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Nice lunch in metro tech area in Brooklyn

I have a half day next Friday and meeting my husband who works in metro tech area in Brooklyn for lunch. We have 2 young kids so we don't really get to go out much so I want to take advantage of this lunch as much as I can. Any good recommendation? We like everything and eat everything. Budget is pretty open as well. We just want really good food in a nice atmoshphere where we can relax, chat, drink and eat.

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  1. Ganso isn't too far, serves very good ramen and Japanese food (bento boxes at lunch are tasty, particularly the curry katsu), and is very kid friendly.

    Mile End is just a bit further, but can be kid friendly if your kids are older. (It's a cramped venue, so it's better for kids without the need for a high chair.)

    Within Metrotech, the best option I imagine would be La Defense, but I've only had takeaway pastries.

    8 Replies
      1. re: lambretta76

        I don't think they're planning on taking the kids.

        1. re: Sluggo1407

          D'oh. Darned scanning ...

          If it's a Friday, Char No. 4 could work (they serve lunch that day). Some people love it, some people are meh (or worse on it). I rather enjoy it. http://charno4.com/menu/lunch/

          I still stand by my Ganso recommendation, even without kids. It's a fairly chic space (for a ramenya). Peter -- I thought perhaps my appreciation for them was somewhat tainted by the fact that I live a block away and can do takeaway, but subsequent visits to old faves like Ippudo and Totto confirmed my feeling that they're on par with the best of NYC. I've not been as enamored by its appetizers, but I think the ramen and some of the bento box meals are very, very good if not great.

          1. re: lambretta76

            I work in manhattan so I get my share of ramen for lunch. so I will pass on that recommendation.

            Char No. 4 sounds nice..albeit small limited menu for lunch.

            Frankies sounds nice but that's just too far to walk.
            Maybe I will just go back to Bacchus for their garden table and amazing creme brulee.

            1. re: lambretta76

              "they're on par with the best of NYC"

              We will just have to agree to disagree on this point. I like Ganso a lot. But to say its on the same level as Totto or Ippudo? For you, but not for me. I will wait in line for an hour for Totto. I wouldn't do that for Ganso. One of the reasons I like going to Ganso is that I've rarely had to wait for a table. I like the ramen at Totto much better than Ganso but Ganso has much better apps.

              1. re: lambretta76

                I'm glad they're doing well and wish I felt that way, but I don't. Unlike @Bkeats, I don't like it a lot or even very much at all. I'll give it another visit in a year and see if it's improved.

                1. re: Peter Cuce

                  Sorry you feel that way, but far from me to try to convince you that they're better than you feel they are. My favorite, for what it's worth, is the spicy miso ramen.

                  I do have to say that Totto has better music -- on a handful of occasions they've been playing Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, one of my favorite bands.

              1. If this is a date lunch with your husband, I think you should aim for something nicer than Ganso. The ramen is fine, but when I go there, I think of it as casual quick bite to eat. Neither it or Mile End would be a place to relax over a meal and conversation.

                Instead, go somewhere that would be a pleasant place to have a nice meal and linger over wine and have a grown up conversation without the kids. That's what we preferred when the kids were little.

                Nice lunch options are limited in the area, but I will make a few suggestions. You will have to leave the Metrotech area.

                If the weather is good, go to Bacchus on Atlantic and get a table in the garden. Its a very relaxed place and you can linger all afternoon. Another french option would be Bar Tabac on Smith.

                Queen on Court has great food but the atmosphere is a bit fuddy duddy but they won't rush you.

                A little further away, Hibino is a nice Japanese spot.

                If you're willing to spend more time walking if its a really great day, head down Court and go to Frankie's 457. Have some wine, get some meatballs and cheese. Time will melt away.

                Or if you want something closer and with ok food, get a table outside at the Heights Cafe. Good for people watching.

                Remembering your other thread, I've kept you away from those "places" you haven't eaten at yet.;)

                2 Replies
                1. re: Bkeats

                  Haha, thanks. The 'other' thread, it was really kind of like a silly thread I created..didn't think much of it..but sure did get a lot of attention.

                  Thanks for the recommendations. Last time I dined with him, we went to Bacchus and it was indeed very nice.
                  They had really good creme brulee! I'd love to try more popular places in Brooklyn like newly opened The Elm but I realized it's too far.

                  1. re: Bkeats

                    I agree with most of Bkeats' post. Mile's End, Ganso, Queen, Hibino, Frankie's, Bar Tabac are all places I've enjoyed myself. I think all the places on Montague Street, including Heights Cafe, are mediocre to bad. But it can be a pleasant stroll on the way to the Promenade.

                    Given there are not many options in the immediate vicinity of Metrotech, it really depends on how much time you'll have for lunch.

                    Ganso may be the best bet within a short walk. It probably depends on how crowded it is during lunch hours. I've been there between the lunch and dinner hours and was able to linger with no problems. Decor is Momofuku-esque. I don't think the ramen is that great compared to places in the city. Its broth is lighter-tasting (or bland depending on how you want to look at it) but the ingredients are very good quality. If you do go, I highly recommend the wings. Fried very well and the flavors are really good.

                    Queen has really good food and it's also a reasonable walk. But with a very old-school Italian feel, it may not be what you're seeking.

                    If you have more time, you might even consider hopping on the subway and going to places in Park Slope like Al di la. That can be a very pleasant lunch.

                  2. Anyone know anything about Provence en boite?

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Monica

                      Yes, it's a nice space with very mediocre food. If you really want french and don't want to go back to bacchus, you might want to try the new french bistro on atlantic, but unfortunately i forgot the name.

                      If you're willing to walk as far as Provence en boite, there are better places along smith st, for lunch, including clover club (if drinks are your main focus) jolie cantina, seersucker, and others. nothing spectacular, but some have decent lunches. Bar Tabac is better than Provence, though I am never wowed by lunch at Bar Tabac. Still, on a nice day, it's pleasant to snag a table outside.

                      On court street there are Brucie, Watty and Meg, and Van Horn, all closer than Provence and serving decent lunches. Probably others, too, that I'm forgetting.

                      Another thought is to to the other direction and cross flatbush into fort greene. Maybe there's something there?

                      1. re: missmasala

                        Thanks. I am not looking for a French place...just a nice place with good food..maybe something that's more brooklyn than manhattan but in the area I am seeking, I guess I shouldn't ask too much.
                        Looking at the menu, I see that Clover Club has buttermilk fried chicken...that sounds good..any thought?

                        1. re: Monica

                          I think the other french place is Chez Moi but I don't think they are open for lunch.

                          If you are looking for a more "Brooklyn" type place, maybe you should head north to Dumbo and checkout Superfine or Rebar. There is great atmosphere at both places. More food options at Superfine, but better beer selection at Rebar.

                          I think of Clover Club more as a bar than a place to eat.

                          1. re: Bkeats

                            Stupid question but how is the parking situation in Dumbo?
                            I've always wanted to try Dumbo area!

                            btw, Chez moi is open for lunch.

                            1. re: Monica

                              I've found parking to not be bad. You may have to drive around a few blocks, but its a small area and I've always been able to find parking. If you go, you should spend some time walking around the new park area.

                              Superfine and rebar are good places to hang out. Food isn't on par with the better places in Bklyn but its not bad at all. Not fancy stuff, but I like both places. The best food in the area used to be at Governeur but they never recovered from Sandy.

                              The rebar space is spectacular. Vaulted ceilings, timber and tiles. If I lived in the area, that would be my local watering hole.

                          2. re: Monica

                            How about Bedouin Tent on Atlantic? its not fancy, but I've never been disappointed there and the garden is quiet and peaceful.

                            1. re: seb

                              Sounds good but as my husband is Jewish, I eat a lot of middle eastern food with my in laws...though that Leg of lamb platter sounds delicious.

                      2. if your are interested in Dumbo area you could always visit Juliana's pizzeria (the reboot of Patsy Grimaldi's original place) for lunch and then stroll around for dessert, with quite a lot of options including Almondine, Jacques Torres and the Ice Cream factory in the area. On a nice day, that would be a lovely and very Brooklyn outing (altho it would be equally a nice place to go with kids)

                        1. Bien cuit is near by. I am thinking about stopping by to buy some bread and get some desserts. Do they have tables to have desserts and coffee?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Monica

                            maybe give them a call - theres a counter by the window but its not optimal for lingering. saw a link to a story from last month about them opening a back garden patio "within a few weeks" so that could be a good/great option, if its open.

                            1. re: Monica

                              There is seating. Their coffee isn't good but Cafe Pedlar and Roogla nearby have much better.
                              For gourmet shops I like Stinky Brooklyn and Shelsky's Smoked Fish.

                            2. So we are going to go check out Chez Moi and Bien Cuit..any other places I should check out while I am there??
                              Any good food store? I will have extra hour before I meet him for lunch and I love the new adventure especially if it's food related. =)

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Monica

                                If you're going to Chez Moi, you should check out Sahadi's for food related items. Cook's Companion has all sorts of fancy cookware items. There's a design shop on the north side of Atlantic between Henry and Clinton that my wife likes. I can't remember the name but they have some interesting things to look at there.

                                1. re: Bkeats

                                  What do you mean by 'design shop'? as in furniture and housewares?
                                  Sahadi sounds interesting as well. Thanks for the recommendations..though I am sure I will end up ordering a bottle of cold white at the bar by myself.

                                  1. re: Monica

                                    cant read BKeats mind but id guess this is the shop (s)hes thinking of:


                                    its totally awesome and well worth a stop if youre not in the area often.

                                    1. re: tex.s.toast

                                      That's it. Thanks, Tex. hehe. Sounds like a western.

                              2. So we went to Chez Moi as planned and we were really really disappointed with everything(except the nice bottle of Chenin Blanc I ordered which was very good). The service sucked...it was just way too slow and there were maybe 5 filled tables. They didn't bring water for 10-15 min. We ordered foie gras appetizer, tuna tartare, charcuterie and moule frites to share with wine. The 2 tiny foie gras were size of silver dollars and cut paper thin...I thought they were joking. Tuna tartare had bad color and was mush...not fresh at all..charcuterie was another joke. it had some old shredded chicken in mustard, 2 tiny slices of salami and so called homemade country pate which was tiny as well. Mussels tasted like rubber...though the sauce was pretty good. I was pretty upset that someone from Chowhound recommended this place; my source of great recommendations.

                                After the restaurant, we went to Sahadi's to buy their house made hummus which seems to be wellknown. At the end, nobody in my family wanted to eat it. It just wasn't good. I will stick with Sabra. I did buy other goodies like smoked duck, lamb sausages, halvah(which was really good) and other imported cookies and candies.

                                After that, we went to Bien Cuit...and the place saved my miserable day. The ice coffee was good and so were 2 desserts we ordered. We bought 4 baguettes, half loaf of miche and half loaf of campagne. Ate them up with President butter at home...Love love their bread...though I still prefer Pan D'avignon's baguettes..Bien Cuit's baguettes are definitely very very good...better than most bakeries in Manhattan.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Monica

                                  Sorry you had a middling experience - never been to Chez Moi, and there are various things i love at Sahadi's but the hummus (and babaganoush) are not among them.

                                  Not being pedantic but for those who may come across this thread at a later point - Bien Cuit has a West Village location as well, so that might make the smith st location "as good as some bakeries in Manhattan"

                                  1. re: tex.s.toast

                                    Not really because their location in Manhattan is closed...at least for now.

                                  2. re: Monica

                                    That's unfortunate. I don't think I recommended Chez Moi to you though I have written about it in the past. I've never been for lunch and didn't know it was open then until you pointed that out. Coincidentally, we ended up there for a late dinner on Monday night when we came back from the holiday weekend. I've had the foie gras before and it was about size you described but more like 1/2 inch thick slices. I think it tastes ok, but nothing to get excited about. I prefer the pate or salad for starters. Can't say I've ever had the other starters you had.

                                    Never had the moules. On Monday, I had the chicken and my wife had the market fish dish. Both were good. I've had the steak tartar and skate several times and like those too. I guess you got unlucky with what you ordered.

                                    Don't know what happened to the service. We've not had a problem. Our waiter on Monday was very attentive. Maybe the difference between lunch and dinner crews.

                                    I've never been a fan of the hummus at Sahadi's. Much prefer the one at Fatoosh. I go to Sahadi's for the cheese, oils, spices more than for the prepared food.

                                    my apologies if I lead you astray.

                                    1. re: Monica

                                      I like Sahadi's hummus way more than Sabra, which I find has an unpleasant mayonnaisy quality.

                                      1. re: Peter Cuce

                                        I thought Sahadi's hummus didn't quite taste like hummus...it was too fluffy, almost like mousse and it had no flavor. Either they didn't put enough chick peas...or not enough tahini...it was just weird..
                                        I still think Sabra's hummus ia one of the best store bought hummus.