As those of you who read this blog with any regularity know, my cousins Kate and Zach own Bien Cuit, the French bakery on Smith Street, in Brooklyn. So, you can imagine how elated I felt when I looked at Fork in the Road’s 100 Best of 2011 List and found Bien Cuit on it. (Note: Fork in the Road is the food blog of New York’s Village Voice.) Actually, the bakery made the list in two categories: 100 Dishes to Eat Now and Best of 2011 Eats & Treats: Dessert Edition.
Zach makes some of the best bread in the city. And, according to Fork in the Road, a great way to enjoy the bread at the bakery is by having the Zucchini Sandwich, which is praised as follows in the list of 100 Dishes to Eat Now:
One of our favorite ways to enjoy Bien Cuit’s wonderful bread is on its zucchini sandwich, which is more formally known as the Athens.
The sandwich may not look like much: it’s just a few slender lengths of roasted zucchini, some scattered black olives, and smears of roast garlic spread. But these three components create a far more gorgeous melody than the cacophony emitted by many of its contemporaries, with their discordant multitude of condiments and animal proteins.
Bien Cuit has the good sense to leave well enough alone, to rely instead on proper seasoning and balanced flavors. The salty black olives and sharp, sweet funk of the garlic both amplify and complement the mellow charms of the zucchini. As for the bread, it’s a superb foundation for what we’re tempted to think of as one of the best sandwiches, vegan or otherwise, to be found in Brooklyn.
Zach’s superb skills also extend to his pastries. Thus, in the Eats & Treats: Dessert Edition, Bien Cuit gets the nod in the sub-division, Best Daily Serving of Fruit.
Since opening its doors in July, Bien Cuit has earned deserved acclaim for its fantastic breads. But its fruit tarts have also inspired devotion. Aesthetically, they walk a fine line between French-style OCD perfection and rustic nonchalance. The ripe, barely adulterated fruit demands to be admired and then wolfed down, as does the crisp, buttery crust. Like all great beauties, these tarts are equal parts style and substance.
Mega-Congrats, Zach and Kate! It’s thrilling for all of us in the family to see you receiving this very well-deserved recognition.
120 Smith Street
Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, NY 11211