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Red Hook Primer and Logistics

Simon Jul 2, 2009 04:36 PM

Hi...i haven't been to Red Hook in a while, as i was out of the country for a while, and then living far from there in upper Manhattan when i got back...so i'm curious what is new and recommended in Red Hook...

My previous Red Hook experience is limited...i was obsessed w/ Ferdinando's for a while a few years ago and went there a lot...and i've been to that trendy Mexican place (forgot the name, forgot the food)...and i've been to Sunny's bar...

I read something about Fort Defiance...anyone been?...

Also, when i've gone to Red Hook in the past i've always walked there from the Smith/Bergen F-train (or walked all the way from Manhattan on major urban hikes)...but a blurb on Fort Defiance said you can get there via the Ikea ferry...

So could one take the Ikea ferry, go to Ft. Defiance and walk north, enjoying chow and drink along the way?...i looked at it on mapquest but was unsure if that is too far south and/or too sketchy a walk to get from there to the Ferdinando's area of Red Hook?

Thanks in advance...

  1. t
    Thissteaks4you Jul 2, 2009 06:18 PM

    Haven't eaten at Fort Defiance, but the walk is pretty reasonable (for someone who goes on urban hikes!) and, during the day, it's perfectly safe.

    As for food options, across the street and down the block (away from the BQE) from Ferdinando's is a taqueria that has been getting a lot of buzz (Calexico), although - despite my best intentions - I've yet to get there myself .

    If you want dessert, "Baked" on Van Brunt bakes up some awesome red velvet cake, etc. And the coal own baked pizza at Anselmo's, which is close by, is pretty darn good, although, in my opinion, it's not a destination pizza place like, say, Lucali's. (Which is not too far from there, although definitely on the Carroll Gardens side of the BQE).

    1. b
      boccalupo Jul 2, 2009 09:12 PM

      Seems like a nice walk on a nice day.

      From Ikea you can walk down to Van Brunt. Take in the waterfront park behind the Fairway. Sunny's Bar. Also on Conover there is another more fancy bar called Botanica. From there you can head south on Van Brunt. Most of the bars and restaurants are there. In no particular order there are: Fort Defiance (haven't been), Home/Made (fka Tini Wine Bar), Bait and Tackle, Ice House (pretty good bbq to go with your beer), Anselmo's Pizza (very good coal oven pizza), Baked, Hope and Anchor, Good Fork, Kevin's (very good seafood/New American BYOB place). After that stay on Van Brunt. it is about 10 minutes walk through the industrial zone. Quiet but never had any safety issues there.

      Once past the Battery Tunnel you can take a right and head to Columbia St. There is the Jalopy Theater (live music), Reds Tapas (stop for a glass of wine and tapas). After a couple more blocks turn right on Union and you can hit Ferdinando's and the new taqueria Calexico. Around the corner on Hicks is Petite Crevette (BYOB seafood). Or head up Union St. one block turn right on Henry at you are at Lucali (also BYOB).

      The trendy Mexican you mean is perhaps Alma on Columbia two blocks past Union. I've honestly never been there. They have a nice view from the rooftop area I imagine.

      4 Replies
      1. re: boccalupo
        Simon Jul 3, 2009 06:30 AM

        awesome!...nice summary...

        1. re: boccalupo
          Simon Jul 6, 2009 10:38 AM

          Went on Friday and took exactly that route and it was indeed a nice walk on a nice day...wasn't too hungry when i passed the first group bit will return to try Ft.Defiance and some of the others...

          Had dinner at Petit Crevette: good light meal, w/ a bottle of chilled red from the wine store on Union...the shrimp provencal was the best dish...thanks again...

          1. re: Simon
            boccalupo Jul 7, 2009 01:48 PM

            You are very welcome. Glad to hear you enjoyed the Red Hook tour. Perhaps next time you can do the walk in reverse so you can work up an appetite by the time you get to Ft. Defiance :-) Don't forget to give us a report as to how it was.

            BTW - my description above should have read head NORTH on Van Brunt not south. Sorry for any confusion.

          2. re: boccalupo
            Thissteaks4you Jul 8, 2009 06:49 AM

            I would wager that the trendy Mexican is indeed Alma, a fine place for drinks and rooftop views, but the food to my tastes is mediocre and overpriced. If you're up that way, a few stores down is the DUB pie shop, which bakes tasty Australian-style meat and vegetable pies.

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