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Hello, Boerum Hill!

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We're moving to Boerum Hill in a matter of days and are trying to feel out the neighborhood in terms of food. Saw this thread http://www.chowhound.com/topics/434521, and it's already been useful, but some of it might be a little out of walking distance.

We're looking for:

.wine bar/bar (good casual atmosphere with a good selection? somewhere to go regularly
).low-mid range restaurants to go to every couple weeks (lunetta looks great!)
.groceries! (preferable something other than a key foods or c-town)

.bread (i'm not sure if mazzola's is too far for an everyday walk? and.. excuse my having to ask, but, what's lard bread?)

And is there any decent Chinese or Japanese food in the area?

Thanks so much!

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  1. Welcome to the hood. Wine bar: Donna da vine on Atlantic betw. Bond and Hoyt; for groceries, the Met on Smith is fine for canned goods etc; for meat, I really like the halal butcher at Croissant foods on Atlantic right before 4th Ave, next to the dunkin donuts, and others sing praises of Los Paisanos on Smith; good bread and great baked goods at Betty Bakery on Atlantic betw. Bond and Nevins; fishmonger: Fish Tales on Court around Bergen. Not much great Chinese, but for Japanese, recommend Ki Sushi on Court and Hibino on Henry around Amity St.

    1. I'll throw out a couple of other recs, though except for the Met, I agree with salmonskin.

      Wine bar/bar - I also like Sample and the new JakeWalk. Brooklyn Social is great for cocktails, and Brooklyn Inn on Hoyt at Bergen is still a favorite. (Boat is also good.) On the far side of the 'hood Pacific Standard and 4th Ave. Pub have great beer selections.

      Butcher - Los Paisanos and Staubitz on Court

      Bread - Lard bread is bread with prosciutto or salami baked into it. It's awesome. I also like Damascus for its triangular pitas - not the prepackaged round stuff.

      Japanese - while they're in Park Slope, Taro on Dean delivers at least to me in Downtown Brooklyn (Schermerhorn and Hoyt). Hibino is great for cooked food. Chance is probably the best Chinese in the area, but I wouldn't call it great.

      For groceries - buy from the local markets and supplement yourself with a trip to Fairway or the increasingly better Pathmark on Atlantic and Flatbush.

      Welcome to the hood!

      1 Reply
      1. re: lambretta76

        second los paisanos, they seem to have carried every strange request I have walked in with.

      2. welcome! good suggestions so far. i'll add a few more. both atlantic and smith have quite a few solid options to meet a variety of tastes.

        on smith: i frequent lunetta, bar tabac, chestnut (my personal favorite in the neighborhood especially their tues/weds prix fixe menu), cafe luluc (particularly for brunch), ki for sushi, order from szechuan garden (though chinese is not this neighborhood's strong suit, i think this is the best around. chance is also good, but is not really classic take-out chinese.) for a slightly farther walk i also love hibino and cube 63 for sushi.

        on atlantic: you've got jolie (a french bistro with fairly solid food and lots of special menus each night of the week), nicky's vietnamese sandwiches (cheap and yummy), downtown atlantic (sort of an upscale diner/country restaurant -- also a good brunch spot.) i like brawta for something a little different.

        in the other direction on atlantic there is a slew of tasty middle eastern spots: waterfalls and fountain cafe being the two stand-outs, and sahadi's market of course as well.


        1. Welcome :)

          Wine bar/bar--hands down Deity on Atlantic (cpl doors down from Downtown Atlantic) is the best wine bar now in the area. One of my all time favorite bars in fact. Sample is right up there as a close second. And further now Smith St. is the new bar that the owners of Stinky and Smith n Vine opened (Jake something or other its called), which has a great wine list and cheese list.

          Every day restaurants -- Chance for chinese/dim sum. Lunetta has been very uneven lately but I've had good meals there. Po has gotten better lately (was uneven for a while). Waterfront Ale House for burgers and beer. Chestnut (but can also be uneven lately). 'Em for Thai. Bedouin Tent for middle eastern. Patois for French. Ki or Cube 63 or Hibino for sushi.

          Groceries - Pacific Market is where we get a lot of our stuff. Garden of Eden is a cab or long way away in Bk Hts. It's a neighborhood that works best with going to different stores for different things...so we get a lot of our basic supplies at Pac Market, get our meats at Paisanos, get our fruit/veg at either Pac Market or the veg market on Atlantic Ave near Sahadi's. Which brings me to Sahadi's and Damascus for your middle eastern food needs (Damascus for pita/hummus, Sahadi's for other stuff imo). Stinky or Cobblestone or Sahadi's for cheese.

          Bucher - Los Paisanos (Staubitz for back up choice)
          Bread - Mazzola's is very walkable on a nice day and you'll pass many old school italian bakers to check out along the way on Court, Cobblestone on Court St has a decent selection of breads from other bakers, and so does Stinky on Smith St
          Fishmonger - Fish Tales on Court is the most convenient but not great for everything (good for fish/shrimp, crappy for mussels)

          Chinese / Japanese -- no great chinese, but Szechuan Garden on Smith, and Chance on Smith are both reliably tasty (Chance esp for dim sum). Ki/Cube 63/Hibino/Osaka are all very solid sushi. Hibino also makes their own tofu and has a variety of non sushi options.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Nehna

            Interesting you'd choose Deity as one of your favorite bars ever as they've only been open a short time- and I wouldn't really consider them a wine bar anyhow. In the few times I've been there I've found the prices pretty outrageous and the atmosphere not a cozy and inviting as wine bars usually aspire to be. Nice looking, and nice people running the place from what I can tell, though. Are they still only open Thurs-Sundays?

            "Wine Bars" are pretty new to this neighborhood. Sample has been around for a bit and has a very warm if not slightly sleepy ambiance. Boca Lupo on Henry is pretty good, and I've enjoyed myself both times I've gone to JakeWalk. Black Mountain on Union is another one to check out.

          2. Thank you everyone! The selection seems great. Excited to move in and try it all.

            1. Regarding my Lunetta note. We decided to go back there last night and had the best meal they've prepared for us in quite a while. In fact, the main thing this meal had in common with our last great meal there, was sitting at the chef's counter. A lot more care seems to go into the food, though generally, we saw very good looking plates go out while sitting there. They have a new female chef working in the kitchen too (who was very funny to chat with while we ate). Had a delicious salad of fava beans, asparagus, potatoes and pecorino. And also a delicious asparagus app with a fried egg and grated cheese. Then we shared the orecchiette with broc rab and sausage and the spinach gnocchi. Really loved the gnocchi. Maybe Adam Shephard is starting to pay more attention to his brooklyn place again.

              1. Anyone have an opinion on the Boerum Hill Food Co?

                2 Replies
                1. re: shih

                  I like their mac and cheese. When I was stuck in the hospital for 10 days, that was the first thing my husband managed to get me to eat after days of nothing ;)

                  Other than that, their breakfast options are HEAVY dishes. Huge portions. Too heavy for my taste the morning we went. They serve gorilla coffee which I like a lot.

                  1. re: shih

                    I love it.

                    I agree that their breakfast foods are a bit heavy for an early breakfast but they work great as brunch at 12:30 in the afternoon :)

                    Awesome Gorilla coffee, very friendly service, and great bagels (I believe they're H&H). An excellent place to stop into before catching the F.

                  2. This is a reply to Bhill....for some reason replying to individual posts is messed up lately on CH (anyone else experiencing that? you hit reply to the post and you just see a spinning circle and never a reply box?)

                    Anyway, regarding Deity...yes its new'ish. It's actually been open since the start of the year (I think they opened New Years Eve) but we've probably been at least a dozen times and brought many friends who've loved the place too. The GM's name is Ken and he's always gone out of his way to be welcoming to us and our friends. He's very knowledgable about both wine and food (I think they're adding cheeses, etc, though we've been too busy to go there in a month or so). The wine list is very very good...it's not cheap, but it's also not a place you go for just a cheap drink---it's high end creative cocktails and wine, and unusual beers basically. I really like that you can get all of the wines there by the bottle. Also, the bar has in the past offered (and I'm not sure again if they still do, since its been a month) a great happy hour deal with 20% off everything on the menu (i.e. including bottles of wine). I like the concept a lot....get whatever I want instead of crappy beers that I wouldnt have ordered anyway, at a happy hour.

                    And the place really is gorgeous with a dark, romantic vibe. Anyway, that's just my take and I selflishly hope the place never gets too crowded ;)

                    1. As a 15-year Boerum Hiller, I more or less agree with everything posted here (although I've never been to Deity), but there's been a sad omission! You didn't ask for middle Eastern, but Bedouin Tent (north side of Atlantic Ave., between Bond & Nevins) is one of the best there is. Their "lambajin" is great, and the baba ghanouj is fabulous. The harira soup is always different but always tasty.

                      The atmosphere is way casual, but it's great for a quick lunch.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: BklnChicken

                        ditto the omission of Bedouin Tent - it has been consistently good for about 15 years, and the prices are outrageously cheap. the pitza is a staple, as well as the spinach pie - and all the bean salads.

                        another omission is Ghang Thai. you didn't ask for Thai, but it shouldn't be overlooked.

                        1. re: korgy

                          I have to disagree onGhang Thai. I preferred the old Thai place (Tuk Tuk) that used to occupy the spot. I've dined in once at Ghang and ordered out from there a few times, and always found it pretty uninspired sadly. 'Em has been a lot more reliably good to me (and has a more interesting menu in my opinion). Lemongrass Grill isnt bad either, in particularly, I had an excellent lunch box there some months back.

                          1. re: Nehna

                            None of the thai in the neighborhood is particularly inspiring. In terms of taste, I put Em at the top, with Sesame and Ghang being very solid second options. I'm not a fan of Lemongrass or Chili.

                            1. re: fishermb

                              I've never actually tried Sesame. I've personally had better luck with Lemongrass vs. Ghang but it's mostly delivery and that's often luck, so you never know.

                              i agree though, none of if is 'great'.

                            2. re: Nehna

                              i've eaten at Ghang probably somewhere around 75 times since they opened under that name, and i have never had a bad meal there. (i also liked Tuk Tuk, but i did not see any declination after Ghang opened - only a slightly different palate.) generally, Ghang is spicier than most (which is why they ask how spicy you wnat it), and if you order "medium" it is "very spicy" according to some places.

                              one of our favorite staples is the Tom Yum Noodle Soup (the entree, not the Tom Yum appetizer), listed under Noodle Soups. this is a very special dish. the Emerald Curry is also a favorite. if they have thesoft-shell crab and papaya sals, this is great as well.

                              NEVER had a disappointing meal there in all the many times i've eaten, and the place is usually filled.

                              1. re: korgy

                                well, 3 months later, i have to say: we had our first disappointing meal at Ghang. i don't know what's going on there, but we ordered "in" (take-out), and the shrimp was overcooked, the "drunken" noodles were undercooked, and the seafood was not fresh. even the seasoning tasted different, and my gf swore they put MSG in. we were VERY disheartened, because this place is one of our staples.

                                it was Saturday night, and i noticed the place was packed inside -- we usually don;t eat there on Saturdays. i'm wondering if they are trying to find some way to pre-prepare the food so they don't get behind with all the customers on the weekend. it didn;t work, if so.

                                or maybe they just have a new chef.

                                we are really hoping this place doesn't go the way of so many other places in the nabe.

                                anyone else been there recently?

                                1. re: korgy

                                  Had a very good meal there two months ago, better than in the past...

                                  1. re: korgy

                                    the best thai in the greater boreum hill.cobble hill.carroll gardens area is Nine D, hands down. it's on court street, deep into carroll gardens, towards the expressway, but it is definitely the best in the neighborhood.

                                    1. re: korgy

                                      oh dear -- i feel bad i gave them that bad review that once. we have been eating at Ghang ever since then, and it has been great. we still eat there app twice a week.

                                      i don't know what happened back in October, but they seem to be back in the swing of things. i highly recommend it as one of the best neighborhood restaurants.

                                  2. re: Nehna

                                    I think I fall somewhere in the middle on Ghang Thai. Early on, I was pleased with them, but the past few orders in have been real disappointments. Especially, since they now regularly have Khao Soi noodles, which is somewhat hard to find, I had greater hopes for them in terms of flavoring.

                              2. Black Mountain, corner of Hoyt and Union. I was there about a week ago, happened to be a Tuesday so had fondue (only on Tuesdays, why?). I really like the place. Cozy environment, friendly staff, good selection of food (all $10). The wine list is good, and they change wine available by the glass and tap beer often. Will quickly become one of my new favorite places, but Boca Lupo is still at the top of the list.

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: bklyngrl

                                  All the suggestions are great. If you feel like venturing out, Dhaka on Atlantic between Clinton and Henry is excellent for Indian. Chipshop kinda diagonally across from Dhaka has the best deep fried everything. A block closer on Atlantic between Clinton and Court there's Sahadi's, very cheap prices for great selections of mostly middle eastern grocery, and Damascus, fabulous middle eastern sweets.

                                  1. re: usbchinita

                                    Dhaka, really? I feel like I usually strike out there. Anything in particular you recommend?

                                    1. re: EJC

                                      Dhaka may have its serviceable nights... but it is anything but excellent. I do like their papri chaat though...

                                        1. re: jakeyd

                                          This is a loss, IMO. Any reason given?

                                          1. re: cazique

                                            Just an empty storefront with a space available sign. I though they were very inconsistent for takeout and better for eat-in, fwiw.

                                            1. re: Ljubitca

                                              I would kill for decent South Indian (like Sri Ganesh Dosa House in Jersey City or Tiffin Wallah in Manhattan) in our 'hood. I hate having to run out to Jackson Heights to purchase stuff to make - frankly - subpar versions in my house. (Although the prepared dosa mix they're now selling at Patel Bros. on 74th is promising - I just need to cook them hotter next time.)

                                              1. re: lambretta76

                                                i'll second that. desperately need any good Indian restaurant in Boerum Hill. anyone here tried India House on Court? (i realize it's more Pakistani)

                                                i guess by South Indian you meant something like a dosa place...

                                                1. re: korgy

                                                  India House is dreadful and has that same weird cat pee smell that the Met on Smith has. The food is pretty inedible, too. No good Indian - closest for me is Joy on Flatbush in Prospect Heights, and I haven't been there in years. (They, too, are Pakistani/Kashmiri.)

                                                  1. re: korgy

                                                    Joy is the best Indian that will delivery to Boerum Hill. (Not the best indian food, but gets the job done).

                                    2. Ice Cream at Blue Marble on Alantic btw. Bond/Nevins-- innovative and just plain killer

                                      One Girl Cookies on Dean btw. Smith/Court for all cakes, pies, cookies, etc. -- blows away Betty, imo.

                                      Brooklyn Fare on Hoyt and Schermerhorn is a new upscale supermarket -- they def have some growing pains (inventory), but I have been impressed with the quality of their prepared foods (except the bakery -- bleccch!) and their butcher's prices.

                                      Hanco on Bergen btw. Hoyt and Smith has good Bahn Mi sandwiches.

                                      There is also a good bodega taqueria on Hoyt btw. Atlantic/Schermerhorn that does reasonable tacos. I think it's called Fast & Fresh Deli. Good on the run.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: lazylghtng

                                        I agree on Brooklyn Fare - their prepared foods are pretty great. (Just had a nice, thick cold cucumber soup made with Greek yoghurt and a tasty Spring chicken salad for lunch.)

                                        The bakery items come from Choice Market, and I happen to like them. I do wish they were set up to sell fresh baguettes made in-house throughout the day, but I'll live.

                                        BTW - did the sushi there disappear? It looked really good, but I haven't seen it in a while. And re: inventory, yeah, it seems like it's taking some time for them to get up an running. Nice, knowledgeable people working there, though, which is a breath of fresh air in local food markets of its size. (The butcher is really great and makes his own sausage in house.)