The Grocery styles itself as a neighborhood restaurant, but it is really quite more than that. 

Charles Kiely and Sharon Pachter opened The Grocery together in 1999 and are the co-owners and chefs.  The cuisine is bold and flavorful:  a hearty risotto with roasted winter squash, mushroom duxelles and toasted pumpkin seeds, a lamb ragu with bucatini and herb pesto, a pork pie made with braised shank and housemade bacon.  Perhaps the best dish is a slow-rendered duck breast served with a caramelized red wine sauce, although regulars would make a strong case for the beets with goat cheese ravioli, a dish that has been on the menu since the restaurant's inception.  Despite the simplicity of the setting, the candlelit ambience can be romantic and communal, and there is a delightful intimate garden in the back for the warmer months. 


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Carroll Gardens
288 Smith St.
(718) 596-3335
Tues-Thurs, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat, 5:30pm-11pm
    Sharon Pachter, Charles Kiely, Chefs