On a corner of the leafy Brooklyn neighborhood Fort Greene, you’ll find an anonymous restaurant surrounded by geraniums, rosemary and lavender. Look out for the chef picking handfuls of herbs from the planters and then peek through the huge windows: inside, you’ll see mismatched tables, a sleek bar, vases of wildflowers and, most importantly, a roaring open fire.
Metta (a Buddhist term for kindness) focuses on Argentinian-inspired, wood fire-based cooking. The executive chef, Noberto Piattoni, hails from Argentina, where he spent time learning the magic of cooking over fire with the food world’s fire god, Francis Mallman.
So, as you may have guessed, the menu features a showstopper steak cooked on the wood-fired grill and served with an addictive chimichurri. But that’s not the only reason to eat here. Snacks of schmaltz potatoes and flatbread with tzatziki will keep you more than satisfied while you sip on a beautiful cocktail. Seasonal vegetables are the stars of the small plates: both the tonnato with market vegetables and the charred fairytale eggplant show off local farms’ finest produce. And then you can dive into meat and fish: all are cooked over the fire and will leave you certain that there’s really no point cooking any other way.
If you’re not yet overwhelmed by charcoal, dip into the dessert menu for the sweet potato cooked in ash. It’s fast becoming one of the coolest desserts in the city – and what other possible reason could you need to order it?
Metta, 197 Adelphi Street, Brooklyn, NY 11205.