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Jul 5, 2009 08:14 AM


Last week at the Smith St festival, I watched Mingo's band "The Metropolitans" play hours of great covers, from Hendrix to The Troggs. Then I watched the cheese eating contest. And I watched all this from directly across the street at Chestnut's food stand and bar area. Good time. But not why I'm posting.

Chestnut served a choice of fish tacos, dry rubbed ribs or fried chicken for $5/plate at the festival... a large plate at that. So I asked for & received a plate that had half fried chicken and half ribs. With a $5 Dark and Stormy, this was great & I lobbied Michael and Daniel to serve these on their menu regularly (not for the same prices of course). Seems like I've made inroads on this.

So, last night, having no chance of seeing the fireworks from Brooklyn, we decided to walk over to Chestnut for dinner, down the empty Smith St (it was almost as peaceful as after a snow storm). Everyone gone. Ginny and I decided to sit in the front by the open doors, looking out at Smith, with the breeze joining the fans and dimmed lighting in creating a resort like effect. We were the only ones in the room for our entire dinner, with everyone else in the back outdoor area or at the bar. An interesting and, I must say, tranquil experience that I'm sure wont be repeated.

Now for the food/drink: a very nice bottle of white wine (Traminer from N. Italy?). A split app. of lobster roll, a special for the 4th. Some mayo to bind, some celery to add crunch, a nice soft warm hot dog like bun and a lot of very tender sweet lobster meat... perfect. A dish I hope they continue throughout the summer. For mains, Ginny got her favorite halibut dish, which she claims that Daniel does better than anyone else around. I'll take her word for it, as I was too busy to even taste it, as good as it might be. Instead, for my main, a special of (who guessed it?) a large serving (6 large) of dry rubbed very meaty ribs, better than last week's, with a bowl of pomegranite/molasses(?) dipping sauce & sides of homemade cole slaw and egg salad on bibb lettuce. Alternating between eating these dry as served and dipping them in the sauce, this was perfection. Better than what most (all?) NYC bbq places serve. A shared special "4th of July sundae" for dessert, then some comped after dinner drinks from Michael, and we no longer cared that the fireworks were out of sight. Before tax/tip, just over $100... a more than reasonable (well, actually less than it should be, but dont tell them that) cost. We wobbled home very content.

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  1. Thanks for the report Steve. As good as Chestnut is it sometimes flies below the radar here. New places come and go but Chestnut continues to serve some of the best food in Brooklyn.

    1. Appreciate this tip. One more place on my list.

      In case anyone else was wondering, these specials will indeed be turning up on the menu for the rest of summer. I just called and was told that they were serving the ribs last night, and that they often sell out of the lobster roll.

      271 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

      2 Replies
      1. re: squid kun

        We went back this past Friday and I had the ribs again. No egg salad, larger portion of slaw, but the same nice dry rubbed ribs, 6 in an order for $24 or so. I have 2 in my fridge as leftovers that, for some reason, I didnt get to this weekend. And they had the soft shell crab tacos on the menu as an appetizer as well.

        1. re: Steve R

          "I have 2 in my fridge as leftovers that, for some reason, I didn't get to this weekend."

          That's the only implausible thing on this thread. :-)

      2. Speaking of Chestnut specials, I've now had twice a cheeseburger at the bar, both times delicious and both times washed down by delicious beers I should remember the names of. I'm not enough of a burger maven to comment on what kind of meat it was etc., but it was totally up to the standards of other Chestnut food, i.e., very good.