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Jan 26, 2008 04:12 PM

We're at the Brooklyn Marriott for four nights.

Incoming! Eclectic foodies from L.A. From previous postings we have the following list of places, thanks to you.
Please update and recommend even better in any category.

Lunetta, Waterfront Ale House, Downtown Atlatnic, Peter Luger, Waterfalls Cafe, Yemen Cafe.

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  1. Eclectic foodies? You're gonna need to be more specific than that.
    You are walking distance from Atlantic Ave. Along Atlantic Ave. you have a veritable treasure trove of Middle Eastern joints. Search this board for other hounds favorites. You also have decent French bistro food at Jolie. Also walking distance, although maybe a bit more of a hike, is Smith St. Again, lots of fine choices and a simple search of the Outer Boroughs board will provide you with dozens of opinions of others as to which of the fine restaurants along this strip are the best.
    Finally, a cab ride away is Fifth Ave. Always good for a lively discussion here is the subject of which Fifth Ave. restaurant is the best. My vote always goes to Al di La. They don't take reservations, so you have three strategies: go early and get seated right away, leave a name and have a glass of wine in their wine bar around the corner, or, leave a cell phone number and take a walk.

    1. You're very close (right on top of, really) the A/C subway lines, which will get you to Ft. Greene, as well as the F line, which will get you to Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, and Cobble Hill, as well as Park Slope, so you might want to search the boards for suggestions from those neighborhoods . . .

      1. You are a long (but OK in decent weather) walk from Smith Street, where there are tons of restaurants. Also a pretty cheap cab ride. There are lots of places that you'll read about here--Chestnut, Grocery, etc. etc. There must be a list of Smith Street restaurants somewhere, then you can search them on this board for comments. You're a long walk (or short cab ride) from Frankie's 457 on Court Street, which is fun and interesting italian. If you're a foodie, I would skip Downtown Atlantic--it is fine average food with nice bar, but nothing special.

        4 Replies
        1. re: gnosh

          What's up with all this *long walk* to Smith Street? maybe the far end of smith street, but that's like a 5 - 10 minute walk (depending how fast you walk).

          You're near loads of great options. Waterfront Ale House (bbq), Hibino (sushi / house made tofu / etc), Lunetta (italian), Waterfalls Cafe (middle eastern), Queen (old school Italian), Saul (Michelin starred high end and delicious).

          Stroll down Smith street from the end, where you will be approaching from, and you'll find restaurants and bars galore, all the way to cobble hill.

          And then for some nice wines / cocktails, check out either Sample or our other (new) favorite, Deity (near Downtown Atlantic).

          1. re: Nehna

            Deity is open? What's it like? Is it drinks, only, or do they have food?

            1. re: lambretta76

              I really hated to mention it when I did, as I hope the place stays on the quiet side. but it's probably among the best bars I've ever been to (including places like Milk and Honey in manhattan). Ken, the gm, is a sweet guy who knows his stuff. He infuses his own vodkas, makes his own chocolate for one of the cocktails, has an extremely diverse wine and beer list (bottle/glass) and a lot of unique cocktails. And the place is just beautiful. We've been twice so far and had a great time on both occasions..they've got this circular bar that makes for a lot of conversation with fellow patrons, etc.

              And their version of happy hour is 20% off of *everything*....I wish I wasn't cutting back on drinking as my new year's resolution.

              oh it's drinks only right now, but ken said he's adding cheeses and meats in the next week or two.

              1. re: Nehna

                Oooooo...see you there on Saturday!

        2. al di la is a short cab ride from the marriott and something i would definitely recommend. and if you want really good pizza (not the best, but still very good), you could try lucali's or franny's.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Get In My Belly

            A word of caution: Not everyone likes Al Di La. Actually there are people who really dislike it, we are two of them. We find the room cramped, chairs uncomfortable, the hostess is beyond rude - and the food is not worth the hype; it is often grossly greasy. We have given the place several tries, since the hype has been so strong. At best the food has been acceptable, at its worst so greasy that my husband has had to eat strong mints to get the taste and feeling of fat out of his mouth. I guess, if you like food that swims in fat, then this is your place. The wine list also is not too impressive.

            Just a few steps away, you have a restaurant that, in our opinion, is so much better, in every sense: Tempo. Great food, not drowned in grease, great service and a very good wine list. We just dined there on Saturday, and heard many happy comments from fellow diners. Once again, we were so happy to be there. We also spotted a senator in there ;-)

            I second Franny's foor good (but expensive) pizza, but why come that far from the Marriot when you have Smith Street and Atlantic Avenue right there. I like their pizza, but I do not know if I would travel for it.

            1. re: FoodWine

              there isn't a restaurant on earth that everyone likes. but, if you look around, especially on these boards, you will find that al di la gets consistently great reviews, and that the ratio of fans to non-fans is definitely higher than most places.

              1. re: Get In My Belly

                I walk past it every day, and it is always packed to capacity. I have eaten there once only and while the food was relatively tasty, I would not return. There are so many superior restaurants out there, and the prices aren't cheap. I found the service rushed and somewhat pompous for the level of restaurant. Waiter: young, arrogant, with no knowledge to back it up. I hadn't heard a word about the place before we tried it, but figured there was something wonderful inside given that it's always full, but it was not worth it. On the other hand, if you like ordinary food in a nice-ish room, casual environment, and you like to spend a lot of money on a Tuesday spur-of-the-moment I-don't feel-like-cooking-tonight kind of way, then why not?

                1. re: chowgirls

                  one of the things i've always loved about al di la was how reasonably priced it was in relation to the quality of the food. i've been several times with someone and have usually split an appetizer and had two delicious pastas, and gotten out of there for under $50.

                  1. re: Get In My Belly

                    nooooooooooo... To be totally honest, it was a while ago (the better part of a year) since we went, but I remember it being pricey especially for what it is. I just had to check the menu to see if i'm losing it, and while, yes, you're right, it isn't outrageously $, if you want to have wine, which we always do, then I don't see how it's possible to eat there for cheap. Also, and I mean this with all sincerity, not everyone shares an appetizer, skips the main courses (or meat/fish dishes), skips dessert and does not drink.Having said that, we regularly spend $200+ on a random dinner out, always have wine and almost always have dessert. Although possible, i don't think it's the norm to go in and out of there for $50.

                2. re: Get In My Belly

                  Not only have I looked around, I have also talked to fellow diners and I find it interesting that I have not met a single person, who thinks that Al Di La is great. But sometimes it almost seems that it is forbidden to say anything negative about Al Di La here.

            2. In easy walking distance:
              Top of the line ($140/couple all in with good wine) -- Henry's End
              Best Italian in immediate neighborhood -- Noodle Pudding (on Henry St as well)

              Smith St (10 mn. walk):
              Top of the line (although I think it's too pricey): Saul's
              Great bargain for verrrry good food (our favorite place on Smith St): Chestnut (Tues/Wed $25-30 3 course pre-fixe)
              I like Lunetta but dont think its a destination... nice place though.

              Atlantic Ave (same 5-10 minutes):
              Ethnic: Yemen Cafe and Waterfalls are hole in the wall places, very inexpensive, with interesting food. Only worth it if you're into ferreting out this type of eating. I really like both.
              Burger: I think Waterfront's burger (and pulled pork) are worth going if you have time. So are Downtown Atlantic's(opposite direction on Atlantic from all of above...closed Mondays). Both are bar/restaurants that draw locals/regulars. "Cheers" with good food.

              Luger's is a cab ride away, it's expensive and it's cash only (unless you have their credit card... I'll assume you dont). The meat is the only draw and, if you really love steak... go.

              Pizza: Lucali's on Henry and Carroll (closed Tuesdays). Only pizza pies (no slices) and calzone, but the best (see many posts). Not that far away. DiFara's if you want the best of NYC but it's in the middle of Bklyn, requiring you to reallllly want to do this (closed Mondays).

              You are 5 minutes from Manhattan by cab. Chinatown is directly across the bridge and, in good weather, walk over the Bklyn Bridge (literally in front of your hotel- 20 minute walk... great views) and you're less than 10 minutes away. You are 15 minutes from Park Slope (al di la is great... no reservations, closed Tuesdays), 10 minutes from Ft. Greene. Have fun.