The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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Vinegar Hill House

November 25, 2011

The parental units arrived on Tuesday and we actually made it to Vinegar Hill House for dinner that night. I was shocked when my Dad suggested eating there. It has been on my list for the longest time and it was very exciting to cross it off!

M joined us, which was delightful. The entire evening was really very lovely. Vinegar Hill House is a special place. The location is tiny and the service is attentive, attractive and comforting completely lacking the Brooklyn hipness (snobbery?) I was expecting from a place that serves things like Red Wattle pig and local squid. The food – homey, warm and local, a perfect match for this Vinegar Hill carriage house that manages to exude the hominess that we all crave and attempt to emulate but sadly never achieve with such honesty.


“And for our special we have dumpling squash,” he said looking at his pad, putting it in his back pocket and then pulling it back out again when he couldn’t remember what exactly was on the dumpling squash.

“What’s a dumpling squash?” I asked.

He ineloquently described the dumpling squash in such an attractive way that M and I had no choice but to muffle a giggle.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” M whispered. “It’s Ryan Goslings brother!”

While no I wasn’t, but God she was right. The mannerisms, the lanky stature…it was perfect and as the meal wore on, it turns out the Vinegar Hill House might not hire anyone unless they look like Ryan G just a little bit. The man who brought my sizzling cast iron chicken? Ryan G’s cousin. The hostess? Sister. The chef? Well, he’s the one exception.


It was a feast for the eyes and in the end, the stomach.

The food and cocktails were fantastic.

M, my Dad and I went with the Norman Trilogy – calvados, rye and orange bitters. A smooth concoction made even more so by the chiseled face that placed it before us. Mom went with the St. Regis No 2 that had her sliding under the table about 2.5 seconds after she finished it.

The parents went with the Fennel and Lady Apple Salad and the Butterhead Lettuce. The lettuce was just that with a light coating of ranch dressing. The lettuce was tender, sweet and I would not be surprised if it was from Gotham Greens. The Fennel Salad was a nice mix of green olives, currant, sherry, and provolone piccante. M and I split the Braised Local Squid with chickpeas, cauliflower, muhammara and walnuts. The muhammara, a hot pepper dip, was a pleasant surprise with the squid with the rest of the ingredients lending a nice mix of textures.

For dinner it was an even split between the Cast Iron Chicken and the Red Wattle Country Chop. While the pasta and the short rib held some intrigue it wasn’t enough for me to sway from the chicken.

And it was perfect. Moist, meaty with crispy skin it was served in a piping hot cast iron skillet with three braised onions on the side. Really, is there anything better than receiving your meal in the pan in which it was just cooked?

The Country Chop was perfection as well, proved by the swoon my father and M let out at first bite. Cooked medium rare, the Red Wattle chop lends itself as more of a steak than pork chop. It was tender and bursting with flavor. The cheddar grits served under were a pleasant surprise – creamy and rich, the perfect compliment.

The four of us split two of the dumpling squash side special. When it arrived looking nothing like how the waiter described, we were not surprised but instead pleased. The dumpling squash was roasted whole and slit in half. A portion of it was used to make a delicious puree that was put back into the squash and topped with roasted squash seeds and toasted coconut. Incredible.


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Thanks for introducing me to Vinegar Hill House. I’d never heard of it before, but now it’s on my list of restaurants to try. Your whole meal sounds delicious, including the dumpling squash.


November 26, 2011

I hope you get to try it soon! It was unforgettable.


November 26, 2011

1 notes

  1. Top 10 of 2011! | The Breukelen Life reblogged this and added:

    […] Vinegar Hill House (duh) GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

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