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Danny Brown "DB" Wine Bar in Forest Hills

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  • DaveS Sep 26, 2006 03:30 PM
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Any new information on this new place on Metropolitan? Saw one thread a while back but have heard nothing since. Was thinking of going tonight and wanted to see if anyone has any insight, good or bad.

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  1. Ok. I'll answer my own question. Went last night. It looks quite promising. Not all the dishes were executed perfectly. Some of my mushroom risotto was just on the undercooked side of al dente and had a bit too much liquid. The flavors were quite good though. My appetizer of serrano ham croquettes was pretty good, this was a little too gooey inside and slightly less than hot, maybe it was sitting for a few minutes. I tasted the grilled calamari appetizer, which was just right. Well seasoned and properly cooked. The polenta starter wasn't bad either, though I only had a tiny bite. And the fish that I had a bite of, forgot what it was, maybe sea bass, was perfectly cooked.

    The service was pretty good. The wine list was ok, not really spectacular. And they should have proper stem ware given that they call themselves a wine bar. We had a 2003 Chateau de Pez, fairly priced at $52. It was decanted for us, which probably wasn't necessary, but was a nice touch.

    If this were Manhattan, the decor would be nice but generic, in Forest Hills it definitely stands out as the best looking restaurant.

    All in all, a promising addition to the decidedly unambitious dining scene of Forest Hills. I will definitely return.

    1. Anyone have the address of this place? I would like to check it out tonight. I googled it, and a mention on about.com came up, with the address as 107-23 Metropolitan. But then I found the Web site for Dee's pizza, which said that their address is 107-23 (and Dee's site is current, because it had a vacation schedule for September 2006). So I'm a little confused . . . is DB Wine bar part of Dee's? Thanks! --Sarah

      http://www.avenuefood.com

      3 Replies
      1. re: slynnkiino

        db wine bar is in dee's former space at 107-23 metropolitan ave. last year, dee's moved to a larger location on metropolitan ave, a block or 2 away from it's former space.

        1. re: slynnkiino

          Danny Brown Wine Bar & Kitchen
          104-02 Metropolitan Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375
          (718) 261-2144

          1. re: mshpook

            bingo

        2. Got it--guess Dee's needs to update the address on their Web site! Thanks--Sarah

          1 Reply
          1. re: slynnkiino

            actually I think the 107-23 is the new Dee's. I had this problem when I tried to go here once before. There was a brief mention of the wine bar on queens.about.com which gave that address which took me to the new Dee's. I believe DB is at the corner of metropolitan and 71st road, almost across from Carvel.

          2. We went last night and left pretty confident that, at last, Forest Hills has a restaurant worth going to. We only tried a few things and there were a couple of execution problems, but overall, we had a good experience. The look of the place is clean and modern, a plus. No holiday light "icicles" hanging down from the awning . . .

            We ordered the small meat and cheese tray, the grilled calamari, and the Serrano ham croquettes.

            I liked the croquettes--they were cold, as a poster noted, but I think they were supposed to be. I say this because they weren't lukewarm, as if they were sitting out too long--they had a definite chill to them. And they weren't bad cold.

            The calamari could have been great. The elements--calamari, white beans, rosemary, olive oil, parsley--work really well together. Last night, though, the calamari was a little overcooked,the beans slightly undercooked, and the rosemary a bit overpowering.

            I liked the meat and cheese plate. I know, hard to mess up. But it was clear they actually put some thought into it. We had three cured meats--a type of salami, prosciutto, and something else I don't remember the name of--pate, and three cheeses, including a French blue cheese (again, don't remember the name), Humboldt Fog, and something with the word "brie" in it, but it wasn't the flavorless sort of brie. This was ripe and earthy. They served the tray with cornichons, whole-grain mustard, fig compote, and a syrupy aged balsamic.

            We tried a number of wines by the glass and were happy with all of them.

            Overall, a cut above most of the places in the neighborhood. We'll definitely be back to try their more substantial dishes.

            --Sarah

            1 Reply
            1. re: slynnkiino

              Thanks for another review on this place. I agree that its definitely got promise and worth trying again.

              On the croquettes, they were definitely not cold when I got them, just not so hot. So its intersting that yours were closer to cold. I wonder how they're intended to be server?

              Looking forward to going back and trying the meat and cheese plate. And excited about having someplace in Forest Hills that I might actually want to go out to. I would have prefered it be closer to QB and Austin street, I still think that area could support at least another few restaurants.

              On that subject, driving past the train station I noticed that the restaurant/bar whatever it is over there is shaping up into something. Anybody know what this is or will be?

            2. I saw that place too - in the old Melting Pot location. Can't tell what it is yet. Anyone in the know know?

              1 Reply
              1. re: was

                Have a look at my recent post on this -> http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              2. When I had the croquettes the were served hot and they were quite good. Their pasta dish was excellent, and chicken special is perfect. Still havent tried their steak, but the last time I was there everyone around me was ordering it... looked and smelled great. Only complaint is they need to fine tune their consistency, one night the tuna carpaccio was superb, next time looked and smelled not too fresh. But, they did the right thing and didn't charge for it and bought me dessert. The bartender Joe is knows his stuff and is a nice guy. I'm already a regular. we needed a place like this in the neighborhood.

                1. Went last night-small tray had proscuitto, bresaola, pate, rosette de lyon, humboldt fog chevre, fourme d'ambert and manchego with fig chutney, cornichons, mustard and 10 year aged basalmic. Good Rioja reasonably priced. Serrano croquettes were good, risotto cake was like an arancini and terrific pot of chorizo in a red wine sauce with stewed olives. Decent tira misu and tarte tatin to top it off. Beautiful place and nice service. If you're in Forest Hills area and want an alternative to Nick's Pizza, I'd highly recommend. Still love Chalet Alpina down the block for German and you'd be better off going down the block the other way to Eddie's Sweet Shop for dessert (greatest chocolate malteds anywhere).

                  1. Guess the "buzz" about DB Wine Bar got back to the Chowhound editorial people:

                    http://www.chowhound.com/news/show/10806

                    Since learning about DB on this board, I've been going back regularly. In my last write-up, I mentioned execution problems with the calamari. Well, last time we went, it was perfect. Also, we've had some of the entrees, which have been quite good. The chicken was super-tasty (though the skin, sadly, was a bit soggy), and a pork chop (which I think was a special) was juicy and perfectly cooked.

                    What I like most, though, are the employees--they are really passionate and obviously believe in the place. They mentioned to me and my husband that they're planning to start a series of weekend wine tastings, though I'm not sure when . . .

                    --Sarah
                    http://www.avenuefood.com

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: slynnkiino

                      Thanks for the update. Glad to know they're starting to fire on all cylinders. I'll definitely have to get back there, and would certainly welcome wine tastings.

                    2. Made it to DB Wine Bar myself tonight, and it was indeed very good. They must have worked out the kinks with the mushroom risotto, because it was approaching perfect. The wines by the glass were of very high quality and surprisingly reasonable. The cheese plate was very nice. Desserts were better than I'd heard, too -- much better. We had an apple tart that was delightfully, well, tart, and a zabaglione that was only being served because they had screwed up the tiramisu. The zabaglione had a bit too much coffee flavor for me, a coffee hater, but my wife thought it was some of the best she'd ever had, and zabaglione is her favorite dessert. She begged the staff to bring it back on a regular basis.

                      It's really nice to have a restaurant of this caliber in Forest Hills -- I just wish it were closer to where I live, especially with the rapidly declining weather. Maybe Danny can open something on Austin or somewhere if his Metropolitan place is successful enough. He can become our own Forest Hills celebrity chef.

                      I really have to second what Sarah mentioned about the employees. They were absolutely terrific, ebullient to the last one without being at all phony. I left our waitress a huge tip despite our not-insubstantial bill. I only do that when someone really deserves it, and she did.

                      1. I went to Danny Brown's when it first opened and I loved it. I live in the BK and don't mind travelling for a terrific meal, when I have the time. I think I need to make the time again and go back for what was one of the best meals I'd had in a while. I can't remember everything that I tasted, but I remember it all being well executed. Danny Brown personally suggested a wine for my table and it was terrific. His father is in the wine business so I would have been disappointed if D Brown would have given us swill to drink.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Happygirl

                          Both his parents are in the wine biz, FYI. Now, so too is D Brown.

                        2. I am sorry to say that as of the last few weeks, Joe is no longer tending the wine bar.... Joe, where the hell are you? I hope you're on an extended Christmas vacation... if not, tell us where you are now.

                          1. Was there for New Year's Eve. The party was scheduled to begin at 9PM. It was about 2 degrees out, and WINDY, and they kept the front door locked until 9:07-while we froze! Finally, they opened the door, only to let people in one by one as a woman checked people in. People had to wait outside still until the guest's names were checked off. They could have let everyone in, and just had them stand off to the side. The food was good, but we paid for oysters, and they never served it, then added 20% gratuity on the bill, when it was a buffet!! Will not spend New Year's Eve there again!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: luvchocolate30

                              I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad New Years experience. I love DB but thought the new years event was a bit overpriced for queens, so we didn't do it.

                              We go to DB often, at least once a month- but you know what I hate about the place? They've had the SAME dessert menu forever! So boring. I wish they'd at least experiment with one seasonal item.

                              1. re: liqdstar

                                I really wanted to enjoy my meal here....I really like alot of things about the place, and I want to give it another try...it had a good feel.....I don't mind spending money for something I enjoy...(I had a steak special, and it wasn't the best cut of meat), next time will stick with the menu.

                              2. re: luvchocolate30

                                In my experience, very few restaurants deliver on holidays - whether it's New Year's or Valentine's Day or whatever. I always find that is the worst time to try a restaurant for the first time - the menu is not their usual menu, they are catering to a different kind of crowd and their service isn't their usual practices (like adding 20% gratuity unless it's a big party).

                                I've eaten there quite a few times and have always enjoyed my meals. I think the calamari, white bean and arugula starter is fantastic. I like their pasta carbonara though the sauce is a little on the thin side compared to what it should be. Their burger is actually terrific as well. I saw in another post a comment about the desserts - agreed that it's a boring list and wish they would change it seasonally. The warm chocolate cake is really good but hey, it's not 1998 anymore.