In today's New York Times Dining and Wine section Frank Bruni reviews Taku, which also made it to New York Magazine's "Cheap Eats" issue. While only giving it one star, Bruni discovers a certain something about eating in Brooklyn that I've been advocating: a closer connection between chef and food, a closer connection between chef and restaurant and a ultimately a closer connection between consumer/neighborhood, food and chef. Bruni puts it this way:
"But even more interesting than the ingredients and their effect was the source of one of them. The hyssop came not from the Greenmarket, not from some farm upstate, but from a little plot of land just across Smith Street in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn. Adam Shepard, Taku's chef and one of its two owners, lives within walking - really, crawling - distance of the restaurant, and a few of the grace notes in his dishes are the bounty of his own backyard.
Taku is that kind of place, seemingly more common in Brooklyn than in Manhattan: a lovingly rendered, hoveringly attended, very personal expression of a chef whose physical connection to his kitchen is close in the most literal sense."