Some thoughts on a culinary exploration of Brooklyn
My gf and I made the decision to move back to NYC after a couple years in San Francisco and wow did I miss the culinary delights of my favorite city! After a weekend exploring Brooklyn my chow senses are on high alert and I can't wait to start scouring the boards for advice again. On Thursday and Saturday we went on a walking tour of Williamsburg/ Greenpoint and Park Slope/ Cobble Hill respectively. Highlights by neighborhood included (drinks & food):
Rosarito Fish Shack - wasn't expecting much as we waited to grab a glass of wine at DOC, had a couple beers some decent oysters and a quesadilla that was one of the best I had. The cheese and mushrooms were fantastic and while it probably received bonus points from how hungry we were, I would no doubt go back.
DOC Wine Bar - the food looked fantastic and the wine list was pretty good, although the bottle list was far superior than the glass list. We both thought the glass list had a bit too much of a focus on biodynamic/ organic wines rather than featuring wines that highlight the flavor profiles of Italian wines.
Post Office - our last stop for the night (after pizza) but the drinks were excellent and the setting was much more relaxed than some of the cocktail spots in Manhattan. Really diverse drink menu and the grilled cheese with bacon was a perfect way to ease the pain we felt the next morning!
Paulie Gees - very excited to have some NY pizza again after a year of finding passable coal/ wood oven pizzas at A16 and Zero Zero in San Francisco. Paulie Gees did not disappoint! A great selection of Six Point beers on draft and the In Ricotta Di Vita was tasty. I prefer slightly more salt in my crust, but the crust was super airy and the ingredients were top notch, also the space was super cool with an unfinished wood interior and logs for the fire stack all around the restaurant.
Park Slope -
Dizzy's - Had wanted to hit Applewood for brunch but was closing at 2pm. So we headed over to Dizzy's for some traditionalesque dinner fare. All around a good brunch spot for a decent price. For a tasty omelet at an ok price it's a great spot to hit up, but nothing outstanding.
Cobble Hill -
Clover Club - My gf enjoyed the drink list more than I did. I went off menu and ordered a variation of an old fashioned with chocolate bitters, was an ok drink but I've had far better variations of that cocktail at other drinking dens. However, the duck fat potato chips were phenomenal! Place was open and comfortable but for me was just a miss. The cheese plate which featured Stinky cheeses was pretty solid however.
Brooklyn Social - Loved the interior of this place, very kitschy but reminded me of an upstate NY Italian American club, like the one I went to a ton of sweet 16s back in the day. A limited special cocktail menu but I was really happy with my drink which featured egg whites. The gf enjoyed her old fashioned as well. I could totally see this as a frequent stop if we move to the neighborhood.
Jakewalk - Simply put this was a wine bar/ small bites restaurant that seems to get it right. The wine list was pretty varied both in types of wine and price of wine. We were also really happy to see a 1996 Corrison on their menu (a winery we liked to visit up in Napa). We shared their special soup of the day and a spicy cucumber salad - both were EXCELLENT and like many places on Smith they featured a cheese plate from Stinky Cheeses.
Buschenschank - After a day of drinking we were ready for some food that might make our walk back to our hotel slightly easier so finding a German beer hall was like a gift from heaven. We walked in and were greeted by communal tables and a nice sized bar that stretched around the entrance way of the restaurant. The pretzle and beer mustard was excellent as was their sausage platter. The beer menu went from traditional pilsners to darker and wheat beers and had more to choose from than similar restaurants I've been to in the past. All in I was impressed with this spot, thought the atmosphere was great and would be happy to go back.
Welcome back! Glad to hear you've liked what you tried so far in Brooklyn. Don't discount the other Outré Boroughs though. There's plenty of great, resonably priced chow to be had in Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island as well (a lot of it ethnic).
Do some sniffing around on this board and you'll discover quite a few gems.
Is there anything in particular you want to find that you haven't yet encountered in Brooklyn? Please let us know. Folks will likely chime in with gusto.
Glendale is hungry...
There is more to Brooklyn than the northern sector. Take the N train to 18th Avenue (Little Italy). As soon as you get out of the station, there is a great pizza place (J&V) that's been there since 1950. Across the street, there is Bari Pork Store. Some realy fine Italian specialities there. Then you can proceed south and sample some delectable pastries from Alba/Villabate. Also some great Italian grocers where you can buy fresh made pasta and brasciole, sausage, imported cheeses and homemade tomato sauce (Frank & Sal). I promise, you won't be disappointed.
The best one (in my opinion) is Frank & Sal's located on 18th Avenue between 80th and 81st Streets. Try their homemade brasciole, spedini and sausages in the meat case and then on the other side of the store, their deli has many ready-made foods (think breaded eggplant, breaded and fried chicken cutlets, homemade mozarella fresh daily, great olives and salads). Also, they have fresh pasta and homemade marinara and vodka sauce, and a lot of imported stuff from Italy. Their fruits and vegetables are the best in Bensonhurst.
Nice report... thanks (& welcome back). Just thought I'd add a little info. you might/might not know about a couple of the places you visited:
1- Bklyn Social reminded you of an Italian American club because that is exactly what it was prior to the owners of B.S. buying it (including many of the pictures).
2- Jakewalk's featuring Stinky Cheese products is not a coincidence since there's overlap in ownership. They also have interest in Smith & Vine and Brooklyn Wine Exchange, two very nice liquor stores on Smith and Court, respectively.
Again, thanks for the report. And, keep going... you have a lot more to sample & report on.