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Jun 20, 2007 01:52 PM

Small Tasting Review of Borough Food & Drink

So we attended the neighborhood party opening at Borough last night and it was lots of fun. Free food and drink? It doesn't get much better than that!

First of all the space is much better than it used to be. Everything is wood paneled and they put a pool table in the back which is nice if you just want to chill and have some drinks with friends.

If you don't already know, everything is from New York State including the beverages. They have a lot of great beers on tap from Ommegang to some harder to find beers like Mothers Milk Stout- both of which I love. They were giving out free wine and cocktails as well. I only had the chardonnay which was nice but a lot of people semed to be enjoying their sweet apple martini.

Okay onto the food. Unfortunatly it got packed as the night went on so we couldn't get everything they were offering but here's some of what we sampled:

Fried pickels- if you like fried pickels you'll enjoy these. Nice and crispy.

Fried chicken- very good- came with a side of NY maple syrup for dipping.

Jerk Chicken- my FAVORITE of the night hands down. Perfectly spiced and juicy.

Cheeseburger- they were giving out slider sizes so I can't be completly objective on how it will taste as a solid burger but the way the juices held together and it was cooked just right makes me think it will be a success. Came with lettuce, tomato and mayo. I really think these could be a hit if they kept them just as sliders.

BBLT sandwich- this was good, nothing special though. I would never order it as I've probably made myself one just as good.

Bacon and Ricotta flatbread- thi was alright, a little too oily for my tastes though.

We also had their polish sausage and Cevape with beef sauasges- both were awesome. I want to go back and try their sausage plate when they fully open.

They also brought around some desserts- I tried the baklava and ice cream sundae. I found the baklava to be a little to heavy (not like baklava is meant to be a light dessert) but the flakes just werent flakey enough for me. The sundae hit the spot though.

So all in all I will surely be going back. I really am hoping this place makes it.

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  1. Went to Borough Food & Drink on Saturday for dinner and was extremely disappointed. Overall feeling was that service was lacking and food was inconsistent at best.

    First the service issues:
    We were seated at table and had to flag someone down to ask for menus.
    Waiter didn't know what rye was and couldn't seem to take our request that he speak to the bartender. He was convinced that we were asking him about a beer.
    Person filling our water glass seemed not to understand why we were asking for a new water glass when we discovered ours was chipped along the rim. She did get us a new one but watching her pour the water into the glasses was like watching grass grow.
    Appetizer plate was taken away while a person was still eating.
    We asked a couple of questions about the menu and the waiter told us he was going to get an answer from the kitchen. He returned to ask us if we were ready to order (without addressing our questions). When pressed, he headed off again to get the answers.
    Any items we ordered were first were brought to another table and then whisked away so they could determine where they belonged.
    Final question about a dessert they had was never answered so we gave up, paid our bill and left.

    Food and Beverage issues:
    Cocktail glasses were filled with crushed ice. This resulted in little room for the drink itself as well as watered down drinks. It didn't help that the drinks were brought by the wrong table and then taken back and set on a countertop while they determined where they belonged.
    Jar of pickles for the table were a bit too strong. And we certainly didn't need an entire jar. There were three of us.
    "Big Bowl of Dumplings" was actually small. Tasteless dumplings and the size of the dipping sauce was tiny.
    Fried chicken was overdone.
    Rigatoni was a bit flavorless.

    Overall, I would definitely not return. It appeared that the staff had never waited tables before. My husband and I liked the idea of sourcing from local producers so we were excited to try it but the execution was terrible.

    3 Replies
    1. re: magfitz

      So bad. so very very bad. really did not enjoy this place at all. lousy service. the drinks were made poorly and the food was bland. this place is not good for groups or for individuals.

      1. re: trucky213 it seems this spot may again have a failed restuarant. Well at least I enjoyed myself at the opening party.....

        1. re: roze

          at least you got to sample something at the aprty. we arrived just before ten pm and were told that they had run out of food and drinks. but they do seem to be very nice fwiw.

    2. (RGR, ask and you shall receive)

      Dinner for two at Borough Food and Drink on Friday was a horror.

      Shall I start with the decor? Old wood, pool table, couches. Comfy and fun at first sight but contrived at the core. Using a big budget to make a place look worn-in already pisses me off from the get. It's the equivalent of Williamsburg scum who spend three hours to look like they've just rolled out of bed. Phony, calculated cool. The place was swarming with mosquitoes, too, which I can't fault the restaurant for but made my night entirely uncomfortable.

      Our server dropped menus and a complimentary mason jar of over-salted pickles (are we not done with the pickle craze yet?), then ignored us for 15 minutes. My date tried to flag her down but she turned away and began to dance on the floor! When I took a glance at the server station, at least five servers and bussers stood in a huddle doing nothing.

      She finally came to take our drink order and I asked her about a glass of red wine on the menu. "I don't know anything about wine but everyone orders it," she said. WELL YEAH, IT'S THE ONLY GLASS OF RED AVAILABLE.

      Without boring you with details, our starters were under-seasoned and our mains were over-seasoned. Something as simple as fries were limp and sad.

      Service went back and forth between nonexistent and hovering. My water glass was offered to be filled at least five times during the meal. A busser took my date's half full glass of wine and offered to sell him another one right away! After agreeing, our server came back with two glasses. When I told her we only wanted one, she apologized and sent it to the server station, where it waited and oxidized on a countertop. I suppose she assumed I'd order a second glass eventually.

      I totally "get" the idea of BFD but they just don't have it together in the kitchen or in the FOH. If the place is an homage to the classic dishes of NY, the food either needs to be heightened to another level or done the right way: sloppy and down-home. Instead, it's just a sad version of what I'd eat at the local (bad) diner at a slightly higher price point.

      BFD feels like the result of some focus group sponsored by China Grill. "Results show that young people have money to burn on food but they want it in a cool setting and done by a cool chef. Quick, someone call Pelaccio!"

      That said, I can easily see this place being sustained by yuppies who work in the Flatiron but have never set foot in Brooklyn in their life. BFD allows them to buy coolness and foodie cred in the safety of their own environs. East Corner wontons without actually going to Chinatown... why not?*

      *denotes sarcasm, duh.

      2 Replies
      1. re: gingersweetiepie

        Had possibly my worst dining experience in New York so far this year last Saturday night. Our complete party arrived for our reservation at 9pm. We didn't get seated until 9:40pm.

        Eventually we were able to order. 3 of us ordered the fried chicken. 20 minutes later the waitress came back to our table to tell us they had run out of fried chicken. And the oysters we had ordered. Actually, they had no shellfish at all.

        It took us a further 15 minutes to get the wine we ordered and, only as we were paying our bill, did we get glasses of tap water.

        This place was just sloppily managed and the staff, our waitress excepted, didn't seem to give a crap. She, to give her her due, apologized profusely.

        1. re: clung

          What a bummer. This place sounded SO promising. Anyone have the mac and cheese pancakes?? I just thought it would be good for a low cost, fun night?

          The williamsburg comment (3 hours for a contrived look) had me cracking up for hours for whomever said it.