In a recent issue of Esquire, writer Josh Ozersky lamented that "no one is actually cooking" anymore, that food is "composed," not cooked. You have experienced this before, right? Whether it was a beautiful piece of raw hamachi, an architectural tower of simply prepared vegetables, or a naked crown of broccoli, a chef took the notion of "let the food speak for itself" too literally, as though it were nothing more than structural engineering, knife skills, and procurement.

The Brooklyn Cafe is the perfect counterpoint to Ozersky's assertion. No one in the kitchen is composing your plate with tweezers. It is food that's cooked, food that's prepared with techniques and skills developed over time, perfected with repetition and an unrelenting unwillingness to cave to the pressures of hipness.

In fact, the allure of The Brooklyn Cafe is that it offers a transformative experience based on attention to detail, culinary fundamentals, and a genuine desire to please. I can argue that many chefs can deftly sear a piece of A5 Wagyu but would be deep in the weeds executing any one of the five mother sauces, all of which Antonelli seemingly can make in his sleep.

The Brooklyn Cafe: Old-school charms meets great flavors and impeccable preparation.
Jackie Mercandetti
The Brooklyn Cafe: Old-school charms meets great flavors and impeccable preparation.

Location Info


The Brooklyn Cafe

8340 E. McDonald Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: North Scottsdale


The Brooklyn Cafe
8340 East McDonald Drive, Scottsdale

Hours: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

Escargot: $12
Oysters Rockefeller: $15
Aunt Rose's Brooklyn Sunday Dinner: $17
Beef bourguignon: $24

Still, other than a slight change in décor and cute subway-inspired signage, I'm not sure what's "Brooklyn" about The Brooklyn Cafe. But that's neither here nor there. The name is meaningless, but the experience makes you wonder whether the evolution of fine dining over the past 20 years actually has made food any better. The Brooklyn Cafe will make you think twice.

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My Voice Nation Help

I've been a huge fan of this place since I discovered it about 7 years ago.  This is as honest as food gets.  No fancy, trendy, or kitschy stuff to be found here.  Only solid preparation and perfect execution of both the food and service.