When we check out new restaurants, my wife Jun and I rarely order the same dish twice, mostly because we want to try as many different dishes as possible before coming up with my KenScale (and for Jun her own score). On a recent early Sunday dinner, though, Jun did the unthinkable. After making a quick work of one of the two glazed lamb ribs served at Cherry Point in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, she proceeded to order another set. The ribs were priced at $18 per two, with $9 per additional piece. I asked her if she was thinking of sharing the third one with me; she quickly shook her head and said she wants one full rib all by herself. Knowing that my wife loves good ribs in general, I didn’t object and ordered another rib for myself. Based on the ribs, alone, is Cherry Point a great restaurant? Definitely, but then a single dish doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of the restaurant. In a way, the experience at Cherry Point was a bit of a mixed bag.
Let’s talk about the ribs again for a second. You don’t often see rib dishes made of lamb, presumably because of the difficulty with controlling the texture of this gamey meat. The kitchen behind Cherry Point more or less perfected the art of lamb cooking, and the glazed outside really did a wonderful magic, giving a beautiful contrast between the crust and the meat inside. The seasoning was also superbly balanced with yogurt and shallot without overpowering the texture of the lamb. No wonder Jun, astonished, quickly remarked that the lamb ribs at Cherry Point were some of the very best she had had in her lifetime. Cherry Point, with its British leaning menu, serves many dishes around meat. In addition to the lamb ribs, the beef tartare and bottarga on a toast was also solid with nice balance in flavor. The other meat dish we ordered, however, turned out to be quite a disappointment. I understand Jun, always partial to duck meat (especially the breast), sets a pretty high standard when it comes to the poultry, but she was very puzzled after taking the first bite of the duck breast that came with bruleed pear and celeriac. The meat’s texture was simply off although its color looked enticing. It wasn’t clear what the kitchen exactly did, but either the meat seemed to be of poor quality or the right temperature wasn’t applied. In any event, Jun declared the duck breast at Cherry Point one of the three worst she had had in her lifetime. The underwhelming duck breast certainly wasn’t helped by the side dish of grilled asparagus with capers and basil which could’ve worked very well with the duck meat with its crunchy feel.
Getting a reservation at Cherry Point online wasn’t too challenging and the dining room was around half full in the course of our meal. We both really liked the casual neighborhood vibe of the restaurant which seems to be filled mostly with local Brooklynites; if the consistency of the food was there, I could have even considered Cherry Point in the gem category. There is full bar with some potent cocktail offerings that will help complement the food. In retrospect, as we were taking a walk from the restaurant to Williamsburg afterwards, I kept wondering if our dining experience would have completely changed had we ordered something other than the duck breast. If the duck were only half as decent, Cherry Point would have been comfortably within the solid 8.0 or more category in KenScale. It’s a bit sad that we jumped from one of the best ribs my wife had ever had to one of the worst duck breast dishes she had ever had. I would certainly love to come back just for the ribs, though.
KenScale: 7.75/10 (Jun’s Score: 7.75/10)
- Creativity: 8.0/10
- Execution: 7.5/10
- Ingredients: 8.0/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 7.5/10
- Value: 7.5/10
Address: 664 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Telephone: (718) 389-3828