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Sep 23, 2013 12:20 PM

Weekend in Brooklyn

My husband and I live in Manhattan. We are ‘of a certain age.’ We are planning to take a ‘vacation’ to Brooklyn in November, because we’re sick of reading about all the great restaurants there which we never go to because we can’t bear the long trek home.

We’ll be staying in downtown Brooklyn, and will be there from Fri eve to Sunday afternoon. We like small, farm-to-table type restaurants that take reservations. My husband is not that adventurous in terms of ethnic food, so we’ll have to miss some of those great options. Also, we need brunch recommendations with non-egg alternatives as he doesn’t like them.

Looking for recommendations for our Brooklyn food vacation - places I've been considering are:

James (although they don't take res)


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  1. Henry's End is excellent and probably walkable from your hotel.
    Prime Meats and Freddies are another great option.
    Melt is one of our favorites.
    Nathans hot dog, French fries and root beer lunch on the Coney Island boardwalk is priceless.

    1. I really do not care for Applewood, I've been dragged multiple times and have found the food to be mediocre and insipid. I personally think the popularity of Applewood is more marketing than quality and that's indicative of more than 1 Park Slope restaurant (see Fonda). I have found the service at Applewood to be pretentious, but really it comes down the the food being completely lackluster, yet expensive.

      Dumont has a great burger, but in general I feel that everything is overpriced for what you get.

      The head chef from Anella opened up Battersby, which is probably your best bet. I'd choose Battersby over the others (excepting James, since I haven't been there).

      For breakfast, I would go to Egg, they have many options without eggs :) so your husband will be ok.

      Blue Ribbon has an amazing oyster happy hour deal and their raw bar is excellent.

      Al Di La is a must, fantastic Italian food and surprisingly reasonable.

      You might also want to consider Rosewater, the kitchen can be inconsistent but I still think it's quite a bit better than Applewood.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Pookipichu

        We just had our third dinner of the year at Osteria Convivium, and the food each time was excellent. It has a spanish/portugese /italian focus, a warm ambiance and good wines. Also, unlike Al Di La, you can reserve.

        James is on my corner but we've only been a couple of times, It had promise but we didnt feel the love. In that same area, you might consider Frannys in their new digs (certainly serious locavores) or offshoot Marco's (just opening this week in the old space). The new Morgans BBQ is also worthy and laidback(and they care about the quality and raising of their meats.

        The Good Fork in Redhook has a good brunch menu not totally egg-oriented

        1. re: Pookipichu

          Completely Agree on Al Di La. (But they don't take reservations!)

          Completely disagree on Applewood.

          1. re: hambone

            Well Applewood is very popular so I'm sure you're not the only one who disagrees with me :) All I can say is I've had really mediocre but expensive food, every time I've went (hoping to see what others liked about it )and I personally wouldn't go there again.

        2. The Elm by Paul Liebrandt from Corton.

          1. If you're staying in downtown Brooklyn, I'm not sure that places in Williamsburg will be any more convenient depending on where you live in Manhattan. Basically to get from here to there, the best option is driving/taking a car or taxi. Depending on how far into Brooklyn you go, the trek back to the hotel could be pretty long. So I will recommend places in the area.

            If you do stay in downtown Brooklyn, I would suggest you try Atrium in Dumbo. Its recently opened. We've only been once but it was it very good contemporary french influenced food. They don't take reservations but as they have not seemed to attract much attention yet I don't think it will be too hard to get a table.

            One standby in the area for me is Colonie. Also have come around on Red Gravy. Wasn't too thrilled by RG at first but it has grown on me. Neither of them take reservations but RG is pretty easy to get in. Colonie on a weekend could be a wait, but the bar is a nice place to hang out depending on what your certain age is. They also do a nice brunch where there are lots of non-egg options.

            If you're interested in higher end dining, Saul is a michelin starred place on Smith street.

            Further down on Court, we love Frankie's 457.

            1. Don't miss Junior's for a late night dessert. Amazing "Mile High" sundaes and cheesecake.
              Our favorite is the Strawberry Cheese pie.
              Order an egg cream too!! You won't be disappointed.