A Belated Birthday, and a Fare-Thee-Well at Convivium Osteria

Not that we ever need much of a reason, but tonight the Sofrito Girls (and Boy!) got together to celebrate Loni’s belated birthday, and Esmeralda’s impending trip up North to immerse herself in her writing for the summer. Violette suggested Convivium Osteria, a darling little restaurant on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, that has been there for a couple of years , but it seemed like I could never quite make it over there. I can assure you that that will no longer be the case.

I ordered appetizers for the table, one plate better than the other. A delicate Artichoke a la Romana was tender and sweet, drizzled with a heady extra virgen olive oil that spoke of the promise of Spring. A dozen raw oysters, briny and sparkling with mineral notes was presented with a splash of fresh lemon juice and fresh ground pepper. Celestial!

Fat, plump sardines, grilled to perfectio with a crispy skin and delicate, moist flesh was next to our table, accompanied by a cheese and meat board that had the most incredible piece of Manchego cheese I have eve tasted, and a deliciously salty Serrano ham. Add to that, a gorgeous “tapas” platter, with Shrimp Ajillo, white anchovies, croquettes, empanadas, and an onion tomato relish which was delightful on top of the oysters, and we were well on our way to a most memorable meal.

Do we dare go for the gold? Ohhhh, we definately dare!! Bring on the Grilled Quail with Figs in a Port Reduction and the Grilled Octopus with Corona Beans. You can bet we were having some fun now!

Entrees did not fail to excite us further. Perfectly seared Red snapper on a bed of warm tomatoes and caramelized onion was perfectly balances and seasoned, while the Apple and Cinnamon Ravioli sounded more like a dessert course, but were light and delicious.

Feather light Spinach Gnocchi were worth going back to the restaurant for, and the rosemary perfumed Braised Rabbit over Polenta raised the term “comfort food” to totally new heights.

The coup de grace, however, went to Loni and Paul, who shared a Rib Eye Steak that could have easily fed a family of four. Accompanied by a lovely salad of Baby Arugula and crispy cubed fried potatoes, it was cooked to perfection, juicy and tender, and again, seasoned perfectly.

When every single thing out of the kitchen is a homerun, there is no way we are going to leave without tasting something sweet, so we ordered the three desserts that are available” Flourless Chocolate Cake (moist and light), Panna Cotta with Blueberry Compote (decadent), and Creme Brulee, which Loni said is among the best she has ever tasted. Not too shabby at all!

With an experience like this, you can be sure that it will not be long before we retrace our steps to Osteria Convivium. I would urge you to do the same.

Convivium Osteria
68 Fifth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

718 857 1833


6 Responses to “A Belated Birthday, and a Fare-Thee-Well at Convivium Osteria”

  1. 1 Esmeralda March 11, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    The restaurant is beautiful inside, with shimmering copper pots on the walls, soft lighting, colorful crockery and – on Saturday night – cante flamenco playing over the speakers, inviting some of us to clap and shout Olé. The wait staff was attentive, the bathrooms clean, and there was a point during the evening when the bar was populated by a gaggle of handsome men with no accompanying women. Where did they go after they had a drink? To the downstairs wine bar, of course!

  2. 2 daisy March 11, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Yeah, this place is definately a keeper…we’re going to have to do a repeat visit!

  3. 3 Richard March 12, 2007 at 3:30 am

    I want that Creme Brulee!


  4. 4 daisy March 12, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    can’t say I blame you!!

  5. 5 violette March 27, 2007 at 10:32 am

    OMG….This place was great! I loved everything about it. The food was delicious!! The decor was amazing as well. I went downstairs to take a peek and i was pleasantly surprised with the wine cellar and they have an out door garden. What more can i say…..devino! Who did the design??

    Violette from Bay Ridge

  6. 6 daisy March 27, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Dear Violette from Bay Ridge,
    How freakin’ cute are you? Yes, the design was adorable, and the food was certainly delicious, but nothing was more gratifying than your company that night. The only thing that was missing was Kate…good reason to go back!

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