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Feb 9, 2008 11:04 AM

Carroll Gardens rut...its a good thing!!!

Hey all, new hound. I found this site thru Frankies 457 Spuntino. I just moved to Carroll Gardens a few months back, and I spend an inordinate amount of time dining at Frankies by myself. Another foodie from the neighborhood was eating at the bar and we started talking. I had a terrible experience at Schnack, and after relating it, he said "That sounds like a Chowhound post." So here, a few weeks later, I am. I have fallen into a pleasing rut of Lucali, Frankie 457, and Le Pit Stop Bistro. If I never found anywhere else, I'd be okay. But I have heard mixed reviews on Grocery, am wary of Patois since my Schnack experience, and want to know which restaurant on Smith was started by Mario Batali. Also any other suggestions would help, as I am new. I know this neighborhood is a foodie paradise, so where do you all eat????

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  1. I haven't been to Carroll Gardens in about a million years, but I remember an Italian grocery on Court Street by north of Degraw that had amazing fresh mozzarell that they made there, and would make into a sandwich, if you asked them.
    I would just say no to Grocery. The food tasted like yesterday's and I felt like I was being watched.

    1. The Batali question is a trick one since he gave up any connection to Po long before this outpost on Smith St opened. You've found some good ones. Try Petit Crevette off Union on Hicks (other side of BQE), around the corner from Schnack (which I dont like either). On Tues/Wed, try Chestnut for a very nice fixed price dinner. If you like Frankie's you'll also like Lunetta, on Smith near Atlantic. And I also like the pizza at Savoia... not as good as Lucali's product, but a much wider range of choices. Waterfront Ale House is on Atlantic for burgers and surprisingly good food. Nice small plates Japanese place on Henry and Pacific. There's much more around, but

      1 Reply
      1. re: Steve R

        I'll second Waterfront Ale House as well. A few of the dishes are perhaps a little more than they should be, but the food is tasty, they have sweet potato fries (!) and a solid, well-priced selection of beers.

      2. Steve addressed the Batali question already (Po's pretty was better when it opened last year, and before they changed the sweetbread dish, and its gotten a little inconsistent).

        I was never impressed with Grocery but admittedly havent been in a couple of years. Saul's the much better high end choice. If you like Frankies, you'd probably also enjoy Lunetta. Chance is good for dim sum. Robin des Bois for whole chicken on a board.

        and the small plates japanese place Steve mentions is Hibino. And its excellent in my experience. Ki and Cube 63 are also great sushi choices.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Nehna

          if you like Middle Eastern food, you really have to go to Zaytoons on Sackett and Smith. Another place that's nice for a plate of cheese and wine (along with some other dishes I haven't tried) is Black Mountain Wine Bar on Union and Hoyt.

          1. re: eeee

            I completely agree. I was a huge fan when we lived in CG. The lentil soup is a favorite. I have tried to recreate it at home, but no such luck.

        2. My faves (not all in Carroll Gardens but nearby): Lucali's (early on a weeknight to avoid the wait), Ferdinando's on Union, Petite Crevette, Pit Stop out back when it's warm, Chance dim sum, Hibino, Afghan Kebab House on Atlantic, Quercy, Bar Tabac, Frankie's, Zaytoons, Vinny's for heros, Sam's for pizza only, Osaka for sushi, Staubitz butcher and Esposito's Pork Store when you're cooking in.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Carol Gardens

            Where is Afghan Kebab House? Never heard of the place.

            1. re: bhill

              Whoops! I meant to type Yemen Cafe. (There is an Afghan Kebab house in Manhattan, I think!)

          2. As much as I LOVE Zaytoons, I've heard that it went downhill after the Fort Greene location opened - supposedly the CG chefs went to FG and the one in CG suffered -
            I also will add some other suggestions:

            - Em on Smith for Thai (better than Joya)
            - Cubana Cafe on Smith for yummy Cuban that's better than Cafe Habana in Nolita and you can actually get a table there and not be elbowed by model/actress wannabes and NYU kiddies

            4 Replies
            1. re: scarlet starlet

              not CG but close enough, Good Fork in Red Hook.

              1. re: scarlet starlet

                again, not CG, but instead of Zaytoons for middle eastern, try Bedouin Tent on Atlantic. Its become our go-to place, never been disappointed.

                1. re: scarlet starlet

                  I have to disagree with the review of Cubana Cafe. I don't think it can even be compared to Cafe Habana. The mojito tasted alright but was pretty weak, the tables were crammed together, the food was dull. I used to eat Cafe Habana quite a bit and was hopeful that Cubana would match up. It did not.

                  1. re: timisbusy

                    I concur. Cubana Cafe is mediocre (one standout is excellent chicken soup). Cafe Habana on Prince is amazing (though very crowded). Unfortunately Habana Outpost in Ft. Greene doesn't hold a candle to it's Manhattan sister (though the frozen Mojitos are great and the outdoor area is dog friendly.