BY CAROLYN ONOFREY
The General Greene is always jam packed with Fort Greene locals who happen to be locavores. Specializing in ingredients of the local persuasion, The General Greene comes complete with a local market at the back of the restaurant where, if you take your tab you can receive 10% off your purchase. The market specializing in local treats, many of which, like the homemade hummus are available not only in the store but on the menu as well. You can also pick up a vairety of imported specialities such as pasta and olive oil direct from Italy.
The restaurant space is cozy, if not a little dark, and the wait staff helpful, if not a little ditzy. We were greeted by our super cute waitress who needed to understand the menu a little better, having trouble answering some questions we had about the menu.
While I am certainly no locavore snob, I was rather surprised to find a Niman Ranch steak on the menu. My boyfriend had to have it, so we ordered that, along with a selection of three of their cheeses, a romaine salad from the specials menu, and a healthy plateful of their crispy fries.
The cheese plate came out first, featuring a goat, semi-firm cow’s milk, and blue cheese, about which our waitress couldn’t give much helpful information. The spread came complete with a fig jam, honey, and cinnamon raisin toast. I was not wowed by anything on the plate. The flavors were boring and tame. There was even a hard skin forming over the cow’s milk cheese, alluding to the fact that it may have not been freshly cut off the wheel. I began to wonder if New York really had any good foodstuffs to offer, I quickly shook off the notion when I remembered the farmers markets I frequent and all the exciting things I find every week.
The romaine salad came next. It was prepared simply with red onion, croutons, and a blue cheese vinaigrette. Although good, the salad was nothing I couldn’t have made better myself at home.
The steak and fries came out next. The marinated steak with heaps of garlic was undercooked for the medium-well we ordered and much of it too fatty to eat. I was disappointed by the quality of the food delivered at The General Greene, expecting the food to at least come out fresh and flavorful, the high quality ingredients speaking for themselves. I question the sign in the window that says “2011 Michelin Star Recommended,” wondering which dishes the Michelin reviewer tried, but not caring enough to go back and find out.