As usual, we tried out a lot of new restaurants all over town this past summer, and, as it turns out, possibly our best meal of the season (real summer, not calendar summer) came on practically the last day of the season, on a cobblestoned street in Brooklyn, at DUMBO's Governor, which was opened in early July by the same crew behind nearby Colonie (in Brooklyn Heights), and Gran Electrica (also in DUMBO). And, no joke, this restaurant in DUMBO is cooking up some exciting, seriously good food, miraculously reasonably priced (especially considering its well-heeled zip code), served in a comfortable, pretty room.
Governor Restaurant in DUMBO, Brooklyn, Starts Off Strong
We sat at the Chef's Counter at Governor in DUMBO over Labor Day weekend, ordered four things from all over the small, appealing menu, and were rewarded with an impressive four-for-four string of big winners. These are talented chefs here at Governor, putting attention and love into well-conceived, creative dishes. We started with the Bread, Butter and Radishes, and if there's one thing that's an absolute must here, it's this. The hunk of sourdough bread is crispy on the outside, soft and unbelievably dense inside, with a depth of flavor that makes us believe that they do, in fact, as they boast, spend 36 hours on each loaf. The bread comes with a generous swath of smooth, house-churned butter, sprinkled with salt (really: the rinds of Timberdoodle cheese, apparently), and paired with crunchy, bitter radishes. We know, that's a lot of words for a $4 starter/snack, but if you like bread and/or butter, you'll know what we mean once you dig in. Extraordinary stuff.
Governor in DUMBO Executes Fresh, Simple & Savory Dishes All Around
Also extraordinary at Brooklyn's Governor in DUMBO: the Grilled Chicken Oysters, so tender and rich, plated with citrusy sweet charred cucumbers and finished with a tangy mustard sauce. It's only $7, and gives you at least that many really delicious bites. Next up: Smoked Tomato Tartare, which was great just in itself–vinegary, sweet, smoky–but when combined with crunchy/chewing croutons (there's that amazing bread again), peppery purslane and topped with an explosively flavored, remarkably fluffy mackerel mousse? Heavenly. And finally, under section "Three" of the Governor menu, and excellent pile of grilled Sweetbreads with broccoli, cauliflower, bits of chewy Benton's ham, and smothered with a kind of whipped, light hollandaise. Maybe a bit too much of the hollandaise? Maybe a bit too acidic? Maybe… but we're grasping at flaws at this point. Governor right now is a first-rate restaurant, we left happy and satisfied, and can't wait for an excuse to go back. And next time we're saving room for that Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache with Maple and Buckwheat Ice Cream on this DUMBO restaurant’s dessert menu.
Getting to Governor Restaurant in DUMBO, Brooklyn
Brooklyn's Governor restaurant is located on Main Street in DUMBO, between Water and Plymouth Streets, right near everything else you'd want to do in this part of town, including the galleries, Jane's Carousel, St Ann's Warehouse, and the great Brooklyn Bridge Park. Governor is open for Monday through Saturday from 6:00 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Closed Sunday. For more information and a look at a sample Governor's menu, please see the restaurant's website, here.