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Jan 24, 2009 09:23 AM

For dinner instead of Vinegar Hill, Buttermilk?

Hi, So we wanted to eat at Vinegar Hill or Buttermilk but both of them don't seem to be Chowhound darlings. Any suggestions for an alternative?
1)Great food
2)Good ambience, small place
3)Possible BYOB
4)Cuisine open
6)Price range reasonable


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  1. Buttermilk Channel is quite good. Vinegar Hill House is disappointing.

    Chestnut (Smith St.) is similar to Buttermilk Channel.

    One of my favorites is Moto in Williamsburg.

    4 Replies
    1. re: brooklyn1966

      I thought Buttermilk was totally overrated. Chestnut is very hit or miss.

      How about Applewood? Lunetta? Or Po?

      1. re: Nehna

        can you share your experience at buttermilk channel? what to/not to get?

        1. re: bigjeff

          yeah I second that... i'm finally going thursday. how's the vegetarian menu? any standouts?

          1. re: malibu

            went last night, large group. 4 out of 9 of us had the burger I think:

            + complimentary popovers
            + sweet potato and goat cheese croquettes
            + grilled kale and endive salad with soft-boiled egg
            + roasted vegetables (I think)
            + burger with fries
            + trout wrapped in bacon over johnnycakes
            + pumpkin with pasta (not pumpkin pasta)
            + tuesday special of leg of lamb with cauliflower
            + sausage sandwich with fries
            + roasted apple soup I think? (they only had one)

            overall, pretty decent, but only because I stuck with the burger although, the salad I had was really nice; grilled kale had awesome smoky flavor oh! but it is dressed with anchovy dressing, the veg. menu prob. has an alternate for that. I was actually thinking to take a look at the veg menu (sorry!). the roasted veg looked good; the leg of lamb was served warm and tasted like typical bad hotel carving table slices over a sterno. the fish did not look good at all; the johnnycakes had a funny texture (were good, but not light and crisp). the croquettes were small but yummy, 4 for $5, each like a riceball from Joe's 'perette. I added salt constantly to everything I ate.

            looking around the table, everyone who had the burger cleaned up while people with the other entrees had leftover food on their plate. and we were with a bday group so we brought our own dessert, otherwise I would have def. got the pecan sundae.

            can't give a really good overall opinion but . . . if I wasn't going there for a group outing, I probably wouldn't have gone at all; save for all the recent press which I tend to avoid anyway.

            have fun!

    2. Some of my faves in my neighborhood of Williamsburg (and faves all around) are Dressler (possibly a bit too big and sceney from what you described, but the best restaurant in Brooklyn I have been to IMO), Marlow and Sons (small and intimate, great artisan cheese, oysters etc. with limited menu) and I second Moto.

      Haven't been to VHH or BC yet. Would probably try BC before VHH due to location. Chestnut is not in same league as the others mentioned IMO. Although the food wasn't "bad" per say, the service I experienced on 2 occasions was ametuer, unprofessional and I would only go here again on a whim and not as a destination. Just my 2 cents! Let us know where you end up.

      1 Reply
      1. re: malibu

        Just for comparison's sake: I've always found the service at Chestnut professional and warm.

        I actually prefer the dishes at Chestnut to Buttermilk, albeit based on only a couple visits to the latter. Chestnut's dishes are by a small factor less ambitious than BC, but better executed, in my opinion. My overall impression of BC has been that the dishes are underseasoned. I expect this will improve as the kitchen figures it out.

      2. Chestnut is a good suggestion -- but make sure you go Tuesday through Thursday to take advantage of the very well priced Prix Fixe.

        Otherwise, I'd throw out the name Dumont in Williamsburg. It's hard for me to find anything bad to say about that place.

        Peter Steinberg

        1. for what it's worth, I've always enjoyed the food and ambiance at Sheep Station and the price point is definitely reasonable. Another option would be Ghenet if you like Ethiopian - the food is delicious and very reasonably priced and I like the jewel box atmosphere.

          1. I would throw 2 names out for consideration:
            - Convivium Osteria, on 5th Avenue near Bergen. I've always enjoyed their food, and the atmosphere is unique and wonderful (especially if you eat downstairs). Not BYOB though.

            - Henry's End, on Henry near Middagh. I've loved most items on the menu, and liked the others that I've tried; atmosphere is bustling and friendly--also not byob

            1 Reply
            1. re: Marion Morgenthal

              I second Convivium. Sit in the wine cellar, and get their ribeye special for two which comes with salad and rosemary french fries. Had it recently, and it was super. I had some kind of giant prawn appetizer that was just simple and roasted and good.