Le Paddock is a French Bistro and Tapas Wine Bar near the South end of Prospect Park. It's run by Sylvie Bertrand and Gregory Tetaud, who recognized the need in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood for a place that locals could go to to taste superior wine picks, and chow down on classic French Bistro food.
Roasted Whole Garlic, with Flat Bread, Devilled Eggs, and Beef Bourguignon are the highlights. (The later being a traditional family recipe that came from Greg's mom). The Wood-Burning Brick Oven keeps the place warm, ochre-lit and cosy and churns out all the french-style pizzas (the dough is crispy here, not chewy, like an Italian dough), that make up the Brick Oven Pizza Menu. My favorite is the Forrestiere, which is Wild Mushrooms, Pancetta, and Truffle Oil. My other favorite is the Harvest Pizza, that has Butternut Squash, Feta, shredded Brussels Sprouts, and Chili flakes on a home-made Fromage Blanc base. Both are divine. And while I'm yet to make my way down the entire Main Courses menu, locals swear by the Lamb Burger and love the French Onion Soup.
Sylvie and Greg's philosophy is to use less ingredients and dot them throughout the menu. The brussels sprouts for instance, make an appearance on the Small Bites list, in the form of Flash-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Hot Long Peppers and Lemon Aioli as well as on the Harvest Pizza. (Mentioned and photographed above).
The Le Paddock name (easy to understand in French as well as English) is a nod to the nearby stable of horses, that trot continuously around the South Lake Drive of Prospect Park. The restaurant has lots of charming but understated pony-and-rider type paraphernalia, with a giant ceramic horses head right above the bar. By train, bus or car, (the restaurant is right opposite the Ft Hamilton Parkway subway stop) locals flock to this place for a quiet drink on the way home or to hunker down for a night of comforting French dishes, delicious wines and friendly local banter.
LE PADDOCK is located in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn at 1235 Prospect Avenue at the corner of Reeve Place right off the Fort Hamilton stop on the F/G trains. Click here to go to their website.
(Pics © Dimity Jones)