Location: 223 Smith St. BK
Feelings: Cobble Hill is not the most diverse neighborhood in the city, and that often worries me as a parent. It is safe, the school system is fantastic, and people can care less when I walk around in 5.5 inch heels and a McQueen dress. But would I want my son to be the only Hapa kid in his class? What if he feels inferior to these blonde hair-blue eyed kids just like I did in Florida?
Smith street is a good example of this neighborhood. It has quite a lot of tasty new American spots and bakeries, but it is not known for authentic Asian cuisine by any stretch. There are countless American Asian restaurants that would cater to the neighborhood clientele. HopHap serves decent Thai and has been one of our delivery staples, but I usually have zero expectations for these other Asian spots on Smith street.
We ordered a lunch delivery from Chance, an Asian-French fusion spot on Smith street that specializes in dim sum and other pan-Asian dishes. The vegetarian dim sum box ($12, two dumplings of each--Chinese baby box choy, tofu & kumquat, ratatouille of Chinese vegetables, goat cheese & roasted peppers) was very, very interesting. The skin of the dumplings was fresh and had a nice chewy texture, but I am not sure if the cheese dumpling was a successful experiment. The flavors and textures seemed unpleasant.
My favorite was XO omelet fried rice ($9, seafood fried rice wrapped in egg omelet with house special xo sauce), which resembled omu-rice. The eggs were perfectly fluffy, and the seafood, especially scallop was fresh and well executed. With the tasty xo sauce, everything beautifully melted in my mouth. I appreciated the overall clean flavor.
Smith street may not have authentic Asian restaurants, but the French-Asian spot like Chance actually brings clean and adequate flavors. For now, we will remain in this neighborhood-- After all, this is NYC. Many authentic, diverse spots are available one train stop away.