Step inside the warm glow of Fort Greene's new Colonia Verde, and the change in atmosphere is palpable. Instantly, you feel more beautiful, in that "I must be inside the chicest Argentine farmhouse imaginable" kind of way.
That's a thing, right? It is here. Maybe it's the handsome exposed wood beams overhead, or the soft tobacco-brown leather banquette, or the brick floor. Perhaps it's the suave staff, who all looks like they've stepped out of a Patagonia catalogue--if Patagonia catalogs were cool.
Proprietors Felipe and Tamy Donnelly also own cozy, loveable Cómodo in Soho. Colonia Verde is its brassier, bolder Brooklyn sister with a wood-burning oven. In the minuscule open kitchen, cooks char langoustines brushed with chimichurri ($10) to blistered, juicy perfection, topping them with a touch more vibrant sauce before serving.
The food is homey, but with a stylish, refined Latin American sensibility. Fresh pasta is tossed with a pesto made of roasted poblano peppers, pecans and Pecorino ($18). The fried chicken ($18) is soaked in buttermilk, hit with a three-chile spice mix before frying and served with spicy honey.
A side of cast iron-roasted cauliflower sprinkled with toasted Brazilian yucca flour ($8) evokes a creamy, caramelized mac 'n' cheese, sans mac. Blistered kernels of grilled Mexican-style corn top the Scotch egg ($11), a breaded, fried, layered masterpiece of hardboiled egg and sausage.
And of course, nothing makes you feel quite so fetching as a cocktail: The Lindeza, made with Cachaça, lime and frothy coconut crema, is sweet enough to have for dessert but light enough to keep you from regretting a second round. It's a gorgeous drink.
Executive editor Karen Palmer dined at Colonia Verde on March 1. We can't wait to return with a bigger group to try the lomo al trapo, one of the house specialties. To make it, a steak is covered in salt, wrapped and tied in a cloth, and grilled in the wood-fired oven. Read Tasting Table's dining policy.