Friday, December 16, 2011

Home James

If you’ve lived in a neighborhood for years, you remember the history of its real estate. You may buy your artisanal cheese from a storefront that once sold cell
phones, or buy designer clothing from a spot that once housed a check cashing place.

So it is with the restaurant James, where a bodega once offered convenience for Prospect Heights, Brooklyn residents. Our friends, who lived around the corner, remember buying milk and cigarettes here.

But the gleaming bar, dark wood and reclaimed tin ceiling speak to a different era, one more likely to drink the gin cocktail (with bits of ice, St. Germain, lemon juice and fresh mint) than beer from a paper bag.

ames has a super Sunday Supper deal: appetizer, main course and dessert, for $30. Choices are limited, but twice when I’ve been there, both appetizers and both main courses were vegetarian. You can also order off the regular menu, but it’s nice when vegetarians aren’t marginalized.

Well, ok, we can’t go there on burger night. But any other night is vegetarian-friendly – perfectly composed salads, soups like the parsnip soup topped with Brussels sprouts. Simply divine.

The risotto with wild mushrooms had a hint of truffle oil and was studded with meaty fungi. Buttery skate over broccoli and arctic char over beets elevated the humble vegetables accompanying the fish.

I can’t wait to go back.

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