On a random Friday night a few weeks ago, my friend Iwa and I decided to go on an adventure. After a few cocktails (specifically Moscow Mules) at Dutch Kills in Astoria (that's in Queens for those who are geographically challenged), we thought it would be a fantastic idea to catch a cab and hike over to Williamsburg (in BROOKLYN!) for dinner. And, to my surprise, it turned out to be quite a fantastic idea.

Yeah, we're a little bananas, but the food at Gwynnett St. on Graham Ave. was pure bliss.
The space itself is visually stunning. The wall mural, located in the back of the restaurant, is of the calmest blue. I felt like I was swimming in a glorious fishbowl thanks to the oceanic colors.

Originally, we were only going to get one appetizer, but our ravenous stomachs won out. If pound cake and cornbread got together and had a baby, it would be this Whiskey Bread with Cultured Butter. Moist yet textured with just a hint of sweetness, the butter almost wasn't necessary—almost.

Iwa had her eye on the Maitake Mushroom, and I am so glad she did. The mushroom came topped with creamy onion, rosemary and lardo. The dish was so succulent and meaty, if you closed your eyes you would have sworn you were eating a steak. My only qualm is that we devoured the small portion so quickly.

Photographs by Jake Romoser
When I came across a Blackboard Eats deal for free guacamole and a bottle of wine with the purchase of two entrees (or two appetizers per person) at Matilda, there was no way I was passing it up. Date nights with Jake have just been us cooking at home lately, so I thought it would be fun to try some place new and go see a show afterward.

Matilda, located on East 11th Street, has both an eclectic menu and decor. Bright pops of pink and lime green are offset by exposed brick walls and modern white tables (so modern the dessert menu is actually part of the table).

Our bottle of red and Guacamole Alla Toscana arrived right away. I'm pretty picky about my guac—not too chunky, with just a kick of spice—and Matilda's version was spot on. Flecks of red pepper and basil kept the dip from being too bland. I would have preferred more chips, but the focaccia wasn't bad albeit slightly soggy.


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