Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Across from BAM

Thomas Beisel
25 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Directly across the street from the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) sits Thomas Beisel, a Viennese bistro that features hearty Austrian food. We're talking big hunks of stewed beef, pork cheeks, and cod schnitzel.

Polenta Gratín with fontina cheese, mushroom ragout, roasted peppers, and curried coconut lentils

Beef Gulyash with tender braised beef cheeks and spätzle


When we first walked into the restaurant, our server was sitting at an outdoor table adjacent to the eatery's front door. She was staring listlessly across the street at the BAM Theater. Her thoughts had carried her thousands of miles away from this tiny Brooklyn restaurant.

As we passed, she glanced up in our direction -- the spell was broken -- and followed us inside.

Inside, the air was suffocatingly humid. We asked to sit out in the gated back patio. Apparently, the other patrons had the same idea. Everyone wanted to find refuge from the heat that warm August afternoon.

As our server set our glasses on the table, I noticed her strong, sinewy, yet delicate hands. They were thin but still quite muscular. As she took our drink orders, we noticed that she had a graceful, almost ballerina-like way about her.

Immediately, I started fantasizing about her life. I bet she was once an aspiring performer. With hands like that, she's most likely a concert violinist or a cellist. Maybe she was staring longingly at the theater dreaming about the day that she'd grace that stage.

For some reason, I felt very connected to her. Her dreamy, distant look reminded me of my own feelings towards life right now. Although, she physically works here at this Brooklyn restaurant, you can see in her eyes that one day it will be different. One day, she'll be a star. I can only hope for the same for myself.

With the cool breeze wafting in from the street, we sipped on sparkling Viennese wine and ranted about our dreams for the future. All-in-all a truly perfect lazy Saturday afternoon meal.

For images of the restaurant's interior, check out: New York Magazine's slide show

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