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Aug 6, 2012 10:36 AM

Brooklyn Crab, short review

We went to Brooklyn Crab in Red Hook this weekend. The space is definitely fun for the season and the view is lovely. The food and service, unfortunately, were not particularly good. I should preface this by saying I lived in Baltimore for ten years so I am probably a tough critic when it comes to steamed crabs (and I don't even bother ordering crab cakes in NY. Even great places don't get close to a great one in Baltimore.)

Our server was nice enough, but there was a huge lag between when we got our appetizer (fried calamari. Fine. Standard. Not enough marinara. Probably frozen squid.) and the rest of our meal. We got a steamed platter and it bugged me that everything, including the shrimp, were cold. The crabs didn't have enough Old Bay to make them interesting. My kids got fish and chips and the fish was too salty (and we are a salty family, so that's saying a lot) and the fries were soggy. We got the habanero margaritas and they were undrinkable. Too sweet and had a fake metallic taste to it. We immediately ordered Sangria which was okay (just okay) and told the waitress, to be fair, that it was our fault but we didn't like them. She didn't take them off our check, which again is okay since we told her we had ordered badly but would have been a nice thing to do anyway. My husband didn't have as much issue with the place as I did (I had a bad experience where the plastic container of melted butter melted the bottom out of it so that I had butter stains on my handbag, so that didn't put me in a great state of mind). Still, I left with that I feel a little gross from having eaten not good food and just wasted a lot of money feeling. I hate that feeling.

Anyway, probably a nice place to go for beers but wouldn't recommend it for much else at this point. Pity. It's such a cool scene.

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  1. Thanks for the review. We were planning to check it out in the Fall when it might be less busy. Anyone else been there?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Motosport

      we went, and at 5pm on a sunday were told there was a wait of 2.25 hrs (with visibly empty tables). decided our time was worth more than taking a risk on the food and headed to Pok Pok for an excellent dinner.

    2. This place has the most universally awful Yelp reviews of anywhere I can remember. I haven't been, but remember going by while it was being put together and saying, "Damn, I can't wait for that place to open!"

      A glance at the menu gave me a heart attack--seemed incredibly overpriced for what is posing as a fun, casual seafood shack. And the reviews I've heard from friends irl and strangers online have not made me want to drop a hundred dollars to check out if it's worth it.

      1. Sounds to me like a couple of people got together and said "Let's open a restaurant!" Also sounds to me like none of them have any restaurant experience at all. Too bad. I guess they thought the view would do it all for them.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Sluggo1407

          The view of Fairway? or the warehouses?

          1. re: Sluggo1407

            But they DO have restaurant experience. That's the thing. It's from the same people who own Alma. Alma gets mixed reviews on this board, but it's been around for a while and does very well during the warmer months. That's why this is so puzzling. They have a medium sized restaurant that does high volume seasonally, and has a great view. This shouldn't have been such a trainwreck, and I'm not sure why it is.

            1. re: egit

              The problem is they have capapcity for 200 plus seats and a kitchen that can cook for 75 people. Alma is a shitshow and so is this place

              1. re: jakeyd

                Yeah- exactly. "From the people who own Alba" actually made me laugh out loud- that place is awful for anything not a drink.

              2. re: egit

                Of course it should be a train wreck. These owners ran Alma, originally opened by an excellent chef from Zarela's & serving excellent food while he was there & several years afterwards, into the ground over the years, to the point where it's almost inedible & with bad service to boot. The views from both places are great and the food/service similarly tragic. Both places will no doubt eventually be featured on Restaurant: Impossible.

                1. re: Steve R

                  Oh gosh, I haven't been to Alma in many years! I didn't realize how far it'd gone down hill. In that case please allow me to retract my previous comparison.

                  When did this happen?

                  1. re: egit

                    There was a time several years after Gary Jacobson left when Alma was doing a fixed price mid week special. I really cant remember how many years ago that was (more than a few). At any rate, the food was still good then. Then we went back about 6 months later and it was as if a totally different kitchen was now churning out pretty poor imitations of what previously was served. Given the view from the deck and our longstanding love of the place (& the fact that we hadnt yet discovered the immigration patterns that changed Sunset Park), we went back several more times over the next year and began to truly dislike the food and the service. Havent been back for awhile now (a year?) but no one's told me anything to the contrary.