HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >

Discussion

RESTAURANT WEEK 2009: DINE IN BROOKLYN: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

  • f
  • Fleur Mar 25, 2009 01:52 PM

We havern't seen many posts about RESTAURANT WEEK 2009: DINE IN BROOKLYN. Yikes! It's already Wednesday, and only a few days left .

We have made a few reservations, but are always looking for more suggestions, reports, and new places to try?

We view RESTAURANT WEEK as a wonderful opportunity to try new places, before investing major money...that is, having a great dinner for under $30 at a place we would love to return to.

Where have you been? Where are you going? And what would you suggest?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. I just posted about a good DIB experience I just had at Cebu in this thread:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/606652

    3 Replies
    1. re: Kitchop

      Needless to say, lunch at Al di la was FANTASTIC.

      1. re: parkslopemama

        one of the few things i miss about park slope was living a block away from al di la.

        1. re: sam1

          applewood was as solid as ever on friday night for restaurant week. less add-ons than my previous restaurant week visit but the sweetbreads with jalapeno relish was quite possibly the best preparation ive ever tasted. cheese plate was solid as usual.

          the roast duck entree (part of the basic RW menu) was absolutely nuts...with duck bolognese and sauteed spinach i think...

          and the apple crisp for dessert? unreal.

          dinner was $50 per person after 1 extra surcharge, a beer, and tax and tip.

          continues to be my favorite brooklyn restaurant.

    2. had a wonderful dinner at Chestnut in Cobble Hill. They have lots of selections in the $23 range (I had a superb buckwheat crepe and gravlax appetizer, ravioli stuffed with pumpkin seed for the main, and three different homemade ice creams for dessert), and you can get the rest of their menu for $30. Gracious service, inviting atmosphere, and tremendous food. A great bargain as well.

      1. Ate at Queen with my boyfriend and two friends. It was very crowded, so we waited awhile to be seated for our 7:30 reservation, had to request menus from a random restaurant worked when no one brought any over after 5-10 minutes, 20 minutes to get a wine list after asking twice. They also refused to give us the dine in Brooklyn menu, saying it was only available until 7:00. The dine in Brooklyn poster did not indicate this, but we were told that the menu Queens posted in their window includes this caveat (we checked on the way out, and it did, but this didn't help us). We were not off to a good start at all. Service was extremely slow throughout. There were stale items in the bread basket. The roasted garlic paste in the oil for the bread was a nice touch. The appetizers received good to extremely good reviews (the peas/asparagus/leeks appetizer - everything was very fresh; fresh mozzarella - fabulous; clams - loved by one, meh by one). "Parmesan" offered with our entrees was actually romano; this is a pet peeve and kind of inexcusable at an Italian restaurant of the non-Olive Garden ilk. The lasagna and eggplant parm entrees were unremarkable. Friend who got the carbonara loved it but others thought it tasted like soap (don't think the others had ever had carbonara before, so I take their reviews with a grain of salt); shrimp entree also received a favorable review. We did not have dessert. With the dine in Brooklyn deal this would probably have been great, but we were all pretty annoyed by the experience. That mozzarella was fantastic, though.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Olive123

          «The dine in Brooklyn poster did not indicate this». Just to point out, as I did in your separate posting, that the Dine In Brooklyn listing shows Queen for lunch only. The fact that they provide the Menu to 7 PM is actually more than they advertise.

          1. re: bobjbkln

            You are correct - lunch only; my mistake. The poor service, stale bread, parm/romano issue and inconsistent dishes still will make me either not revisit Queen or to order only what I know to be good. Might also stick with take out or delivery. I had read that the specials/seasonal items are generally more successful than the standard menu, so perhaps we should consider ourselves warned on the lasagna and eggplant parm.

            1. re: Olive123

              NO!! (was that definitive enough :-)

              First of all, dont excuse the poor service or stale bread you received but I really think you can chalk it up to a bad night for them. I've gone there for 35 years and can tell you that they cater to "regulars", including politicians and other high powered types, and will ignore us commoners at the drop of a hat when then need to prioritize. Lucky this doesnt happen often so I can convince myself to go back.

              Secondly (and the reason for my declarative NO!!) is that the lasagna, chicken parm., eggplant parm. and other basic red sauce dishes are usually excellent at Queen and, if you like them, by all means order them. I do this pretty regularly and I'm fussy about my red sauce dishes. Just remember that their specials menu is usually full of creative & well prepared food and that you'll miss out if you always get the red sauce basics. My strategy is to be part of a party of 4 or 6 so both can be sampled.

              1. re: Olive123

                Only went once, and have to say our experience mirrored yours (not DIB week btw...) -- service was awful bordering on comic, we're STILL laughing (?) about it. And the mozz. was great == but not enough to get us back there!

          2. We loved our dinner at the Waterfront Ale House. Between us we had: mussels, beef stew, and butterscotch pudding; duck terrine, cavatelli with boar (?) ragu, and bread pudding. The portions were more than ample. I hope that we get a chance to go back b/c there were other tempting offerings on the RW menu. Great beers on tap and excellent cocktails as usual.

            1. Had dinner at Thomas Beisl yesterday. Have been there several times over the past year and must say that the food is an improvement from a year ago.

              We both ate the chicken liver terrine, I had the chicken paprika with spaetzle, friend had goulash with spaetzle. Desert was apple strudel and kaiserschmarren.

              everything was tasty and authentic, portions were good. at $23 a person, with quality and portion size it was a good deal.

              1. Went to Moim in Park Slope and we (all 4) had a very good experience. The selection of appetizers and entrees was good with one dessert. I had the osso buco that was very good. Overall, the portions were good and I enjoyed the dinner alot. I had not been there in over one year and it was a good choice - not fantastic but very good.

                1. So many restaurants to choose from this year. More than three times as many as in years before.

                  The best was TEMPO, which was packed. Our reservation was honored on time, and the Menu was outstanding. Only the Dine In Brooklyn Menu was available, no supplements. The service throughout the evening was good, professional, not rushes, present , but nor over-familiar.

                  A lovely Tuscan White Bean spread with good bread and excellent Olive Oi were brought to the table with our drinks. We were four people, and started each with a different appetizer. Faro Salad, B'Stilla, Polenta con Funghi, The main dish choice was extensive and varied. I had the Brasciale of Pork in a light fresh Tomato, Sauce with a hint of Orange. Delicious! My DH had the Bucatino with Pistachio Nut Pesto....always delishes. Others had the Piri-Piri Salmon. We ordered some side vegetable dishes as well. The Dessert was TEMPO's homemade Gelato. The Orange Cardomom was a big hit, as was the Toasted Almond and Caramel Crunch. A perfect light ending to a sumptuous dinner.

                  A few nights later we went to Petit Marche, which was also packed. Unfortunately, their DIB was not very well thought out, and instead of offering a superb meal at the Prix Fixe of $23, they offered their entire Menu. This puts a stress on the Kitchen, and somehow just doesn't seem in the spirit of DIB.

                  The food, however, was excellent. We started with excellent salads, and my DH had the homemade Pasta with Wild Boar, which was excellent. Two of us had a lovely Chicken Breast Dish with a Mushroom and Pea Risotto.Excellent Bread Pudding freshly baked, served with home made Gelato. Well worth double the $23 price. A retaurant you should try.

                  We also hit CHESTNUT AND THE ALE HOUSE, both are excellent anytime

                  Restaurant Week is a wonderful oppertunity to try new restaurants for $23 and decide if you want to go back.

                  I hope it gives a boost to restaurants, because restaurants in Brooklyn are hurting. Business is down, 30% and more on average during the week,and many are afraid they won't be able to weather this economic crisis.
                  We also hit CHESTNUT AND THE ALE HOUSE, both are excellent anytime.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Fleur

                    Going to Chestnut tomorrow night, what did you have?

                  2. I had never tried Elementi in Park Slope before. The menu looked good so I made a reservation for Friday night for 4 people. The restaurant was not busy when we arrived at 7 pm. However, the service was slow to the point of being ignored by our waiter and when the main courses finally came out almost an hour after the appetizers, 2 of them were cold - obviously sitting around while waiting for the other 2 main courses to be prepared. The waiter avoided us like the plague. The manager/owner was useless. We called the manager over and he apologized and brought the 2 cold dinners (chicken breast and ravioli) back into the kitchen to be rewarmed. They came out warmer but my side of vegetables was still ice cold. The food was only so-so but the service was the worst. I won't be giving them my business in the future.

                    1. Had dinner at Blue Ribbon. All in all a pretty underwhelming experience. My guests had the salmon and the rib dinner, I had the veggie burger. They said their meals were pretty bland. My burger tasted like burnt spinach. People who were NOT having the dine-in brooklyn menu seemed pretty pleased with their choices but I do not know if I would return to this restaurant again.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: eileenmary

                        Sorry about your bad experience.

                        I have found that restaurants who give a lot of though to Dine in Brooklyn, and prepare a special Menu, and serve only the $23 Menu are a much better experience, and a better deal.

                        We had that kind of experience at JOLIE, and never went back. Being treated like 2ns class citizens when ordering the DIB Menu, and served mini portions was insulting.

                        Those restaurants don't seem to care about the diners. These restaurants that have taken their clientele for granted are now finding themselves empty,
                        or down 30-50-%.

                        Congratulations to the restaurants who have gotten behind the spirit of DIB. They are the professionals who understand the restaurant business, and hopefully will survive this economy.

                        We will continue to dine at restaurants that respect thei clientele, and love what they are doing.

                        If you can't do it wrell, don't do it!

                      2. We ate at Saint Germain in Bay Ridge on Saturday evening (Third Ave @ about 84th St) and had a pleasant experience and a good meal.

                        Along with Cebu Bistro earlier in the week, I feel like I gained two new neighborhood restaurants during this DIB. Both are within walking distance of home for me.

                        There were two of us and we both had the steak frites for the main entree and both enjoyed it. It was tasty and cooked just exactly as we ordered it -- medium rare. There were 3 other entree options on the DIB menu: (1) chicken with portebella mushroom and something else that I can't remember; (2) tilapia Cajun style (but I tend to be suspicious of tilapia); and (3) mussels (but for some bizarre reason without the frites). Mussels were a last minute substitution for the scallops with spinach entree that they, apparently, ran out of earlier. I will go back sometime just to try their moules frites though. It's never a bad thing to have a pleasant friendly bistro within walking distance where I can drink wine and eat good moules frites.

                        For the appetzier, I had a ratatouille and goat cheese crepe and my friend had a smoked salmon plate served with toast. Both were good and generous portions. We shared both and both liked both. Other appetizer options were a salad with goat cheese and the soup du jour, which was lentil the night we were there.

                        For dessert, they offered anything from their dessert case, which I thought was a very nice touch and smart business use of the DIB promotion on their part since they are a bistro/patisserie. The pastry case is right by the front door so everyone walks by it on their way in and on their way out. It's full of lots of good options. We shared a piece of chocolate opera cake and a pear pistachio tart. Both were good and there were plenty of other good dessert options in that case. It was both hard -- and fun -- to choose.

                        The service was good and friendly even though our waitress seemed to be the only one working outside of the kitchen and the room was almost full. It's a small restaurant but still. She discussed the menu, took our order, brought our bottle of wine, filled our water glasses, brought all of our courses, replaced a knife I dropped, cleared all of our courses and eventually took our money. In spite of being the only one working outside of the kitchen, she timed everything well and was very pleasant and friendly (even though she had been working since 11am and we got there a little before 9pm.

                        Of the two, Cebu probably has the edge with me if only because their kitchen is open until 3am (not to mention their working fireplace). But both Cebu and Saint Germain were very pleasant, friendly bistros with good food that we enjoyed in pleasant atmospheres. I'm sure I'll go back to both.

                        1. Ate at The Grocery tonight & had an amazing experience! The food was fantastic- started with the squid salad & my husband had the buckwheat belini- loved them both. for the main course, my husband had the lamb & thought it was fine, nothing special. My risotto with duck was to die for- we basically ended up splitting it b/c it was a generous portion & ate every last bite- HIGHLY recommend it. For dessert, my husband had the panna cotta which was a nice, light option. I had the chocolate bread pudding with banana & caramel which was delicous but very rich. The service was great. They even started with an amuse bouche. Very impressed and would definitely go back.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: kimmyc

                            Does the Grocery have a bar that might work for walk-ins? I was thinking of trying to an Applewood walk-in for DIB, but I have been there before and it would be fun to try someplace new. If not Grocery, any other ideas for good bar eating during Dine-in Brooklyn?

                            1. re: prdct

                              No, there's no bar so that wouldn't work at the Grocery, but you can do that at Applewood which we also tried and was excellent! Highly recommend it. I had the duck and loved it. The apple tart was amazing for dessert. I also opted for the $8 supplement on the appetizer of scallops & it was delicous. They also had an inexpensive wine on special for restaurant week.

                          2. Rose Water: wonderful menu, generous servings, extremely cordial service.
                            Highlighted by glass of wine matched to each course for $14: each pour was 4 ounces+, except for port with dessert, which was 2 ounces. This deal can't be beat.
                            Grilled squid with frisee appetizer and risotto main were excellent.
                            A big salute to owners of Rose Water for making DIB such a pleasure.

                            1. We had three dining experiences during DIB.
                              1. Bamonte's. Food was a little better than OK, but the real reason to visit Bamonte's is the atmosphere, which is straight out of the 50's. It's your basic S Italian fare, remniscent of the sort of Italian food you probably went out for as a kid (assuming you're over 35 or so). The real treat is the ancient, tuxedoed waiters and overall people watching. It's one of the last of a dying breed and well worth a visit. Just don't expect haute cuisine.
                              2. River Cafe. Great food and service and we were not treated as second class citizens in a place where lunch for two could easily top $150, but for the DIB menu.
                              3. Le Petit Marche. Ate there on the 2nd (last day of DIB) and by this point, they had concocted a special DIB menu. The place was packed, even at 6:30. I had wild boar pasta and the wife enjoyed the organic chicken over couscous. Our desserts included a tasty key lime cheesecake and bread pudding with fig gelato. Service was very attentive and, despite the crowd, not rushed in the least. In fact, we were surprised to be offered additional coffee (also included in the prix fixe--a rarity). We were both pleased with our meals here and the restaurant has extended DIB through the end of April. We'll be back.