If this weather is leaving you longing for warmer days or perhaps a tropical vacation, save the airfare and head over to Battery Harris (64 Frost St) where you can enjoy a spicy meal and exotic cocktails that will shake off those winter shivers.
We were invited for a taste and chat with Head Chef Zachary Frankel who shared some recipes and told us why spice is perfect during the cold months.
Spicy food is really satisfying in the winter because it warms you up from the inside. Spice makes your metabolism fire. I also think having island treats reminds people of the summer to come.
Sitting in the bright, cozy (and heated) garden made me forget about the freezing temperatures outside, as did the fresh flavors about to hit my tongue.
I got toasty with their signature hot cocktail called Chicha Morada, a peruvian purple corn drink made by stewing down purple corn, apples, pineapple, spices and mixing with lime sugar. It reminded me of a refined and deeply flavored tropical mulled wine.
Battery Harris’ jerk recipe is proudly displayed with proportions that could feed a small army. 15lbs of Scallions! 5lbs of garlic!
Zach broke down the Jerk Sauce into home kitchen proportions:
1 Tablespoon Ginger (minced)
6 Cloves Garlic
1 Large Onion (diced)
1 Cup Soy Sauce
1 Cup Lime Juice
1 Cup Orange Juice
2 Tablespoons Jerk Dust (secret recipe – but they sell jerk dust blends at lots of supermarkets)
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Bay Leaves
1 Cup Habanero Peppers
Put everything in a blender and let it run until smooth. Season to taste with salt, lime or hot peppers.
Battery Harris’ jerk menu was inspired by frequent trips to Flatbush, where the owners of Battery Harris would have business meetings over jerk chicken and braised oxtail and decided to bring jerk to North Brooklyn.
Jerk Chicken, where have you been all my life? I love chicken skin and the skin on this jerk chicken was perfectly grilled and seasoned with a nice hint of sweet and the perfect amount of spice. It was satisfyingly crisp on the outside and warm and juicy on the inside, topped with fresh scallions and served with a side of sweet plantains.
If you’re a lover of fresh sauces Battery Harris has a lot of options. Nothing screams summer more than the flavors of cilantro! Zach said, the “Shado-Beni Sauce is our signature green sauce made with Culantro (a relative of cilantro native to the west indies), Jalapeno and Scallion. It’s a bit spicy, a bit sweet and a lot delicious.” I agree.
Do you find that during the winter you eat less wholesome raw foods? Stop that! Try Battery Harris’ aptly named Permanent Summer Salad, made with shredded green papaya, mango, jicama, cucumber, jalapeno, peanuts, mint, cilantro – all getting happy in their Summer Dressing made with fish sauce, lime, sugar. It was just the kind of refreshing I needed – light with a texture combo of smooth and cool along with crunchy and savory.
And I know it’s just a side, but their Coconut Rice was divine and I need to make it at home. Zach shared the recipe:
Sweat down ginger, shallots and garlic until soft and translucent – add rice and let it toast for a minute or two. Add equal parts coconut milk and water – cover and cook for 25 minutes – fluff the rice and top with scallions and toasted peanuts.
You know I can’t get out of dinner without one more cocktail, so I tried the Ocho Rios, a simple and easy to make cocktail, and even an even easier cocktail to drink. I found myself daydreaming back to those post-Rockaway Beach afternoons, the warm sun still pinking my cheeks – with the help of a colorful fruity tequila drink, of course. Summer – where are you?
I.5 oz tequila
0.5 oz aperol
1 oz honey syrup
Splash of Soda
Pour over ice in cayenne rimmed salt glass
Garnish with chopped cilantro
With a cocktail like this, it’s easy to pretend it’s not December.
I asked Zach to recommend some other menu items to try, because I will be coming back.
I would suggest the Braised Oxtail with Butter Bean Mash – perfect for a cold winter night. Or the Coconut Curry Mussels, just the fragrant steam coming from the mussels is worth the trip.
And wait – there are more deals and fun times!
Battery Harris does Happy Hour from 4-7pm Monday through Friday with $3 Draft beers and $4 Well Drinks. Plus there is a $10 Burger + Beer Special during happy hour.
Battery Harris has a sweet pool table and DJs spin on Friday and Saturday nights.
On the weekends, Battery Harris serves a Bottomless Brunch – $25 bucks All You Can Drink Mimosa and Bloody Marys!
For the New Year Zach said we could expect “great deals, wacky promotions and great new food and drinks!”
Why wait? Take a trip to Battery Harris and get into that island vibe before the summer rolls through.
Sponsored post courtesy of Battery Harris.