Luxury takes many forms, but at César Ramirez's eighteen-seat chef's counter — the most expensive table in Brooklyn and third-priciest in the city — the imported ingredients dictate the price tag ($255 plus tax and service fee) of the prix-fixe meal of delicate and often decadent small plates. From within a sleek, snug storefront attached to a specialty grocer, the gifted auteur orchestrates a procession of mostly Japanese seafood and trend-proof delicacies. The menu at Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare changes daily based on seasonal availability and chef's selection. Past ingredients have included various Japanese fish, white and black truffles, Miyazaki wagyu beef, and caviar. That last culinary delight appears in a domed coupe glass swirling with applewood smoke. Such flamboyances are a far cry from the $70 tastings the chef served in this space when it launched in 2009. But his overarching vision to put product first and build clean, precise flavors has remained true since the restaurant's rebellious BYOB days. It's those qualities that have brought him into the spotlight (he was once under David Bouley's shadow), reigning over an insular fine-dining temple where he can go experiment-crazy. Wine director Michele Smith and sommelier David Chapel oversee the mainly European wine list, whose crown jewels are arrayed inside a glass case embedded into the wall. While the menu changes constantly, one thing that's lasted through the 2010 renovation that upgraded the counter from twelve to eighteen seats is the chef's collection of copper pots, which hang over the dining area like an interactive chandelier.
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