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May 25, 2010 05:39 PM

Prospect Heights recommendations

Family from Chapel Hill, NC coming to Brooklyn for a wedding. We are staying 2 blocks from the Grand Army Plaza for the weekend. ("We" are a very pregnant wife, a 4 year old boy and me. we don't have a car.) Hoping to get recs within a reasonable distance. Kinda more interested in family owned Italian, ethnic, great cafes/bakeries. Thanks in advance for suggestions. Kiddo does really well even in fancy places. Price not as important.

Also, anybody know about pick-up soccer in the park?

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  1. Aliseo would work. Well made Italian served at reasonable prices. Nice atmosphere too.

    665 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

    12 Replies
    1. re: Bob Martinez

      I agree re Aliseo - the quirky owner from the Marche is still doing a good job creating a relaxed atmosphere and the cooking and the wines are still very tasty.

      Amorina, with the same owner is also good for individual pizzas, pasta dishes and salad, on the other side of the street. Food tastes very good, the price is right, and it is a great family place.

      Both have a typically italian, as opposed to italian american flavor.

      Joyce's Bakery has very good, tho pricy pastries and coffee and the Milk Bar also has very good coffee and some light dishes I have not sampled.

      All of the above are on Vanderbilt and are popular with families and young folks in the area, including from the International school nearby.

      Joyce Bakeshop
      646 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

      624 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

      Milk Bar
      620 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

      1. re: jen kalb

        will try these out and report back

        1. re: samanh

          Other pleces in your orbit -
          Geido, nice family friendly Japanese, Flatbush Ave between Park Pl and Prospect, Pros Hts side
          Christies Jamaican Patties (with other Jamaican food) - flatbush near Sterling Place, Pros Hts side - patties, jamaican breads and cooked dishes
          Little Miss Muffins (????) - a lower end bake shop on Park Pl. just off Carlton (some CH have recommended, Ive never tried)
          Franny's - flatbush between Prospect and St. Marks - Stylish high end Pizza/locavore place seriously good food at higher price/smaller portions
          There is a Guadeloupe/French place on 6th Ave thats been written up here - havent tried
          James at Carlton and St. Marks Ave - upscale modern ingredient driven cuisine, can be quiet or buzzy depending on when you hit it - I see familes in there
          then there's Park Slope...
          farther down the Vanderbilt hill, near Bergen Dean are an Italian place Cafarros and a crepe shop - I havent tried the first and the second didnt thrill me.

          331 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

          1. re: jen kalb

            Thank you so much..Is Marche the same as Le Petite Marche?

            1. re: samanh

              the crepe place on Vanderbilt is Le Gamin - it has a nice shady garden but is fairly generic.

              Here is the website for the Guadeloupe restaurant I mentioned Kaz An Nou

              there is also a cheerful, tasty and fairly priced Cuban place at Sixth Ave and St. Marks Ave.

              Le Gamin
              556 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

              Kaz An Nou
              53 6th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

              1. re: jen kalb

                Excuse me while I go kill myself for having left this neighborhood. ;-)

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    Rutherford. I love the new place, it's very convenient, and the restaurants are quite decent, but PH is PH...I think I need to take a break from the Outer Boroughs board for a while!

                    1. re: buttertart

                      Where is Rutherford? Is that New Jersey?

                      1. re: missmasala

                        Yes - 8 mi nw of Manhattan. Very easy commuting distance and nice properties.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  Are you serious about the Cuban place... Cubana Café? Because I've been to the restaurant of the same name on Smith St. and it's awful & not even Cuban. I want to believe there is actual Cuban food in my neighborhood but I'm highly skeptical about this place.

                  Cubana Cafe
                  272 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                  1. re: Juanita

                    The place on 6th offers quite a good Cuban sandwich - ample in size. the pork is juicy and well seasoned and the sandwich has the ingredients it should have. My adult kids have enjoyed some of their salads and other offerings. Am I prepared to say it is a "real" cuban restaurant - no., thats rare on the ground these days in NY. I wouldnt suggest someone yearning for the real thing rush over here. But it is tasty fresh food and good value in the neighborhood.

      2. Franny's definitely and Flatbush Farm

        Flatbush Farm
        76 Saint Marks Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

        1. There's tons of pick-up soccer in the park on nice weekends. just wander around the long meadow until you find a game that appeals.

          Great suggestions here already--Jen is very well-informed.

          also, for your 4 year-old (and maybe pregnant wife) there's blue marble, an ice cream parlor on underhill. very good artisanal ice cream.

          In the more ethnic/cheaper vein, there's also Mitchell's, a soul food throwback that's been around for a while. They used to have great fried chicken, potato salad, and a corn and okra dish, but haven't been there in a while. That's take-out only. However, considering where you're from, you probably don't need soul food. It's not as good as Mama Dips or Allen and Sons.

          For caribbean sit-down, there's The Islands on washington ave, which i've never been to but comes highly recc'd on this board.

          Agree that Le Gamin is nothing special; however, if you're coming from a place where french creperies are in short supply (I'm from the triangle area but it's been 20 years or so and i know it's way more sophisitcated now than it was when i was growing up there, so maybe now you have creperies), that might also be a winner for your child.

          Nearer the creperie, on Vanderbilt, are The Vanderbilt and Beast--both hipper, small plates type joints. They get very mixed reviews on this board, but might be worth checking out.

          For real, old-school, family-owned italian, you would have to leave that neighborhood, as that neighborhood is not an old italian one. However, you can hop on the B71 bus to carroll gardens, which is an old italian neighborhood. Here you'll find a pork store, several bakeries, and quite a few places that make their own mozz--tho the quality varies. There's great rice balls at joe's perette on smith street and a nice little park with playgrounds for the kid. Would be a nice day outing. Do a seach on the board for more carroll gardens recs.

          I realize that is probably more info than you need.

          Enjoy your visit!

          1. If you just feel like reading, here's a previous thread on the area from just a few months ago:

            Aliseo seems to be a common theme, but I'll add The Islands for heaping plate fulls of Jamaican comfort food and Chavella's for Mexican -- although that one might be a bit of a walk with your situation.

            665 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

            732 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

            1. I think Franny's is a gem if price isn't a worry.

              Mitchells was replaced by Piquant that has very good Mexican/sw style food and solid margaritas.

              Stop in at Washington Commons on Washington for a beer after.

              Washington Commons
              434 Park Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11238

              4 Replies
              1. re: Ralphus

                the Mitchells that was mentioned earlier is an old fashioned soul food restaurant on Vanderbilt between St. Marks and Bergen. Ralphus is referring to a totally diff restaurant on Flatbush between 6th and St Marks - now Piquant

                1. re: jen kalb

                  thanks jen, i didn't think it had closed, tho i have heard it's not as good as it used to be.

                  1. re: missmasala

                    The only difference I can detect between Mitchell's now and Mitchell's at any time over the 25 years I've been eating there is that at some point during the last few years they lost the lucite bullet guards.

                    1. re: Sneakeater

                      "at some point during the last few years they lost the lucite bullet guards."

                      A sure sign it's no longer authentic.