I’ve been to Buttermilk Channel a couple of times and each time had a great meal, so their sister restaurant, French Louie, has been on my must-try list for a long time. French Louie is based on the idea of a French Brasserie with influences of Quebec, the frankophone province of Canada just north of New York. I love the brasserie style of food, like steak frites, salad Nicoise, rilettes and, of course, profiteroles, so I was very excited to finally go there for lunch.
The owner, Doug Crowell, kindly brought us an amuse bouche of jardinière pickles and radishes dipped in butter with black olives. Very nice! Then we both had “French Dip” lamb sandwiches and split an order French fries. The sandwiches were presented in an interesting way, with a bowl of lamb “jus", or stock, for dipping. I love the concentration of taste in a good stock, and it made the meal very intense and tasty.
When you cross the Brooklyn Bridge by bike, French Louie is about ten minutes from the Bridge itself. The places closer to the bridge are more touristy so you should go further into the neighborhood if you want more authentic restaurants and shops.
After eating at French Louie we fortuitously found this very nice store next door called Dry Goods. It’s overflowing with personality — and fascinating objects. One of their guiding tenets is that the products they sell are meant to be heirlooms that can and should be passed from one generation to the next.
Since I can remember, one of my heroes has been Pippi Longstocking. Exploring Dry Goods feels like looking into Pippi’s china cabinet. Like Pippi says, “Du kan hitter all muligt” — you can find everything — and my normally very minimal design sense dissipates as I get excited about all the cool and useful finds. It feels like discovering a treasure!