Category Archives: Brooklyn Restaurants

Purple Yam – A Rainy Day Treat – Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Purple Yam - 1314 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn - 718.940.8188 - © Frank H. Jump

It’s the day after my fiftieth birthday and I decided to give myself a long awaited treat. Ever since I saw the new “pan-Asian” restaurant storefront pop up on the ever-changing Ditmas Park landscape, I’ve wanted to pop in – but never found the right moment – plus I live with a bit of a picky eater whose tastes are somewhat broader than the average diner, but still limited when it comes to Southeast Asian, Malaysian, Indonesian and Filipino cuisine. So I’m alone on a rainy afternoon and decided to give myself a little birthday present.

Purple Yam - 1314 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn - 718.940.8188 - © Frank H. Jump

The Purple Yam on Cortelyou Road in Ditmas Park is an exciting addition to the growing choices of places to dine out in our little corner of Brooklyn. If you would have told me ten years that a casual pan-Asian restaurant with a Filipino based menu would be opening up within walking distance of the Cortelyou Road stop on the N train – I would have said “Get out!”

Granted, Filipino and Indonesian cuisines have had a hard time making a foothold on the East Coast in general – when only twenty years ago did Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisines begin to become mainstays in Asian dining in Brooklyn. West Coasters have long appreciated “alternative” Asian cuisines, compared to the standard fare that was offered for decades by Americanized Mandarin and Szechuan restauranteurs here in the Tri-State area. But I’m glad to see there is finally a market for a more daring, less cliché Asian fare in our neighborhood.

Purple Yam - 1314 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn - 718.940.8188 - © Frank H. Jump

For brunch, I enjoyed the Fresh Lumpia with peanut and tamarind sauce as a starter. I requested some sambal (a hot chili paste condiment) with my appetizer and it looked as if the charming and eloquent chef Romy Dorotan (Romy and partner chef Amy Besa – formerly from Cendrillon in Soho) had whipped it up from scratch. As a main course I had a noodle dish – Pancit Luglug – thick rice noodles with ground pork and shrimp in a delicate but well-spiced sauce. So delicious. For dessert, I had the special Filipino lime meringue pie with a scoop of guava ice-cream and a raspberry sauce. Magnificent!

Purple Yam - 1314 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn - 718.940.8188 - © Frank H. Jump

Don’t wait for a rainy day to go to the Purple Yam! Support local businesses now.

Reviews:

Purple Yam website:

March 13, 2010 11:37:38 PM EST –

Dear Frank:

This is such wonderful feedback and a great story at that.  Love it!  Thank you so much for sharing your experience with your readers.  We actually prefer these unpredictable results than formal reviews. They are so honest and surprising.

Thank you so much and hope to see you again!

Amy & Romy

Holiday Pancake & Steak House – Boro Park, Brooklyn

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

Europa Pizzeria & Bakery – Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

6421 20th Avenue © Frank H. Jump

6421 20th Avenue © Frank H. Jump

Europa Pizzeria in Bensonhurst has wood-fired brick oven pizza & a full Italian bakery on premises. The menu consists of very reasonably priced specialty pizzas in small & large sizes plus a full menu of Italian appetizers, salads, classic Italian entrees & pasta dishes. The Quattro Stagione pizza has fresh roasted artichokes, Parma ham, black olives & and is by far the best meal around for the price. Buon appetito! 718-232-7206  Tell them Enzo & Frank sent you!

Visit the Europa Ristorante Website for a full menu.

Wood-fired oven.

Wood-fired brick oven. © Frank H. Jump

Spacious dining room perfect for events.

Spacious dining room perfect for events. © Frank H. Jump

Café & Bakery in the back with a full line of desserts. © Frank H. Jump

Café & Bakery in the back with a full line of desserts. © Frank H. Jump

Tiramisú Cake © Frank H. Jump

Tiramisú Cake © Frank H. Jump

It is characterized by the presence of the triskelion (trinacria) in its middle, the (winged) head of Medusa and three wheat ears. - Wikipedia © Frank H. Jump

The flag of Sicily is characterized by the presence of the triskelion (trinacria) in its middle, the (winged) head of Medusa and three wheat ears. - Wikipedia © Frank H. Jump

A Bensonhurst Pigeon © Frank H. Jump

A Bensonhurst Pigeon outside the doorway of the restaurant entrance on 65th Street © Frank H. Jump

Pomme de Terre – Likely To Become A Ditmas Park Culinary Mainstay

Pomme de Terre

Pomme de Terre

Pomme de Terre

Pomme de Terre

Pomme de Terre

Pomme de Terre

Pomme de Terre

Pomme de Terre

Pomme de Terre

Pomme de Terre

Pomme de Terre

Pomme de Terre
© Frank H. Jump

This evening was the second time I had the pleasure to dine at Pomme de Terre. I wanted to do a formal piece but I haven’t heard a response from the management (I’m sure they are very busy- there was a half-hour wait shortly after we sat down) so I blitzed them. I ordered the Pan Seared Skate again since it was so good the first time I wanted to see how consistent they are, and it was equally delicious. The Cauliflower soup with Rock shrimp pictured above was also very scrumptious, as was the Cherry Pistachio tart.

Owned and managed by the same people that opened Farm on Adderley, Pomme offers quite a different menu. Although Farm does have a “french” quality to its entrees, it is less specific than Pomme de Terre‘s bistro fare. Chef David Pitula deftly runs the kitchen through peak capacity and still manages to have a smile on his face. The staff is equally cordial and the decor is quite authentic. The French liqueur reproductions are attractive and the wall paper taken from what seems to be vintage French magazines from the 1937 Exposition period adds a layered decoupage texture.

Although this may seem premature, Pomme de Terre feels like a mainstay. A local resident of over forty years (Mel) who ate there this evening with some buddies chatted with me out front about the history of this corner. Once a clothing store, and then a bodega, Pomme seems almost an anachronism next door to the Hispanic evangelical church and at the same time, it seems so right for that tiny triangular space on the corner of Newkirk Avenue and Argyle Road- an enhancement to an already lovely neighborhood. Mel agrees that Pomme is a valuable addition to the neighborhood. I highly recommend Pomme for a truly satisfying dining experience.