We'd say don't mess with something as perfectly simple as the garlic knot, but then again the pretzel croissant is mind-blowing, so sometimes the classics benefit from some tinkering. At Gristmill, which opened in Park Slope this week, the pizzeria staples get tossed in "everything" seasonings, black pepper and herb varieties. The knots are made from two different types of flour, too: a spelt variety from Four Star Farms and a high extraction from Farmer Brown. Leftover pizza dough this is not.
In a time when fitness heads speak breathlessly about the value of a paleo lifestyle, chef Jake Novick-Finder's running in the opposite direction, embracing the grains that have been so unfairly vilified. Grains are front and center in house-made pastas and pizza doughs lovingly crafted from a starter named Daisy that began her life in Boston before defecting to Brooklyn. The restaurant's going to source the bulk of its produce, grain and meats from local purveyors, including from Novick-Finder's mom's farm in Rhinebeck. D'aww.
Sample the fruits of her and her son's labors in dishes like a steak tartare ($17) served on wheat toast with Prairie Breeze cheddar and mustard; kale salad ($14) with creme fraiche and egg yolk; and a summer squash soup ($12) with radish greens and basil. Pizzas are topped with things like mushroom, mozzarella and lemon thyme ($19) and fennel, bacon, dandelion, bleu cheese and balsamic ($17).
Ice cream's the theme for dessert, whether it's the a la mode component to a slice of pie (flavors change daily, $6 or $10 with ice cream) or served two scoops to a bowl ($7). Flavors include lemon thyme, strawberry, coffee and a fennel olive oil, which can be decorated with toppings like pie crust, sprinkles or a "magic shell" of either dark chocolate or caramelized white chocolate in a sundae ($10).
289 5th Avenue, (718) 499-2424; gristmillbk.com