Finding a Michelin-Starred Meal in Bushwick: The Blanca Story

If you haven’t heard of Blanca by now, it’s time to lift up that rock you call home and smell what Brooklyn’s been cooking. Opened by the owners of its big sister restaurant Roberta’s, a seat at Blanca has become one of the most coveted in NYC. Awarded its Michelin star a mere six months after opening and named one of America’s Best New Restaurants of 2012 by Bon Appétit, it’s no wonder this little Bushwick kitchen has a monumental reputation.

Walk through Roberta’s, out into the tiki bar and garden and you will find her. Twelve high stools wrap around the counter that looks into Blanca’s open kitchen where chef Carlo Mirarchi and his team are preparing 26 innovative and delicious courses. My dining comrade and I settled in, three bottles of wine and a bottle of Harvest Spirits Hudson Valley Grappa in tow (the restaurant was having some liquor license issues, so we happily BYOBed) as the easygoing staff put records on the turntable. What followed was three hours of superior dining.

The meal started with a few savory, one-bite delicacies like caviar, sea urchin, veal sweetbreads and an incredible fish crudo plate. Homemade tofu with purple cauliflower and tuna flake was a favorite, followed by some of the best, most perfectly al dente pastas we’d ever had – fusilli with geoduck and shitake mushrooms, pine nut ravioli with truffles and the delightfully spicy Calabrian sausage ravioli. Each dish was beautifully presented, allowing the eye to explore each ingredient we were smelling and tasting. Palette cleansers like ginger gelato with celeriac jelly were as tasty as they were refreshing in between incredibly flavorful meat dishes like lamb with mint jelly and peanut and beef with persimmon and puntarelle. We opened our grappa to finish the meal with desserts like sake pound cake with treviso gelato and whimsical hempseed marshmallows.

To say the meal was incredible is an understatement. One month of waiting and $180 per person later, we would go back every season to taste the inventive and mouthwatering dishes Chef Mirarchi has up his sleeve. The fastest way to the heart is through the stomach, and Blanca is just one more reason for Brooklynites to love their borough.

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