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The best food in Brooklyn?

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Hi Chowhounders,

We are visiting the US in the first week of November and we plan on visiting Brooklyn for 2 meals. We are a couple, mid 30's. We love all food types with the exception of not being big fans of Indian. We love inventive food.

I would love a recommendation for a Wednesday night for the best food in Brooklyn. The Elm?
Also a place for cocktails before dinner - Donna, Bia67, Dram?

We have a group dinner (6 of us) planned on a Friday. The people we are meeting want to go to Fetta Sou. We need backup suggestions - Five Leaves? Marlow and Sons?. This is a group meal and the rest of the group are on a mid range budget and they don't like anything too fancy/non pedestrian food. Meet before at Torst beer/Barcade.

I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge!

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  1. Dram is good, and I would also consider Hotel Delmano and Maison Premiere (both of which are closer to the Elm, if that's where you end up for dinner). I would advise against Five Leaves for a group dinner as it's tiny and almost always crowded, with long waits. Marlow and Sons is similarly popular and might also be hard to do with a group. Juniper on Berry Street could be a good backup to Fette Sau (and it has the added bonus of being BYOB), or the Commodore (if you can get there by 6pm).

    On a side note, you may want to edit your post to indicate in the title that you're looking for recommendations in the Williamsburg area.

    1. I'm a fairly vocal champion of The Elm [which seems bizarrely neglected on Chowhound], but I don't know if I'd describe it as an archetypal 'Brooklyn' restaurant. You may want to go elsewhere if you are concerned with imbibing local character. That said, it's the most accomplished cooking I've had in Brooklyn [mind you, I haven't been to Blanca or Brooklyn Fare...].

      1. Thanks for the great information!

        On the Wednesday we are up for travelling anywhere in Brooklyn. Thanks for the vote on The Elm, Winterpool. Any other suggestions?

        Friday is limited to backup options in Williamsburg. Thanks Gort, I'll check out those and your cocktail recommendations for Friday.

        1. From a technical rating perspective, I think Brooklyn Fare is the highest rated restaurant on Brooklyn. But if you are coming the first week of November, its too late to get a reservation. Rather than the "best food" in Bklyn, why not try to find just merely great food for which there are many options.

          1. Thanks for the suggestions.

            I agree my post title might be a bit misleading (i can't seem to edit it!) I'm after great food and a great restaurant experience in Brooklyn on the first Wednesday in November. I am looking at The Elm but I've also read about 1 or 8 and Traif on the boards. Any thoughts on these or other suggestions of great restaurants in Brooklyn? We're eating quite a bit of modern American/French food leading up to the Wednesday so ideally i'd like somewhere with a different cuisine.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LondonLass

              1 or 8 and Traif are both excellent, although very different types of food and quite different dining experiences. Traif might be the more unique choice.

            2. For a group of 6 at Fette Sau on a Friday, you had best get there early to snag a table together. It's first come first serve kinda cafeteria style. Barcade wouldn't be a bad choice for craft beers and a short walk. Torst however is quite pricey and that's a longer walk....If you want similar food and atmosphere to Fette Sau, you can also look into Mable's Smokehouse. The space is larger and prices are more reasonable and some of the food I prefer over Fette Sau. You can pregame at sunset up the street on the rooftop of Berry Park, which overlooks Manhattan...

              Five Leaves and Marlow you will be rolling the dice with a 6 person group unless you get in early.....

              If you're planning to splurge at The Elm, you can look into cocktails at the Ides, the rooftop bar at Wythe Hotel. Or some oysters and cocktails at Maison Premiere.....I just know The Elm from what I've read, but I think if you want to eat interesting food but also capture the vibe of Brooklyn- or at least Williamsburg- eating at Traif (not amazing, but good and interesting) or Xixa (sister resto of Traif and I think better and more interesting) are better options...Probably a few other nice Brooklyn-esque places to consider.