Above: Five Leaves interior, 8 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY
A dim street corner at 18 Bedford Ave boasts the new concept restaurant of the late Heath Ledger, Five Leaves. Tucked just enough out of the way from the Williamsburg beaten path but still easily reached by the knowledgeable patron, this grub spot buzzes with potential. The incredibly small corner space has been magically transformed into a cozy nook equipped with rustic tables, a full bar and a surveyable kitchen.
The menu provides an impressively wide range of options for both vegetarian and carnivorous customers from "dates on horseback"(when was the last time you saw that?!), to a 1/2 dozen oysters, to beetroot ravioli. I chose to sample the soup of the day, a black bean soup, along with a side of the roasted brussel sprouts. My companion tried what I had eyed as my second choice, the seasonal ravioli dish. Drinks came quickly, but our food took quite a while considering that we were there after the dinner rush. My soup was very straight forward which made me glad to see it accompanied by a cilantro guacamole dollop, otherwise, it would have been very lack luster. The brussel sprouts were cooked nicely and the portion was appropriate, however, the accompanying "sweet & spicy pecans" that were mixed in came whole which overpowered each bite. Had the pecans been chopped up the two flavors would have melded better. My friend's ravioli dish seemed to suffer from this "lack of thought" symptom as well - the capers in the dish were very overpowering to the light flavors of the sauce. The sauce also seemed to be rather sweet for an entree.
The dishes on the menu here have such potential but the follow through is lacking. The restaurant was Heath's concept that he was never able to bring to fruition due to his untimely death, this left all of the lingering details to the new owners. That transition may be where the problem lies, I would give Five Leaves a year to iron out the wrinkles.
(Greenpoint, 18 Bedford Ave Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY 11222, (646) 510-6467)