Brooklyn Heights: 2 Days, 10 Women
So--we're having a girls reunion weekend in March and will be staying at the Marriott near the Brooklyn Bridge. Any suggestions for dinner & brunch the next day for this group? Looking for a fun, trendy spot (not pretentious) that could accommodate a large group. Many of us are moms, so a respite from pizza, mac & cheese and chicken fingers would be most welcome! I don't really have a specific cuisine in mind, just someplace that won't rush us and that has solid food and a nice drink menu.
Also, suggestions on where we could go after dinner to watch some basketball (March Madness) would be helpful.
Bring in on NY hounds!
I'm with Fishermb on this one -- great list. I'd also add the following to your Google list (all in Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens):
Prime Meats (dinner) -- old school chops and german wursts, etc. with gourmet twist
Buttermilk Channel (brunch) -- new american comfort food
Sue Perette (270 Smith btw. DeGraw and Sackett) -- beef cheeks; pork shank; duck; brunch, too
Hibino (first rate sushi and inventive Japanese small plates)
Vinegar Hill House - hands down the best restaurant in this part of Brooklyn, imo, however it is on the outskirts of DUMBO on a desolate street, but once inside you are transported...phenomenal food from a wood-burning oven, great cocktails, ubercool scene, and excellent decor. Very unique, and can prob set you up with a res since you are a group of ten. Just a 5 min. cab from your hotel, and prob less than ten to walk.
For watching some March Madness, try Downtown Bar and Grill at 160 Court nr. Amity. If you head to Vinegar Hill House, you can watch some ball at Water Street Bar & Restaurant which has crap food, but is a fine place to watch a game.
Other great bars that are most decidedly NOT sports bars include:
The Jake Walk
333 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
152 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Downtown Bar and Grill
160 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
524 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Water Street Restaurant
66 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Vinegar Hill House
72 Hudson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
282 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
465 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
335 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
HEIGHT'S CAFE on Montague Street serves a terrific Brunch on Says, and they do accomadate large groups like yours.
HENRY'S END will take reservations for a party of ten. The atmosphere is warm and lively, and the food is excellent. If you are a fan of wild game, this might be for you. They have lots of other dishes as well.
JACK the HORSE would be another good choice. Charming atmosphere with good food and drink, but a more limited menu.
84 Montague St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
I have not been, but I heard a rave review from a friend of Bread and Butter, which is in the space that had been Le Petite Marche, and I believe is operated by the same people as Le Petite. It's more comfort food and not trendy, but my friend really enjoyed her meal. I am not sure if they can accommodate your size, but you can call and they do take reservations. It's on Henry St. next to Noodle Pudding.
I would agree that DUMBO is not worth the trek. It's a bit a of a wasteland and somewhat hard to navigate if you don't have a specific destination.
I'd go in the direction of Cobble Hill and I'm sure you can find places you'll enjoy.
While Henry'sEnd is very good, it might be tough for 10 and Noodle Pudding does not take reservations, so I doubt it would work for you. Queen is a very good Italian (although a bit on the expensive side) but I'm not sure I would call it fun or trendy. The Waterfront Ale House on Atlantic Ave. is a great pub with an excellent beer selection and very good pub. Not at all pretentious, and probly classifies as fun if not trendy. They do have a TV and I'm sure would have the basketball on. There are a couple of other beer bars nearby with TVs but no food. For breakfast or brunch, you might enjoy Junior's. The food is not great, but it is very Brooklyn (from Cheesecake and Pastrami to burgers and BBQ ribs)
38 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
386 Flatbush Avenue Ext, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Waterfront Ale House
155 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
84 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
It might be worth a try to get a reservation at Noodle Pudding--we had one there about a year ago for a group of 10. They told me at that time that they only take reservations for large groups.
One other place I'd add for watching the game is Downtown Atlantic (Atlantic Ave. between Hoyt & Bond). A little more restaurant/less bar than Waterfront, but definitely with TVs to watch the festivities.
I must take exception with the above post. Lantern is not very good at all, and Five Front and Superfine are truly mediocre.
Noodle Pudding is very good in my opinion, and it may be the only really good restaurant in the vicinity. Henry's End can be great too, but when they are off they are really off (and expensive).
Brooklyn Heights is not a special culinary neighborhood. Noodle Pudding is very good, and along with Queen (both Italian), are probably the 2 best restaurants in the neighborhood. There is nothing on Montague Street worth your time.
There is nothing in DUMBO worth your time.
For brunch I'd recommend Bocca Lupo in Cobble Hill, it'll be a 15-20 minute walk from your hotel, but it's a nice atmosphere and the food is very good. If you want to go to a nice bar with very good food and interesting drinks there's Clover Club on Smith Street. There's also Black Mountain Winehouse farther down in Carroll Gardens.
There are some very good food options in Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens, including Bar Tabac, Char No. 4, Frankies 457, Watty & Meg, and Fragole. Saul and The Grocery are more upscale if you want a nice dinner one night. Ki, Osaka and Cube 63 all have above average sushi. There's a ton of cute-looking restaurants that have very mediocre food (a la Laylajones or Union Smith Cafe). In my opinion, that's the best you will do in the Brooklyn Heights vicinity.
All good suggestions from fishermb, bobj, Marion et al, as usual.
As a big fan of Bocca Lupo, I will add (as I often do in this space) that it is a great restaurant in every way, and is also, proudly, child- and family-friendly. For a weekend brunch in particular you're likely to encounter plenty of families with kids of varied ages. That need not be a dealbreaker - again, the food and drink are top notch and one of our faves - but you mentioned getting away from the kids in your post.
That said - they don't take reservations anyway, so if you're going to the Cobble Hill metro area, no harm in seeing how the clientele is shaking out that day. Warren and Henry Streets, 5 blocks past Atlantic on Henry.
For a nice dinner I suggest Jack the Horse in a quaint residential area of Bklyn Heights. It's a gastropub, good food and really warm, charming surroundings.
For a more casual dinner, try Lantern Thai on Montague, which is the main shopping street. It's near the Promenade so after dinner you can walk the couple of blocks and see a gorgeous view of the twinkling lights of the harbor and Manhattan. Also, the restaurant has a big central table where you'll all be able to sit.
You can also walk into DUMBO, the artsy/upscale area between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. Lots of fun eating options including Jacques Torre Chocolate for hot chocolate and yummy treats, and Five Front and Superfine for a nice lunch or dinner. It's also a fun neighborhood to walk around in - there are art galleries, some boutiques, interesting antique/home furnishing stores, and stupendous views of the bridges and harbor.
All of these places have been covered on this board.
Have a great time!