Dine in Brooklyn - anyone been yet?
I had a very good DIB experience at Cebu in Bay Ridge (Third Ave @ 88th St) this week.
I was there with one friend. We both opted for the crabcake with spicy slaw for our appetizer and both liked it. If I remember correctly, other DIB appetizer options included caesar salad, field greens with crumbled goat cheese or soup. Bread was served with a creamy red pepper dipping sauce.
For my entree I had Seafood Paella with Spicy Chorizo. Amongst the tasty rice, there were at least a dozen mussels, tons of calamari, plenty of sliced chorizo, one big tender clam and one giant shrimp. On the regular menu, the paella is $22 so DIB was a good deal. My friend had Panko Chipotle Chicken with roasted potatoes and veggies that included string beans and zucchini. I'm not sure what the other DIB entree options were but I think there was a ravioli of the day and "hot pork chop". Maybe one other choice too. Both of our entrees were good and the portions were generous. We left the restaurant almost too full.
For dessert, I had NY style cheesecake and my friend had flourless chocolate cake. Both were served with a generous portion of whipped cream. The options of ice cream or sorbet were also offered.
We shared a $28 bottle of wine with our DIB 3-course meal.
The service was good and friendly. Several people checked with us to make sure everything was alright and to see whether we needed anything else. We were never rushed at all and the courses were timed well. The atmosphere was comfortable and nice. There was a working fireplace blazing away in the back room where we ate dinner. Very nice to be sitting near a fireplace with a fire in it on a chilly evening. The music was mellow in the back room and less mellow in the front room by the bar. We were asked which room we preferred for dinner and then we were given a choice of several good tables in that room even though the place was fairly busy for an evening early in the week.
It was my first time at Cebu and I feel like I've gained a new neighborhood restaurant/bar. I really liked the friendly vibe, the food was good and it's within walking distance of where I live. And best of all for this night owl, the kitchen is open until 3AM (although the DIB menu was available until 10). It will be a nice place to head for a late bite after getting home from the theatre or a Cyclones game. So, DIB worked well in this case -- I found a new favorite neighborhood restaurant and Cebu gained a couple of new regular customers who will definitely be back. That's what we're both supposed to hope to get out of this DIB promotion, right?
Hubby and I hit Olea in Ft. Greene last night. Lovely little place. Food was good and great portions. Service was very friendly but not overbearing. The lamb meatballs in a light tomato sauce were tasty and juicy. I'd definitely come back for those alone. The sparkling pear cocktail was sweet and delicious. Our main entrees (pasta for him and roast chicken for me) were flavorful and well sized. Olea's not gonna win any awards for innovative meals but for simple, tasty food I enjoyed it a lot. If I lived in Ft. Greene this would be my home away from home.
Applewood (Wednesday): fully booked but host seated a few walk-ins at the bar.
We made reservations two weeks ago. Seated on time. Place was bustling and loud at 8 PM, with a bit of a reprieve at 8:30 and again bustling shortly after 9. Plenty of staff on the floor insured good service. We chose scallops (for a $8 supplement), the hake and the granny smith apple crisp. Pleased with everything. Really generous portions for the price.
The hake was served on a bed of pea shoots with caramelized garlic cloves...a very nice touch.
my girlfriend and i went to grocery on monday night. i thought it was a great value. i started w/ a warm squid salad w/ frise, fingerlings and green beans, she had a roasted carrott buckwheat blintz. for the mains we had the pan roasted haddock w/ rice and ginger slaw and ancho chili roasted pork shoulder w/ polenta and escarole. service was excellent as always.
Rose Water last night - last minute reservations (dinner at 5:45, but still . . .) Three courses, three choices each. Optional $14 wine pairings. We both had Mahi Mahi which was excellent and both the salads were great. I like the DIB vibe - bustling busy restaurants are fun to go to rather than empty quiet ones (sometimes). Service was still great, even given they were training new staff. All in all, thumbs up.
Last night -- Tempo -- really good. Generous portions. Limited menu compared to their usual but quite a few choices. Excellent bargain. Since they usually have the 2nd room closed during the week, this promotion is being handled by opening it up and it was 2/3rds filled last night, alongside a filled main room and bar area.
Many of the more popular restaurants offering DIB specials have been fully booked for two weeks. You have a few alternatives:
--choose a restaurant off-the-beaten track or off the chowhound radar
--choose a restaurant with a bar and accept seating at the bar (eg, Applewood)
--call several places and ask if there have been any cancellations
--go to eater.com and pull down the Brooklyn map under the "dealfeed" heading.
With the economic situation, many restaurants are offering low-priced prix-fixe meals throughout the year, not just during DIB (eg, Ici)
Good luck..and report back on your experiences.