Cititour: The New York Guide to Events, Restaurants, Music, and Nightlife

Palo Santo

Palo Santo

Cuisine: Latin America, Hatian

Chef: Jacques Gautier


Cititour Review: Palo Santo has been drawing plenty of attention since its arrival last summer. And with good reason. First off, chef/owner Jacques Gautier literally built the place from scratch, converting an old Brooklyn brownstone into a fabulous eating establishment. Tables made from recycled doors are inlaid with bits of gravel and bark, old coins and the stumps of old Christmas trees. Rounded bar stools and chairs also come from recycled wood, which Gautier proudly shows off; the fabric by way of Ecuador. Palo Santo is worth showing off from its exposed brick to its wood burning fireplace, to its back room filled with little nooks and crannies that are perfect for a romantic meal. And then there's Gautier's open kitchen. It takes a certain amount of courage to cook in front of paying customers. Gautier takes plenty of chances and almost always succeeds. His menu changes daily. On our visit we were treated to a hearty conch chowder in a spicy curry broth. Lobster salad gets some added zip from slices of granny smith apples and a grapefruit reduction with just a hint of vanilla. Anticuchos capture the true flavors of this popular Peruvian dish. Main courses are equally as exciting. A Roast duck breast is served perfectly rare with a sweet potato puree. A juicy grilled strip steak, topped with garlic and herbs, shares the plate with fried casava. A braised chicken breast arrives propped up by a drumstick in a puddle of cilantro sauce alongside over-sized lima beans. This creative process extends to the desserts. We loved the tartness of the key lime pie, the bits of candied quince dripping off a slice of cheesecake, and the touch of pomegranate added to the sorrel pie. But the real adventure begins with kiwi parfait. At first we really didn't really know what to do with it. It is literally a whole kiwi dropped onto a cookie crumb crust and topped with tiny squares of jello and fresh whipped cream. It's truly different and lots of fun. And so is Palo Santo; a real treat from top to bottom!
Review By: Sam Sayegh

Neighborhood: Park Slope

Palo Santo
652 Union St (4th Ave)
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 636-6311

Entree Price: $15-20
Payment: Cash only