Need recommendations-date night in Carroll, Cobble, Red Hook
So my brother in law kindly offered to babysit...which means we get to go out! Now the only question is where...a little spoilt for choice here, which is a good problem to have of course.
Thinking of maybe returning to the good fork (apparently just recently reopened after sandy), but also considering trying battersby, kittery, rucola, or returning to char after 5 years.
Can anyone strongly suggest/recommend the best option? Battersby strongly interests, but I'm a bit put off by the hype...had the same feeling about pok pok ny, which we liked, but for the wait and the crowds, it just didn't strike us as transcendent.
In Red Hook, The Good Fork has just reopened after the hurricane. It is a very charming (especially the rear dining room) place with really good modern American food. Red Hook Restaurants can use some support.
In Cobble Hill,
La Vara is a unique Spanish/Moorish/Ladino restaurant specializing in Small Plates. The only problem is that the restaurant is small and the tables are close together.
i love Battersby and think it's worth the hype of a certain kind. some people go in expecting it to be a "World's Best 50" restaurant. it's not, but their dishes are honest and concepted with a unique touch - and their service is warm and very competent. the bigger issue is getting a table though. if you go early and put yourself on the wait list, spots may open up around 9:30pm.
i also agree with other posters on La Vara, Buttermilk Channel and Colonie - all wonderful. I'd also like to add Prime Meats, which has the best oysters in the neighborhood. these restaurants also don't take reservations - but aren't as much of a pain to get a table for as Battersby.
i also want to add Chez Moi and Sottocasa to the list. Chez Moi does traditional French food VERY well (although I do prefer their onion soup and their fries at Bar Tabac) - i really love their salmon, and their pates and terrines are some of my favorites in the city....and they take reservations - though they're under the radar enough to easily get a table. Sottocasa does excellent Napoletan pizza - you may need to wait a bit for a table.
we had a great meal at red gravy last night on atlantic between henry and clinton. excellent appetizers (rice balls with smoke mozzarella, meatballs with polenta) and very good pastas (bucattini with seafood ragu and rabbit sugo were highlights). also, their hot pane bianco with fava bean puree was a nice way to start.
service was very good, wines weren't too expensive ($12-15 for a quartino), and room was busy but not too loud.
we'll be going back.
Try Strong Place if it's Monday thru Thursday before 7:00PM - $1 oysters and Happy-Hour beer prices with a dynamite selection on draft.
Then move on...
Rucola is a hands-down winner but suggest you get there early. Pastas there or at Fragole (Court Street near Carroll Park) have never disappointed.