“Neighbor is about the experience with people, a conversation with someone you've never met, learning something interesting from someone unexpected.”
Emily and Archie Coates live in an old tea factory tucked under the Williamsburg Bridge, where they run a part-time restaurant called Neighbor. Every fourth Saturday of the month, they open up their home to friends, family, and strangers for a great meal and even better conversation.
Meals grow from favorite dishes that are curated into four courses, sometimes themed. Though sometimes dishes are sparked by recipes, they many times come naturally from conversation, experiment, and seasonal availability.
More than anything, the Coates’ say that Neighbor is about the experience with people, a conversation with someone you’ve never met, learning something interesting from someone unexpected. Good food and good company brings people together, and even after thousands and thousands of dirty dishes, Neighbor continues to do just that.
Read more about Neighbor in the upcoming Human Being Journal. Until then, try something that Emily and Archie make in their house:
1 pound small new potatoes (or fingerlings, if you prefer)
1 container heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
3-4 ears of sweet corn, shucked
1/2 cup chiffonaded basil
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons yellow mustard
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Pre-heat over to 400 degrees. Cut potatoes in quarters or small chunks. Toss in about 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Put out on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 40-50 minutes, flipping the potatoes a few times during baking. They should be crispy and golden. (If they need to be baked for a little longer to achieve this, go for it.) Let cool.
2. Meanwhile, start your grill up. Rub the corn with a little bit of olive oil and salt. Grill for 3 minutes (keep the grill cover closed!), flip, and grill for 3 minutes more. You’re simply looking for a nice char. Once the corn has cooled, cut from the cob into a large bowl.
3. In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon oil oil, garlic, mayonnaise, lemon juice and mustard. Mix together and let sit for at least a few minutes to let the flavors meld.
4. Right before you’re ready to serve, add potatoes, halved tomatoes, and chiffonaded basil to the corn in the large bowl. Pour in dressing and mix together. Can be served room temperature, or cold.
You could add any number of herbs/greens to this dish depending on what contested you’re serving it in. It’s a hit served as a room temperate side dish at potluck cook outs, where you can really play with additional ingredients. We served it at Neighbor as a base for a braised and pan fried chicken leg, so we kept it simple.
It’s also fun to play with colors. We used purple potatoes and creamy red tomatoes for bright pops of color against the green basil, but you could use regular brown potatoes as a base for the beautiful multi-colored tomatoes (yellow, purple, green) that late summer has to offer.
- Roast the potatoes with some thyme sprigs and garlic, omit the basil, and go lighter on the dressing.
- Add in a handful or two of chiffonaded swiss chard for a more substantial salad.
- Add some depth of flavor to the dressing by confiting garlic in olive oil ahead of time, and using the garlic infused oil in place of the olive oil and minced garlic. (Use the confited garlic for a yummy pasta dish later!)