Eating Near BAM
- leemichele Oct 17, 2001 03:20 PM
What are the best restaurants within a few blocks of Brooklyn Academy of Music
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In addition to the others you will find, Osteria Convivium, Bistro St. Marks and El Viejo Yayo, which have been discussed on these boards, are also within a brisk 10 min walk of BAM.
I'm surprised by all the praise the Cambodian place has gotten on this thread. I wish it were good, because it's cheap and just blocks from the BAM. But the couple of times i've been there its been mediocre--too sweet, too bland, not very fresh.
There are some Fort Greene restaurants worth looking into, if you're willing to enter a higher price range and walk a bit. A Table, several blocks up the street from the BAM but a pretty walk, used to serve pretty good straight-ahead French bistro fare. I haven't been in several months, however. Things have really improved at Cafe Lafayette, which specializes in French-North African. The place has always been charming, but until recently quality was a bit erratic. They have a new chef, I'm told, and my last meal there, a lamb tagine, was good. Then there's Chez Oscar, the quintessential hip Forte Greene eatery. Leave plenty of time as service is sometimes a joke, but the simple French stuff is good, and the wine list has some bargains. These places all look great and give you that feeling, so rare these days in NY, that you're in a truly hip neighborhood with beautiful people from all over. They're within 15 minutes walking of BAM, through a handsome stretch of Fort Greene.
How close are Zaytoons and Brawta to BAM? I frankly don't know, as I've walked to both from Metrotech, not BAM. Both recommended, Zaytoons unreservedly, and Brawta as good, maybe very good, but not great IMO. (I ate at Brawta today for the 2nd time in as many weeks. Curry chicken was tasty but a bit salty; last week's jerk shrimp was merely very good. It's basically a solidly good Jamaican place. Zaytoons serves food that can be an ecstatic taste experience for me.)
Zaytoons actually isn't that close to BAM; you're about three stops away from BAM on the G line. (It's in Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens on Smith or Court Street). Brawta is good somewhat-upscale Jamaican, but it's a bit of a hike from BAM - you have to some long blocks down Atlantic Avenue till you get to Hoyt.
I would second the recommendation of "Southeast Asia Cuisine", the Cambodian restaurant just down the street, as well as Keur N'Dye, a Senegalese restaurant on Fulton Street just east of BAM and around the corner from the Cambodian place, for tasty couscous and yassa dishes and dynamite ginger beer/sorrel punch.
My favorite restaurant in that area, though, is Madiba, NYC's only South African restaurant to my knowledge, on Dekalb and, I believe, Carlton (one of those blocks), which is a little bit of a further walk from BAM. "Bunny chow", a tasty chicken- or vegetarian mix of bananas, veggies, curry, and probably other stuff in a big hollowed-out loaf of bread, is great, as well as the Dutch-style sausages, the meat loaf with spicy sauce, and other creative dishes.
Also BAMcafe, in BAM: a lovely space with OK food, and no travel time to get to your show or movie.