“Seasonality” is the new shinny, all-important buzzword for restauranteurs. It’s right up there with “Farm-to-Table,” “Sustainability” and “Bio-dynamic” for terms that get eaters these days all hot and bothered. In a good way. Seasonality—generally speaking—means having a menu that changes with the seasons. Serving an artichoke, strawberry and leafy green salad in the spring, all the ingredients still wet from the first warm rain. In the summer, peaches stuffed in zucchini stuffed in melon stuffed in fresh corn. And after the fall harvest has come in, apples sautéed in a pumpkin-butter sauce or pumpkins sautéed in an apple-butter sauce. Even though you can get all these things at any time of the year thanks to #Globalization. It also mean, in the winter, serving nothing but pickles, preserves and anything else that’s been kept in mason jars since the frost closed in.
But that’s not what it means at Colonia Verde, the Latin American restaurant on DeKalb Ave in Fort Greene. Yes, items on the menu change. (At the time of writing, the Roasted Carrots and Hazelnut salad and Whole Roasted Cauliflower Head with Red Mole top my list of New and Need to Try). But the mainstays stay and that’s how it should be, because they’re delicious. Near perfect, in fact. To start, get the Pulpo al Pastor and the Duck Confit Tacos. For the main, the Achiote Chicken, your choice of the steaks with the Brussel Sprouts and Chorizo, and the Poblano Pepper Pasta (if you can handle all that).
Back to my point here: Again, at Colonia Verde, the menu isn’t overhauled with ever passing season. But still, your experience changes with every season. How’s that? It comes down to good architecture: The dining room is actually three dining rooms. The first, at the front, has high tables and a bar that runs the length of the right wall. The kitchen is exposed and spills into the room and it’s great to sit at the bar and feel the heat after you’ve spent a fall afternoon in nearby Fort Greene Park. The second room is through a doorway. It’s a greenhouse and one of the coziest places for a winter meal that I’ve found in BK. The last room isn’t a room at all but a backyard of stucco walls and lights strung overhead. That’s for summer and it’s perfect.
Also, they do a Sunday Asado series during the warm months, each featuring a new chef, sometimes a local. Other times not.
Also, their wine list (which does change and change often) is beautiful—and big on “Biodynamism.”
And so to me, the seasonality of Colonia Verde is better than the seasonality of restaurants in the OD militant farm-to-table clique: Novelty comes, not from a menu that changes so much you don’t have any time to build a connection with a dish, but instead how the dynamism of the space plays with the dynamism of nature to give you a fresh experience every time you go.
Viist Colonia Verde’s website to peep the full menu and to make a reservation.
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[I didn’t take the main image on this article. IDKTonight did.]