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Mar 21, 2008 02:44 PM

Williamsburg? (manhattan-centric food lover trying to convert self to Brooklynism)

food obsessed pastry chef and boyfriend headed to Williamsburg this saturday to explore the neighborhood and possibly apartment-hunt, as we're looking to buy, and we've been priced out of our beloved East Village....

we're looking for a vibrant neighborhood with great affordable restaurants, interesting bars, and unique specialty food shops...Williamsburg, are you our neighborhood?

assuming the weather is nice, we plan to get out at the Bedford stop and wander, stopping at a few open houses on the way. i've only been to Williamsburg a few times to visit friends with rooftops in the summer and to go to Galapagos....i know..i'm a Manhattan me!

what restaurants/shops do you recommend? where would you send a couple in their late twenties for a fun tasty dinner and a slice of Williamsburg life? fun place(s) for drinks afterwards?

any advice appreciated...thank you!

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  1. Without any idea of your tastes, likes or dislikes, and despite the fact that my wife and I are considerably older and live in Park Slope, I'm gonna offer at least one suggestion anyway. Just wanted you to have the caveats.

    For dinner it would be hard (IMHO) to top Dressler, a fine restaurant situated almost directly across the street from the famous Peter Luger's. (It's too late to get Saturday night reservations for Luger's, but that would have been another suggestion, given that Luger's has been in Williamsburg longer than anyone on this board has been alive.) Anyway, Dressler is owned by the same person who owns both Dumon and Dumont Burger, both also in Williamsburg and both also worthy of a visit, although not as upscale or elegant as Dressler. (I believe Dressler won a coveted star from Michelin recently.)

    For drinks good words have been said about a newish place called Huckleberry, on Grand Street in Williamsburg. It ain't your average Williamsburg bar.

    I'd suggest a walk along Bedford, heading north from Broadway after your dinner at Dressler.

    (More fair warning: my wife and I do volunteer work at an animal shelter in Williamsburg on some Saturday mornings, and we usually go for brunch somewhere in Williamsburg afterward. I realize brunch isn't dinner on Saturday night, but we actually have had dinner at Dressler on a Saturday night and thoroughly enjoyed it.)

    Finally, as with the EV, you won't possibly be able to sample Williamsburg extensively or fairly in a single visit. You can have a great time on one visit and a lousy time the next visit. Here's a link to a pretty good website that reviews bars and restaurants in Williamburg:

    Enjoy your visit.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BrookBoy

      thanks very much! you're the second person to recommend Huckleberry to me, so that's a good post-dinner plan!

      at the moment it's between DOC and Dressler, depending whether we're in a graze-y or sit-down dinner mode!

      although people are pushing the Thai contingent as well...

    2. try cafe "Moto" at the corner of Broadway, Hooper and Division. 'J' train stop. featured in August GQ as one of Brooklyn's top 5 "new" ( 6 yrs old this summer) restaurants.

      1. Bedford Cheese Shop is an excellent purveyor of cheeses, meats, bread and other gourmet treasures.
        Also, if you you are interested in exploring the Lorimer stop area of Williamsburg (which is where Huckleberry Bar is located) then you must try the goods from the local Italian shops. The Napoli bread bakery on Metropolitan near Lorimer has excellent fresh breads. Almost across the street from the bakery is a small shop (don't know the name) with salamis hanging in the window. The sweet elderly couple has fantastic fresh mozzarella. Fortunato Brothers Bakery on Manhattan and Devoe has the most divine cannolis and good gelato as well. There are more Italian shops on Graham as well.
        I second the suggestion for Dressler. My husband and I have been there many times now, including New Year's Eve, and we've never been disappointed. Dumont has the best macaroni and cheese ever.
        For Thai food I highly recommend Siam Orchid on Metropolitan (it looks like a hole-in-the-wall). For espresso, Oslo is a must!
        Williamsburg, to me, is all about hidden gems. If you have the curiosity and inclination to wander around you'll always find something interesting and off-the-beaten-path here.
        It's a great neighborhood!

        1. you definitely need to go to marlow and sons while youre in williamsburg (broadway and berry). its a wonderfully cozy and extremely delicious restaurant. interior is small, dark wood with wainscoting. menu changes every two or three days. all local and seasonal. fabulous cocktails and fresh oysters daily from a few different locations. the staff is friendly and doesnt pester you constantly. this place is a real treat whether youre going for a glass of wine and some cheese or a full on dinner. you should definitely check it out.

          1 Reply
          1. re: littlepiggy

            I went to Dressler for brunch today and was very impressed. i had the citrus salad with mint simple syrup which was refreshing and delicious. We also had the blueberry muffins which were delicious. I had the grilled cheese with tomato for my main dish and it was delicious. One of my fellow diners had a duck confit and potato hash with poached eggs and another had another poached egg dish and both were very impressed with their dishes and remarked in particular about the quality of the poached eggs. They also have great beers on tap and the atmosphere is excellent. I also thought the service was very good and they take reservations for brunch.

            I put it above all of the places that I've been to in Park Slope for brunch (Rosewater, Little D, Applewood, Stone Park Cafe, Miriam). I look forward to trying their dinner menu. Marlow and Son also looked interesting and I look forward to checking that out as well.