Carroll Gardens / Cobble Hill for old people
- Brendan Taylor
Here is a stumper...
My father, grandmother, great-aunt, and great-aunt's boyfriend are visiting me in Brooklyn this Saturday and I have no idea where to take them for dinner. The oldest in the group is about 140 and I'm the only one in the group who doesn't have trouble hearing, so anything even remotely hip would be a disaster for everyone involved.
If it were Manhattan, I'd probably take them to Carmine's.. Maybe Nino's or Marco Polo?? I fear that these aren't very good, but might just do the trick. Any comments about these places or any other suggestions near Carroll Gardens / Cobble Hill?
What about Gage and Tollner on Fulton Street? Its relatively peaceful and sedate - took my Grandmother there a few years back when she was a youthful 103 or so - she and my parents - a bit younger liked it fine. Refined southern fare and seafood.
ps - I havent been there since the Marco Polo people bought it, but I understand they haven't changed much.
re: jen kalb
I think Gage and Tollner is a fine idea. I was there about a year ago and while the food was uneven, the room really is spectacular.
I would also recommend Queen, on Court Street around Schermerhorn (sp?). It's an old-fashioned Italian restaurant not so disimilar from Marco Polo, etc, but the food is generally very good, especially if you order off the specials menu--as do most frequent diners. Unreconstructed though it is, it's probably the best Italian in the neighborhood.
Queen or Marco Polo are definately the best for Italian. Of course if you're feeling really ambitious the best Italian meal in the neighborhood would be to buy some of the frozen pasta at Caputo's at Court and 4 Pl (the artichoke gnocchi are better than sex) some pastry from Mona Lisa, at Court & President (if they've got the almond cake you'll inherit everything!) and a bunch of Antipasto from the pork store next to Marco Polo, can't remember the name but everythings a winner. Pretend you made it all and they'll think your Marcella Hazan!
They have trouble hearing and you would take them to Carmine's?? I also think Cucina would be fine as would Gage and Tollner. I suppose food choice might be important as you make your decision. You also can go to Saul, on Smith Street, which is quite nice. Good for your great-aunt that she has a boyfriend.
I found Cucina rather noisy and crowded - given its price range - on our one visit. There's nothing that will ruin a meal for hearing-impaired folks more than a noisy, confusing room where you cant hear your companions' conversion. Wherever you go, try to go outside of peak dining hours and sit away from the other diners, if possible.
Gage and Tollner is not that expensive for what it is - at least in the past there were fixed price multi-course meals offering their specials (ex. the she-crab soup) and good desserts, like pecan pie and blackberry cobbler (these were the Edna Lewis recipes, which I THINK they are still using)
Marco Polo and Gage and Tollner are both fairly expensive, no? There is another old-style Italian restaurant on Court Street, perhaps couple of a blocks down (towards Red Hook) from Marco Polo. I can't remember the name, though (moved out of the neighborhood a year and half ago)! It's on the west side of the street. It looks cozy, moderate, and appropriate for seniors. I just can't remember the name. I keep thinking Mama Rosa but that's probably not it.
But Queen is a good option too. I ate there once and felt tremendously sick after, but it was only because I ate something like pasta with shrimp in butter and cream sauce.
Also, although it is Not Good, there's always the Red Rose.
It is not in CG/CH but I would suggest Noodle Pudding, in the heights, at Henry and pineapple(?) They have some tables that can accomodate larger groups and are sort of away from the noisier elements, bar, etc.
Call about reservations and expalin you would like one of the back tables...
the food - I think is great, it is northern-ish italian, I guess?
you can get an osso buscco, the lasagne is amazing and they alwyas have good fish and do their fish well.
the pastas are homemade or at least taste that way - they are not only handled well, served aldente, etc but actually have depth.
Smith has a bunch of places, rustic might be good for this crowd, though last time I was there had the big party/kid issue which made it noisier than expected, menu is a little hip
finally - Brooklyn Grill can't say enough great things about this place, and it is a very quiet place.
I second the Noodle Pudding suggestion with one caveat: it can be noisy in the back; see if you can reserve a table in the front. Another conditional suggestion: I would consider taking my hard-of-hearing mother to the small, quiet and tasty Rose Water On Union St., if it's not too far (and if they would take reservations - I forget).