Monday, May 8, 2017

New Brooklyn Botanic Garden Cafe: Food Matches Setting

Sampler vegetarian plate, with crostini, biscuits, veggie tacos, falafel and crudite

When my kids were little, we could spend the entire day at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The only thing that held us back was the lack of a decent food option. There was an outdoor cafe, but it had a limited menu and sometimes we wanted to eat indoors - too cold or too hot for outdoor dining.

Now, there's a new place, the Yellow Magnolia Cafe. And the outdoor eatery has also been upgraded, to the Yellow Magnolia Canteen.

The new indoor Yellow Magnolia Cafe
Yellow magnolias were developed by Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the vegetable-focused menus reflect the plants growing in the magnificent garden.

The Japanese Garden at BBG
Local chef Rob Newton oversees the seasonal menu and at a preview event, I got to sample the many vegetarian choices. And local purveyors like seed + mill tahini, are incorporated; local breweries are showcased as well.

Cafe vs Canteen

No worries about lines at the Canteen. You can make reservations at the cafe. But if you are more of a spur of the moment diner, or want to stay outdoors, the umbrella-topped cafe tables beckon.
Chef Rob Newton

We had fava been falafel, (with that wonderful tahini) strawberry-ricotta crostini and heirloom polenta fries, along with ramp cheese puffs and fish tacos. If you are a biscuit lover (and who isn't) be sure to get an order.

Since the cafe is a full-service restaurant, there is also a bar. The rhubarb collins featured local Greenhook Gin with seasonally fresh rhubarb and red sorrel. Oh, and it was delicious.

Currently at the Canteen, both soups are vegetarian: tomato lentil and corn and chili chowder. and both salad entrees are gluten free as well: kale and beet, or strawberry and quinoa.

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