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Hip, moderate-priced places in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, or Park Slope?

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Hello Chowhounds!

I'm meeting a friend for dinner tomorrow (Friday), and I'm just stumped for a new place to go to (I live in Carroll Gardens).

I love Frankies, and have enjoyed Vinegar Hill House, but other than that, I don't have a favorite place in my area (something similar to Frankie's, with cheap dishes and good salads, and the great, bustling-but-still-romantic atmosphere).

I'm not into the meat-oriented places, alas (i.e., Char No. 4, which seems hip-ish). I also have several favorite go-to restaurants in Williamsburg--Diner, Marlow & Sons, Zenkichi, Dumont, D.O.C. Winer Bar, Bonita, Dressler (if I'm feeling splurgey).. Does anyone have any suggestions for parallels to these places in my neighborhood or the surrounding ones?

Thanks for any tips! I'm sure there are a bunch of places I am overlooking.

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  1. It might seem obvious, but, Bocca Lupo. Been wanting to try Fort Defiance in Red Hook (muffuletta, but not a true restaurant).

    1. Maybe Buttermilk Channel (at Court and Huntington)? Or Hibino (at Henry and Pacific)? Also, second the Bocca Lupo rec. if you're looking for small plates and a wine bare vibe.

      1. I was at Clover Club last night (Smith @ Butler) and really enjoyed the cocktails (huge list of fun, retro stuff) but was also pleasantly surprised by the food -- as a cocktail place, I didn't really have high hopes for the food. Delicious small plates, including a sublime crostini with ricotta, grilled peaches, walnuts, sea salt, and rosemary honey. We also had great corn fritters and good fried oysters. They've got more substantial fare (a lamb burger, something w/ steak in it, mac and cheese), but we didn't try that.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cgchow

          2nd the Clover Club recommendation, bear in mind that the cocktails are a little pricey but certainly worth it. Watty & Meg also has a good crowd. The burgers and salads we had were fine as was their service, just not sure if it's "hip" or not. Seems like Joya has a “hip” crowd. Food is OK, nothing spectacular, but definitely reasonable. The music was a tad too loud IMO and most people it seems are there for the bar scene.

        2. In Park Slope- I think the best options are Franny's or Al di La. Not as hip as Williamsburg (the ones you listed are some of my favorite too), but the food and atmosphere are great.
          I like Sidecar for their drinks and atmosphere, but the food has been a little hit or miss for me.

          1 Reply
          1. re: AimeeD

            Thank you all for these suggestions! I've been to a few, such as Buttermilk Channel, Al Di La (mmm), Hibino. I really liked Bocca Lupo, though the few times I went in before eight, it was crowded with lively children (nothing against kids, mind you! But it was a little zoo-y). I've never had food at Clover Club, so that's great to hear. My friend had mentioned Side Car once--something about oysters?

            I heard that Fort Defiance will be serving a more complete menu. Does anyone know if their doing that yet?

          2. Thanks for this thread! I just moved to Cobble Hill (Cheever Place) and was hoping for fresh insights for cheap cool spots on Court & Smith.

            Buttermilk Channel and Al Di La are a bit of a walk for me. Worth it?

            Ate at Buddy's Burritos last night and was quite happily surprised at the quality of the ingredients and amount! Def a good spot to satisfy your Mexican craving. They appeared to make their own tortilla chips too.

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            Buddy's Burrito & Taco Bar
            260 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231