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TOP 5 RESTAURANTS WITHIN TEN BLOCKS

Tanoreen wasn't within 10 blocks of where I lived in the Ridge, but it likely would've made the list had it been. For the value, I still think Karam is better.

Tuscany Grill wasn't great when I visited -- really mediocre and they served scotch in aperitif glasses (which my boyfriend promptly knocked over and soaked the tablecloth). Needless to say, the whole meal smelled of scotch since they didn't change the tablecloth.

I tried Elia during Brooklyn restaurant week last year and was quite pleasantly surprised. I think I'd have to go again when it wasn't a special menu to judge, but I do remember the standard appetizers being TOP NOTCH (amazing hummus / ghanoush) and the desserts being great. Believe I had a Greek yogurt and fresh fruit plate that was fabulous.

I thought the bagels at Brooklyn Bagel were better than another other place around -- certainly a much better option than the Dunkin Donuts chains that keep popping up all over the Ridge.

Feb 02, 2009
jillysp in Outer Boroughs

Park Slope

Bussaco's chef recently changed I think -- at least according to Time Out: http://www3.timeoutny.com/newyork/the...

I went again after I found that out, wondering if the quality had declined. It actually seems like they've increased the portion sizes -- and they instituted a new prix fixe menu for early diners -- $32 for three courses and three generous wine pairings. Really good value and really tasty. Definitely a great substitute for my usual happy hour at DUMBO's Superfine!

Jan 30, 2009
jillysp in Outer Boroughs

Park Slope

Ugh, I can't disagree more. Did you get the unseasoned burgers? Whenever my boyfriend and I visit Bonnie's, the burgers are perfectly seasoned and marinated with whatever special blend of spices and sauces they use -- is it worchestershire? Balsamic vinegar? I know they offer unseasoned burgers for people adverse to spice, so maybe you've accidentally gotten one of those. The chipotle mayo and grilled jalapenos are to die for.

Weirdly, this is one place I prefer a side salad though -- whatever balsamic dressing they use is awesome.

Jan 30, 2009
jillysp in Outer Boroughs

New wine bar on Union....Bussaco

I went on Saturday and also tried the mozzarella to start -- you're right, it was really nicely done. For mains, I had the pork / hominy succotash and my friend had the sweet potato tortellini with maitake mushrooms and brown butter. The pork was fantastic and the hominy was a really interesting pairing -- the tortellini portion size seemed too small, but was complex and flavorful.

We tried the caramel apple bread pudding for dessert and it was enjoyable -- especially the homemade vanilla ice cream.

I think the pretzel nuggets are supposed to be on the bar menu when it comes?

Oct 07, 2008
jillysp in Outer Boroughs

New wine bar on Union....Bussaco

Good question. Certainly the economic considerations of any restaurateur are great, especially when we've had these two horrible weeks in the market. However, it doesn't seem like business is slowing down at all for the other places in the Slope that aspire to this market. Doesn't matter what time of the day or week it is -- every time I walk by Al Di La and Blue Ribbon, they're PACKED. Has anyone -not- seen the same thing recently?

I got a sneak peek at the menu and it looks like the prices at Bussaco are lower than their counterparts in the neighborhood. And from the looks of the menu, the food will certainly rival the other great places in the Slope -- can't wait to go try it out this weekend. I'm sure the wine list will be fantastic too.

Oct 03, 2008
jillysp in Outer Boroughs

Best coffee shop in Brooklyn (to read and study in)

I know I'm late to this party, and I can second (third?) Cafe Sutra in the South Slope as being very cozy and having great coffee. Plus, it's around the corner from me.

But for a really cool vibe, no one to bother you, free Wi-Fi, and decent enough coffee, pick the Retreat in DUMBO (Front Street, just west of Jay St, a block and a half from the F at York). The coffee bar is downstairs and carries homemade soup and H&H bagels, but take your swig upstairs to the big lofty lounge.

It can get a bit chilly in the winter, but cozy right about now - and they'll start opening up all their windows when it gets nice and springtimey. I work in DUMBO and come here for meetings with my colleagues occasionally -- I've had all-day work sessions there with no one bothering me.

Plus, mid-afternoon comes and it turns into ReBar which has an amazing beer selection and tapas. Nice to replace the latte with some booze mid-work or mid-study. :)

Apr 04, 2008
jillysp in Outer Boroughs

Top 5 Chicken Wings (IMHO)

I second Bonnie's Grill. Last weekend, I went back after a long hiatus and it hit me like a ton of bricks (again) how good they are. Their marinated/spiced burgers are fantastic too with their grilled jalapenos and chipotle mayo.

I've been settling for the Kettle Black's wings in Bay Ridge for awhile. They're great if you live in Dyker Heights/Bay Ridge and don't want to travel, but Bonnie's blows 'em out of the water.

Feb 16, 2008
jillysp in Manhattan

Best Mexican in Brooklyn? Not Williamsburg

Tacos Matamoros in Sunset Park. 45th Street at 5th Avenue. It's always busy, quite inexpensive, and really tasty. Definitely search on it - loads of threads about them on here!

Feb 16, 2008
jillysp in Manhattan

Mac and Cheese

The Swiss Alps mac and cheese from Moto in Williamsburg is great. I go with a friend and split that and their roasted chicken and mashed potatoes for one heck of a comfort food meal.

Feb 16, 2008
jillysp in Manhattan

TOP 5 RESTAURANTS WITHIN TEN BLOCKS

In Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, there are more good restaurants than I can keep up with. I had to cut some good ones to get to this list:

Karam (4th Avenue at 86th Street) - best Lebanese in the city!
Grand Sichuan House (5th Avenue at 87th Street) - amazing spicy Chinese
Brooklyn Bagel Cafe (5th Avenue at 87th Street) - new great bagel shop
Kettle Black (3rd Avenue at 87th Street) - terrific wings and bar fare
Austin's Steak House (5th Avenue at 89th Street) - for steaks, lobster, salads, and soups

Feb 16, 2008
jillysp in Outer Boroughs

Real Sichuan food in Bay Ridge

I too was worried that my expectations were high -- after reading this raving thread, I certainly got excited. Nevermind the fact that I live two blocks away on Fifth Avenue!

Nevertheless, my boyfriend and I just got home from our first trip to GSH, and thanks to the recommendations of folks here, it was GREAT. We started off with the scallion pancake and the wontons in chili oil. I wanted to drink the chili oil it was so yummy. We split the cumin beef as an entree and spent most of the time trying to figure out how the heck they make it so dry and crispy at the same time. I've never had anything like that before -- so tasty. Even the scallions in this dish taste sweet when compared with the punch that cumin rub packs!

Though reviews have claimed the place is dead when they've gone, there were quite a few other couples there this afternoon. The service was great too - our waitress was really friendly and interested to find out how we liked our food. Can't wait to go back and try more!

Feb 16, 2008
jillysp in Outer Boroughs