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Top 5 restaurants to try in Brooklyn (or 10)

In response to a similar thread in this vein for Queens, I'd be curious to get folks lists for Brooklyn. Here are my top ten, in rough order (doing 5 was difficult):

1 Al di La

2 Grand Sichuan House of Bay Ridge

3 Bab al Yemen

4 Kashkar Cafe

5 Tanoreen

6 Pirosmani

7 Cafe Glechik

8 Saratoga Country Kitchen

9 DiFara

10 Yun Nan Flavour Snack

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Yunnan Flavour Snack Shop
775 49th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220

Cafe Kashkar
1141 Brighton Beach Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235

Tanoreen
7523 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

Di Fara Pizza
1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn, NY 11230

Al Di La
248 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Cafe Glechik
3159 Coney Island Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235

Pirosmani
2222 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11229

Grand Sichuan House
8701 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

The Country Kitchen
1991 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11233

Bab al Yemen
413 Bay Ridge Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

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  1. I haven't been to many high end restaurants in Brooklyn.. Here are some of the places that I can eat at every night of the week

    1)Franny's
    2)Joe's of Avenue U
    3)Saraghina
    4)Locanda Vini y Oli
    5)Mitchells Soul Food
    6)Toby's Public House
    7)Ferdinando's Focceria
    8)Tottonos
    9)Toro Sushi
    10)David's Brisket

    -----
    Joe's of Avenue U
    287 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11223

    Ferdinando's Focacceria
    151 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

    Franny's
    295 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

    Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitano
    1524 Neptune Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224

    Taro Sushi
    244 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

    Locanda Vini e Olii
    129 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

    David's Brisket House
    533 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

    Mitchell's Soul Food
    617 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

    Toby's Public House
    686 6th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

    Saraghina
    435 Halsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11233

    1. I guessing everyone's list will vary based on what their favored cusines are, but my list would include Lugers for steak, 1 or 8 for sushi, Saul as the haute example and Henry's End for game in the fall.

      -----
      Saul
      140 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

      Peter Luger Steak House
      178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

      Henry's End
      44 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

      1 or 8
      66 S 2nd St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

      1. Definitely Govinda's at the Radha Govinda Mandir in Brooklyn!
        Fantastic food, affordable price, friendly staff.
        http://radhagovinda.net/govinda.html
        305 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY

        -----
        Radha Govinda Mandir
        305 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

        1. At the midrange-to-high end:

          Henry's End

          Convivium Osteria

          Roberta's

          Rose Water

          Applewood

          Vinegar Hill House

          Fatty 'Cue

          The Grocery

          Frankies 457 Spuntino

          River Cafe (overpriced, yeah, but that VIEW... jeez...)

          Hon. Mention: Dressler, Chestnut, Saul, DuMont, Noodle Pudding, Peaches HotHouse, Peter Luger, Prime Meats... could be here for days....

          Cheap(-er) eats:

          Tacos Matamoros

          Tacos Xochimilco

          Cafe Glechik

          Totonno Pizzeria Napolitano

          Mesa Coyoacan

          -----
          Convivium Osteria
          68 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

          Chestnut
          271 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

          Frankies 457 Spuntino
          457 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

          River Cafe
          1 Water St., Brooklyn, NY 11201

          Saul
          140 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

          Noodle Pudding
          38 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

          Dressler
          149 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

          Applewood
          501 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

          Peter Luger Steak House
          178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

          Henry's End
          44 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

          Cafe Glechik
          3159 Coney Island Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235

          DuMont
          432 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

          The Grocery
          288 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

          Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitano
          1524 Neptune Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224

          Tacos Matamoros
          4508 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

          Roberta's
          261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206

          Vinegar Hill House
          72 Hudson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

          Prime Meats
          465 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

          Mesa Coyoacan
          372 Graham Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

          Rose Water
          787 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

          Fatty 'Cue
          91 S 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

          Tacos Matamoros
          5717 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

          Tacos Xochimilco
          4501 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

          Peaches HotHouse
          415 Tompkins Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

          11 Replies
          1. re: sgordon

            Convivium Osteria. That is the best Italian restaurant I've eaten at, in Brooklyn. Al Di La is good, but CO is more refined.
            The Rabbit is awesome, the Gnudo amazing. Places like Frankies are Ok if you want meatballs or stuffed peppers.
            I went to CO for the first time last night, I was pleasantly amazed.
            Bamonte's is good for "old time" atmosphere and old school dishes.
            River Cafe of course is excellent but closed since Sandy.
            Henry's End was interesting when they first opened, with all their exotic meat dishes but nothing drew me back there.
            Rose Water is good for the choices in Park Slope, but compared to better Manhattan restaurants it's not quite good enough.
            Luger's of course is great.
            Rucola I find to be a nice place to eat, good , friendly service. The food is nothing special but very acceptable.
            Fernando's for the panelle, they have the best.
            Tanoreen people seem to like, i think the food is overpriced and mediocre at best.
            Brooklyn Fare is fantastic, my only issues there is the price and the fact that they got 3 Michelin stars, Which doesn't make sense for counter dining.
            Pok Pok has good Thai food , better than others I've tried in Bklyn.
            Pines almost went there but the menu seemed too "unspecial" and the fact that they sell you bread is absurd.
            1 or 8 has the best sushi and japanese cooked in Brooklyn. IMHO
            Teresa for just home made simple Polish food.
            MOIM for modern korean food in Park Slope is really good.
            Talde I didn't like much, but it had potential. I went ,when they first opened. I plan on trying it again.

            1. re: foodwhisperer

              Hmmmm, i should have realized that Convivium Osteria was not strictly Italian, when I saw Amejoas and chorizo on the menu, and not vongole, I;'ve had that dish in Portugal. Also they had Spanish wine. I guess that should have tipped me off. The waiter appeared to be italian. The dishes I had were all Italian. Some dishes I didn't have like a pasta with beef ragu seemed italian.. Oh well, It's a great Mediterranean restaurant

              1. re: foodwhisperer

                Convivium is fantastic, a real neighborhood gem that deserves more notice - I used to live on that block and was there quite often years ago. The menu has always been kind of Pan-Mediterranean, though earlier it leaned more heavily Portuguese, with a couple of smaller pasta dishes offered as mid-courses. Haven't been in some time (probably a couple years, sadly, but this thread is making me want to go back...) but it's possible they've moved things in a more Italian direction if that's the stuff that was selling better.

                1. re: sgordon

                  It does seem more italian, but I do love Portuguese food. They had a gnocchi-like dish called gnudo ( not made from potato). The gnudo was stuffed with spinach and ricotta, and was delicious. I never hear of gnudo before but strangely a few days later at Recette they served gnudi ( i guess plural for gnudo), it was good also.
                  Convivium is my favorite Park Slope restaurant now.

                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                    Gnudi are a fairly common dish - the name means "nude" (as you can imagine) and it basically measn the filling of a ravioli without the wrapper, bound with a little egg into dumplings. Traditionally it's made with spinach and ricotta and dressed with brown butter and sage. Iacopo Falai made the best in town, hands down, but sadly both his places seem to be closed for good. Don't know if he'll be re-emerging with a new place or if they'll be on the menu... April Bloomfield's at The Spotted Pig are justifiably loved - she crusts hers in a little semolina, giving them another texture. Had some at Rouge Tomate as well, really good.

                    1. re: sgordon

                      Thanks for the explanation. I did enjoy the gnudi at Convivium. I had been to Falai a few times but don't remember if I had these. I will check out the ones at Spotted Pig, that is convenient for me. I am unfamiliar with Rouge Tomate.

                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                        funny, I thought the gnudi were a little too firm the last time I tried but maybe it was an aberration. They werent bad, mind you.

                        Last time I went to convivium I ordered badly - the octopus and the rabbit both had basically the same treatment (olives - potatoes etc) which I had rather od'd on any way on a recent visit to Liguria so the meal was a bit boring and the rabbit not as interesting as I recalled. Also the waiter was nasty to us. Will have to get back quickly and redeem the experience.

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          Interestingly enough (or not), we haven't been back to Convivium in probably five years or more. I remember the food fondly and the space is/was charming. But you bring me back to the reason we stopped going and that was the unevenness of the service experience. At least 2 out of the 10 or so times we went, we had poor to rude service from waitstaff and even from the owners. Not outright nastiness, but just the kind of "we can care less whether you're liking this or not" type of attitude thing that ruins an otherwise good time. And that offset, at least for us, the 5 or so times that everything was just fine & the remaining 3 or so times where they were all actually very friendly and solicitous. And here you are saying "...the waiter was nasty to us. Will have to get back quickly and redeem the experience". Really? Is it worth it? Should we return? I guess it's time. The food I remember is better than most of the places we go & probably worth another shot.

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            Check it out again and report back. I was thrilled with this place. Especially since I have found it difficult to find good food in Park Slope. Maybe with the exception of Al Dila.

                            1. re: jen kalb

                              Never had a nasty experience, but the last time I was there with my husband (a few months ago), we had this older Italian (?) waiter who ignored me the entire time. When I asked questions about the menu he would answer to DH, not me. When he presented the food he would only address DH. I even asked for the check and paid the bill and I was still ignored! I wasn't upset but merely amused by the waiter's bizarre behavior. I don't know if it's a cultural or generational thing but it was quite odd.

                  2. re: foodwhisperer

                    I had the tasting menu at Rose Water on Saturday and thought it was outstanding. It was the second time I've done it, and the second time I've been wowed.

                2. Applewood
                  DiFara
                  Grocery
                  Sue Perette
                  Franny's
                  Lucali
                  Locanda Vini e olii
                  Peter Luger
                  Frankie's 457
                  Ferdinando's Focceria

                  -----
                  Lucali
                  575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                  Applewood
                  501 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                  Peter Luger Steak House
                  178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                  Sue Perette
                  270 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                  1. Among at least somewhat upscale places, which ones do you like best recently? I've never been to Henry's End. I recall some people saying it was the best restaurant in Brooklyn. Is it, in your opinion? What about Applewood? I'm especially interested in comments from people who've been to these or other restaurants in a similar category in the last few months.

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: Pan

                      I know I'm in the minority, but I like but don't love Applewood. It's fine if you're in Brooklyn, but I don't think it's worth it for you to trek from Manhattan. I also prefer it for brunch over dinner. I also feel similarly about Henry's End -- like, but not love. I've only been there for their game menu though and haven't tried the other stuff.

                      I think Dressler is my favorite somewhat upscale restaurant in Brooklyn (though I haven't been to every single place on this thread). Love the vibe, music and most importantly the food. I was there recently and talking to the group of people next to me. They made the trek out from Manhattan and were really enamored with everything about the place. Told me they would definitely be back.

                      If you are looking for upscale, Brooklyn Fare is really special. But prices went up recently and no BYOB anymore. And it's also a bit of a pain to get reservations.

                      ETA: Perhaps not as upscale as Dressler, but I think Tanoreen is definitely a destination place.

                      -----
                      Tanoreen
                      7523 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

                      Dressler
                      149 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                      Applewood
                      501 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                      Henry's End
                      44 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                      Brooklyn Fare
                      200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        Thanks a lot for your reply, Miss Needle.

                        Unless Tanoreen has changed since the time I went there several years ago (and was delighted with the food), it's not a very fancy place. I usually don't care at all about that, but for the occasion I'm considering, that feels somewhat important to me.

                        I'll consider Dressler, but it's sufficiently out of the way from where I work and where my friends live for me to start thinking about Manhattan. Then again, it's really not that hard to get to Williamsburg from Downtown Brooklyn by bus, and I'm guessing the G train is not too far from Dressler, maybe with a change for the J. I'll check into it.

                        How cramped a space is it?

                        1. re: Pan

                          I never ate at the "old" tanoreen, but it is my understanding that it was upgraded/remodeled at some point. Its fairly nice which a mirror-backed bar and fairly nicely appointed dining room.

                          1. re: tex.s.toast

                            Thanks for the info.

                            Given that my friends are in Park Slope, and I'd also like to involve my girlfriend, who lives in Midtown, I think I'll keep things a bit closer to Manhattan this time, but it's good to know what's going on in Bay Ridge.

                            1. re: Pan

                              If you guys are a party of 6, Talde in Park Slope may be a good choice as they take reservations. Otherwise plan on eating there at 5P on a weekend if you don't want to wait. They've got booths that fit up to 6 people.

                              You also have Convivium Osteria, but it's been a while since I've been there. Perhaps you may also want to consider Stone Park Cafe and Blue Ribbon.

                              -----
                              Convivium Osteria
                              68 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

                              Blue Ribbon Brooklyn
                              280 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                              Stone Park Cafe
                              324 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                              Talde
                              369 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                Maximum of 4 people in our party. It could be on a weeknight. Any recommended dishes at Talde? I haven't heard of them before [not keeping up with the Outer Boroughs board enough, obviously :-)].

                                1. re: Pan

                                  Here's the only CH thread on Talde.

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/829033

                                  And this is what my waiter told me about seating times.

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8290...

                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                    Thanks a lot.

                                    I'll go there with a friend on a carb day, but (sorry to sound so picky!) its short menu and complicated seating situation probably means it shouldn't be for this occasion. Reservations are really best for now. I'll look into Dressler.

                                2. re: Miss Needle

                                  We are big fans of Convivium Osteria -- it is in our regular rotation of neighborhood go-tos. Plus, they take reservations through opentable. If you are looking for something in Park Slope, I would highly recommend it.

                                  I also liked, but did not love, my recent meal at Applewood. My SO keeps wanting to go back (he was a bigger fan than I was), but nothing is pulling me back there.

                                  Had a very good meal last week at a newish restaurant in Cobble Hill/Carrol Gardens called Battersby. The apps and mid-courses were phenomenal, but the entrees were just "good." The place is very small though, and doesn't take reservations, so probably would not be good for Pan's current search.

                                  -----
                                  Convivium Osteria
                                  68 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

                                  Applewood
                                  501 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                  Battersby
                                  255 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                            2. re: Pan

                              Unless I'm crazy I believe Tanoreen has changed locations. I was there few times many years ago, and twice in the past year (last visit 2 months ago). The space seemed different when I was there recently -- larger, more comfortable.

                              Dressler can be cramped, but not as bad as Applewood. Applewood is really small and can be uncomfortable IMO. Try googling some pics of Applewood Brooklyn and Dressler Brooklyn to get an idea of what to expect. I would say Tanoreen is the most spacious out of the three.

                              http://www.immaculateinfatuation.com/...

                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                You're correct. Tanoreen moved about 2 years ago. There was a Chinese restaurant at this location (Mr. Tang's) and Tanoreen was across the avenue and about a block down. It was much smaller, didn't have a bar, and the display cases were in the back of the one square room, not in another room as they are now. It was a nicely decorated storefront but not the larger, nicer space it is now. Food's pretty much the same though.

                              2. re: Pan

                                Dressler is not cramped at all! And it's wonderful!
                                And it's EASY to get there by subway -- just a few blocks walk from the Marcy Avenue stop on the J or M train. So, for example, if you were leaving from downtown Brooklyn (Pan), you could just hop on the F train at Jay Street, go 3 stops to Delancey Street, switch to the J train, then only one stop to Marcy Avenue. It's sounds onerous having to go through Manhattan, but it's really only 4 stops total! (Or you can take the B or D to B'way/Lafayette, and switch to the M -- only a few more stops.)

                                1. re: parkslopemama

                                  No need to even go via Manhattan - switch from the F to the G (or walk over to Fulton and catch the G there) and take it to Broadway, short walk from there. Or take the B62, it'll drop you off practically in front of the place.

                          2. The places not mentioned so far that I'd add are Colonie and Battersby. In addition, Henry's End, Locanda Vini e Olii (easily vaulted into my top few from just one meal). And maybe Brucie or Frankies, and Flatbush Farm (though my experiences seem to have been better than the norm here).

                            Brooklyn Fare and Lugers each get their own category, fair or not.

                            -----
                            Frankies 457 Spuntino
                            457 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                            Peter Luger Steak House
                            178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                            Henry's End
                            44 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                            Flatbush Farm
                            76 Saint Marks Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

                            Locanda Vini e Olii
                            129 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

                            Brooklyn Fare
                            200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                            Brucie
                            234 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                            Colonie
                            127 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                            Battersby
                            255 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: cazique

                              Convivium is consistently very good. I also like Frankies 457, I cant recommend Flatbush Farm, attractive presentation, some dishes good some not. some issues with the drinks, too bad since its on my corner.

                              -----
                              Convivium Osteria
                              68 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

                              Frankies 457 Spuntino
                              457 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                              Flatbush Farm
                              76 Saint Marks Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

                              1. re: cazique

                                I'm a real fan of Locanda Vini e Olii for these kinds of dinners. Also support Convivium. I'd add Rosewater in Park Slope, although it can be a bit cramped.

                                1. re: cazique

                                  Just had dinner again at Colonie this weekend. I think the place is great but it seems the lack of reservations may prove to be a problem for Pan. Miss Needle may not be a huge fan of Henry's End, but I think the the food there is quite good. I love the variations on duck they have. But if you're looking for a comfortable space for 4, I think it may seem cramped. For an alternative BH location that is centrally located, comfortable for groups, reservable, I will suggest Jack the Horse.

                                  1. re: Bkeats

                                    Thanks, that's really info I can use.

                                    The place we go doesn't have to be in Brooklyn Heights. The people involved are me (work on Jay St. in Downtown Brooklyn, live in the East Village), friends (live in Park Slope), and possibly girlfriend (lives in the west 50s, Manhattan).

                                    1. re: Pan

                                      Well to minimize travel for the group, I think that staying in the Heights and 2 Hills area makes sense. If you go to PS, it can be a schlep back, but there are some great places there but I guess your PS friends would know what those are.

                                      Depending on the night you want to do this, getting a group of 4 in will vary a bit. That's why I was focused on places that take reservations and where you can have a conversation.

                                      As I said before, I like Henry's End a lot, but the tables are small and its a cramped space. But the food is good and they have a great beer and wine list if you're into that.

                                      Noodle pudding is decent italian but they don't take reservations and if you don't live in the hood, I don't think its worth the wait. There is a wine bar just up the street that's pretty good with tapas but I'm drawing blank on the name. The best place in the north Heights is Jack.

                                      I would skip pretty much anything on Montague.

                                      Moving south and west, I really like River Deli. Remember to bring cash if you go as they dont take CCs.

                                      Right on Court St, you have Queen which has real good Italian. Its a bit boring on the decor - looks like a hotel lobby from the '80. But its got good space for some classic italian. A bit on the pricy end.

                                      Talked about Colonie already. Going down Court, there are more places but I don't think they're special. Two places that are better in Cobble H are Hibino and Bocca but they don't take reservations.

                                      Then there's a gaggle of places on Smith St. Saul is on the high end. Very nice contemporary American. I like it but others are not impressed. On the high end of prices. I also really like Char No. 4. Bourbon flights with my jambalaya!

                                      Plenty of options.

                                      -----
                                      Hibino
                                      333 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                      Saul
                                      140 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                      Bocca Lupo
                                      391 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                      Noodle Pudding
                                      38 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                      Henry's End
                                      44 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                      Jack the Horse Tavern
                                      64 Hicks St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                      Queen
                                      84 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                      Char No. 4
                                      196 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                      River Deli
                                      32 Joralemon St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                      Colonie
                                      127 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                      1. re: Bkeats

                                        Regarding convenience to the Heights and Manhattan, Convivium, which is just off Flatbush Ave, is certainly convenenient to subways, if thats an issue you might want to consider Franny's too, if you and your friends havent tried it. Im told its not so nuts on weekdays.

                                        -----
                                        Convivium Osteria
                                        68 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

                                        Franny's
                                        295 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                          Thanks for all your suggestions, everyone.

                                          I've seen several people praise this place. I'll look into it more. Thanks, Jen and Bkeats.

                                      2. re: Pan

                                        I'm a fan of Rucola in Boerum Hill (corner of Dean and Bond sts) I've been twice and the food has been v good both times. It's always been a party of 5, so I made a reservation, but not sure if they take them for parties of less than 5. The cocktails there are good, too.

                                        -----
                                        Rucola
                                        190 Dean St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

                                      3. re: Bkeats

                                        It's funny, both my wife and I have warm, nostalgic feelings for Henry's end. We went tonight and both of us left thinking that one of the formerly great brooklyn dining experiences has passed its time. The food was just Ok. No, actually, that is being too generous. I had the duck - I don't remember it having the gloppy overly sweet sauce It was not properly cooked, tough as leather. I remember the skin being crisp and the meat moist and tender, but not any more. My wife's salmon was just ok, nothing more. It made us sad. Even though it might have just been an off night on a Monday night, I just don't think we will make it back.

                                        -----
                                        Henry's End
                                        44 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                        1. re: BillyBob

                                          I learned a long time ago not to try to defend a place, even when that place is my favorite place. But, since we just got back ourselves from Henry's End (we were the 4 at the table just inside the door, near the wines), I figure I might as well weigh in on this. No excuses for your experience, but this was a very unusual Monday night. They were unexpectedly slammed big time and we were joking about it at our table. None of the long time waiters/waitresses were there tonite, the owner wasn't there either and there was only one busboy. Definitely not the usual experience and we go very regularly. As for the food, my wife had the honey/ginger duck and I also noticed that the sauce was thicker than usual and seemed to just be added on at the end. However, the tuna w/soy and the fried chicken that the rest of us had were up to par. The turtle soup was as usual and the corn chowder w/bacon was excellent. The gnocchi w/wild boar was also quite good. I'm not sure what might have happened and, since both chefs in the kitchen were long timers who I know are strong, I can't even guess. I'm just sorry that another CH regular had a poor experience there and might not try again. Their loss. Of course, if you change your mind and need dinner companions....

                                          1. re: Steve R

                                            I've been a fan of HE for years, and I've only got one rule about the place:

                                            Never go on a Monday.

                                            I don't know why, but every time I've ever been on a Monday (and I've been an on & off regular for a decade or so) it's been a bit underwhelming. Strange, it seems that ALL the regular staff are off on Mondays - no Bonnie(!), no Mark, none of the waitstaff I'd usually recognize. It's like another team entirely takes over on Mons.

                                    2. Hi All!

                                      I'm attempting to revive this thread for the purely self-interested reason of picking a place to take my Grandpa when he visits Brooklyn. Based on the above (and my own insight) I'm thinking one of the following:

                                      1) Henry's End

                                      2) James

                                      3) Colonie

                                      4) Prime Meats

                                      Thoughts?

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: ndukka562

                                        it might help to know more about your grandpa - where is he visiting from, what does he like to eat and all that - though i suppose your 4 choices give some examples, people may have more targeted suggestions if you give us even the slightest hint of where the target is.

                                        1. re: tex.s.toast

                                          Grandpa lives in Southern California. He eats pretty much anything, not fussy at all. I am planning a separate Italian dinner in Brooklyn (separate post) and just want to have one meal that is a nice representation of what Brooklyn does well.

                                          I suppose there are non-food-related things to keep in mind, mainly that he likes to eat early and doesn't like cramped spaces. Any place that offers legroom and can provide excellent dinner service by 6 would be worthy of note.

                                          Thanks!

                                          1. re: ndukka562

                                            traif - small plates, kinda loud but the food is incredible

                                            st. anselm - amazing and affordable steak house, no reservations, gotta get there to put your name on the list in advance

                                            roberta's - you probly know all about it

                                            abistro - hardly ever gets crowded, french/west african

                                        2. re: ndukka562

                                          The Pines. Great food, incredible but not very loud at all 80s hip-hop soundtrack,lovely room, middle of nowhere location, and free S'Mores makings by the roaring fire in the back yard. If that doesn't scream Brooklyn I don't know what does.

                                          Locanda Vini e Olii in Clinton Hill. The BEST place to take out of towners who like to eat.

                                        3. Romans
                                          Marlow and Sons
                                          Diner
                                          Vinegar HIll House
                                          Robertas
                                          Locanda Vini
                                          One or Eight
                                          St Anselm
                                          AlDiLa
                                          Tanoreen
                                          Reynard
                                          Aksa

                                          1. Interesting read. Need to come back to Convivium Osteria as its been a while. Still haven't made it to Al Di La.

                                            Tanoreen didn't do it for me. Much preferred the food at Bab al Yemen tho it was probably the most uncomfortable experience ever at a restaurant.

                                            Cafe Kashkar is the meal of the year for me in Brooklyn (well in its class at least). Prefer it over Café Gletchik

                                            Loved Aska but its not for everyone, my wife included