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Best Lunch Options in DUMBO/Brooklyn Heights?

As Bkeats points out, you'll have trouble finding anything on par with Colonie and Vinegar Hill House open for lunch in either Brooklyn Heights or DUMBO. If Italian would work, consider Sociale on Henry St in the Heights. We've only been for dinner, but it's a very solid option (and on Opentable).

Jan 24, 2014
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Saul at the Brooklyn Museum

We were there last weekend and, I'm sad to say, did not enjoy it at all. Having been big fans of the Smith St place over the years, we had high hopes. The service was, if anything, overeager -- we were served by no fewer than five different people over the course of the evening. No real complaint there, but we did end up answering the same questions multiple times. A little coordination would be nice, but we chalked it up to the newness of the staff. No biggie.

The real problem was the food. My dining companion ordered the sunchoke soup, and it was beyond question the saltiest thing I have tasted since swallowing a mouthful of ocean water this past summer. Completely inedible, and it never should have left the kitchen. She sent it back, and they apologetically took it off the bill without question. Fair enough, but then she had no first course. We shared the octopus I had ordered, which was cooked quite well but was nothing special.

The entrees (lamb for her, scallops for me) were both well-prepared. Not extraordinary, but solidly in the "very good" zone. The issue here was that the portions were tiny. Tinier, maybe, than the tiny portions when Saul was on Smith St. Not good when we ended up sharing just one starter. At that point, we decided to cut our losses and skip dessert. We left, having spent over $100 (with a glass of wine each), feeling as though we hadn't eaten dinner. We went and found something else to eat.

A couple of incidental non-food quirks too: When we showed up, despite the big Saul sign emblazoned on the front window of the museum facing Eastern Pkwy, the security guard in the lobby told us we couldn't enter the restaurant through the museum. He told us to "go around." Huh. So we wandered around for a while and eventually figured out that we had to walk down the driveway to the right of the museum entrance, around the back by the parking lot, to find an entrance where we could get to the restaurant. Not a big deal, but maybe they could put up a sign. Also, and this is really just a quibble, the music (classic rock) seemed really odd for the space.

I really want this place to succeed, but there are lots of kinks to work out. I can't help but think Saul in the Brooklyn Museum is inevitably going to be compared to The Modern. And, at least for our visit, Saul isn't even playing in the same league. No polished service, no consistency in the kitchen.

I don't think we'll be venturing back unless we start seeing signs of dramatic improvement. If you do end up trying it, would be interested to hear what you think.

Oct 31, 2013
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Best French in Brooklyn

Petite Crevette in Carroll Gardens is worth a look for seafood. BYOB, and run by a French ex-pat. And consider Almondine in DUMBO for French breads/pastries.

Jul 02, 2012
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Best fish tacos?

I guess obscene rip off is in the eye of the beholder. DUMBO rents are some of the highest in the city - probably why there are so few restaurants in the neighborhood aside from the tourist lures like Grimaldi's. Trucks obviously don't have to deal with the rent issue (and don't have to provide you a place to sit and eat your tacos) so the lower prices make sense.

The food at Gran Electrica can be hit or miss, and it's certainly not the most economical option. But the question on the table was fish tacos. I happened to like them - fresh fish battered and fried, choice of salsas, fresh corn tortilla, and a decent beer alongside. All in a quiet backyard garden. Your mileage may vary.

Jun 29, 2012
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Best fish tacos?

Had a very decent fish taco last night on the back patio at Gran Electrica in DUMBO. The taco menu changes, and they don't always have the fish, but this place is worth a stop if you're in the area.

Jun 20, 2012
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Delivery in DUMBO?

We just moved from Cobble Hill to DUMBO. In Cobble Hill, we had assembled a set of reliable delivery places for nights when we didn't feel like venturing out or cooking. Queen was a great option for Italian. Calexico for quasi-Mexican. And on and on. In DUMBO, we're at a bit of a loss. We tried Rice the other night, and it was odd. Not especially bad -- although definitely not good -- just odd. The salad was in the same container with the rice. It looks like some of the Brooklyn Heights places can be coaxed into delivering to DUMBO, but not sure how reliable that is. What are we missing?

Thanks in advance for any leads.

Mar 23, 2012
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Saturday Brunch in on Smith St./Cobble Hill/Red Hook

I'm assuming Carroll Gardens is in the mix if you are looking at Cobble Hill and Red Hook. You might consider Buttermilk Channel on Court Street. For casual atmosphere and very good brunch food, that would be my first choice in the area. They open at 10 for brunch, and there can be a long wait if you don't get there early. Clover Club on Smith St. also does a nice brunch (and a very good Bloody Mary). There can be a wait there too if you don't arrive on the early side.

Mar 23, 2012
jmh in Outer Boroughs

That New Place on Court St. Near Mezcal's Whose Name I Forget

Looks like it's called Palo Cortado, and it is indeed a tapas place:

And it looks like it opened last week. Anyone been?

Palo Cortado
520 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Oct 21, 2010
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Lucali's 2 aka Giuseppina's

According to the blurb in Time Out, "Early September" --

Sep 07, 2010
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Cafe on Clinton closed?

Brownstoner had a post back in March saying the replacement for Cafe on Clinton will be a "locavore" place called Breuckelen:

Apr 21, 2010
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Anyone been to the new Montreal Smoked Meat deli in Brooklyn, called "MILE END" ????

I don't have any links saying Lucali ever ran out of dough -- maybe they exist, maybe they don't. I'm really not interested in proving anything to you. I personally experienced the "out of dough" situation in October 2006. When some friends and I ordered a second pie Mark came out of the kitchen and told me they only had one dough left and they had put it in the oven for their staff dinner. We smiled and told him that was fine, and we left wanting more. Presumably since then they have started making more dough so they don't run out. I wasn't at Peter Luger or Katz's two weeks after they opened, so I can't comment on that.

I'm not saying Mile End didn't screw up creating all the buzz. I agree with you that they did. My only point is that they obviously need some time to get it right -- and I hope they do.

Feb 03, 2010
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Anyone been to the new Montreal Smoked Meat deli in Brooklyn, called "MILE END" ????

I think fourunder's point is that if the owners are selling out of product every day, and if selling out of product daily brings in enough cash from their point of view, then business is good whether the fact that they run out of product annoys some people or not. Whether they would do better to make more product is another question.

I know Lucali's hours are "6 pm until we run out of dough" -- presumably they turn some people away at the end of most nights because they don't have anymore pizza dough, and presumably they're comfortable with that. I don't know whether they make more dough each day now than they did when they opened three years ago, but the model seems to be working for them. It takes time to smoke meat, just like it takes time to make pizza dough -- it's not just a matter of throwing another burger on the grill.

Of course, Mile End's growing pains might have been less if there hadn't been so much hype (which I'm sure they welcomed at the time), but I have to think that a new place opening up in a bad economy -- with inexperienced restaurant folks at the helm -- is really just hoping *anyone* comes. I have a feeling the crowds are beyond all expectations. Let's hope they adjust and get the balance right.

Feb 03, 2010
jmh in Outer Boroughs


Brooklyn Heights Blog now has a follow-up post and a link to the menu:

Jan 13, 2010
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Los Paisanos, Smith Street--RIP-OFF ALERT

Or it was an innocent mistake. In any case, there's now a post titled "RIP-OFF ALERT" that may or may not relate to any actual rip-off. I'd say the point has been made without additional speculation about what hypothetical tax might or might not have been passed through to the government if tax had been charged. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck...

To keep the focus on the chow, I'd like to add another voice to the chorus of happy Los Paisanos customers. Having shopped there fairly regularly for several years now, I have been consistently impressed with the price, the service, and most importantly the quality of the meats.

Jan 12, 2010
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Henry Public

We checked out Henry Public (Henry St. b/w Atlantic and Pacific in Cobble Hill) last night. It was the first night open, and the place was already busy. The transformation of the space from its former incarnation as a tv repair shop is amazing. You would think it had always been a pub. The lighting is dim and the music is mostly jazz. There's a smallish bar area and a few booths in the front room and tables in the small back room.

We tried the burger, which was very good (grass-fed beef ground on premises, and cooked to order). The food menu is limited here; the drinks seem to be the main thing. The cocktail list has some interesting house creations, and they have several beers on tap (I had an extremely fresh Six Points Oatmeal Stout).

This place is a welcome addition to the neighborhood -- definitely worth a look if you're in the area.

Oct 09, 2009
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Help! Brooklyn Heights Delivery...

Welcome to the neighborhood. We're still a little behind the curve in terms of seamlessweb, so finding the delivery places is a bit more of a challenge. A few options you might not think of for delivery are: Queen on Court St. for very good, but pricey, Italian (718-596-5954) and Tutt Cafe (718-722-7777) or Fatoosh (718-243-0500 ), both on Hicks, for Middle Eastern. When we're in the mood for Chinese delivery, our go-to is Lichee Nut on Montague as the best of a fairly mediocre bunch -- but others prefer Andy's or one of the Henry St. places.

Good luck exploring -- there's actually quite a bit of good delivery to be found. One helpful resource is menupages, where you can search by neighborhood and then filter for places that deliver:

Oct 05, 2009
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Hip, moderate-priced places in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, or Park Slope?

Maybe Buttermilk Channel (at Court and Huntington)? Or Hibino (at Henry and Pacific)? Also, second the Bocca Lupo rec. if you're looking for small plates and a wine bare vibe.

Oct 02, 2009
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Eton Dumplings - New Location

This is a second location, not a move. More info here:

Jul 23, 2009
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Lucali Temporarily Closed

We ate there last night -- it's open again. No back garden seating yet.

Jul 20, 2009
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Mala Strana Prague

We ate at V Zatisi last week based on this recommendation and a few others -- we were very impressed. The description "lighter Czech" in another thread captures this restaurant's menu. Dinner here was a nice break from the heavier traditional Czech meals we had elsewhere. The wine list was also impressive with some good Czech options as well as a nice selection of bottles from France, Italy, and California.

Note that V Zatisi is in the Stare Mesto rather than Mala Strana.

Jun 29, 2009
jmh in International Archive

what's your favorite byob in brooklyn (preferably on the f line)

My vote for best byob in Brooklyn goes to Lucali, a short walk down Carroll Street from the Carroll stop on the F. Great pizza, but you need to get there early (6:00) or be prepared to wait a while.

Nov 07, 2008
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Trader Joe's Brooklyn?

I'm glad to hear Sahadi's is doing well, even with the new TJs open for a month. I agree about supporting the local places -- we are blessed to have so many fresh, high quality options available from local merchants.

On the other hand, for pre-packaged items like boxed cereal, nutrition bars, ready-to-cook refrigerated/frozen foods (where TJs shines), etc. I have no problem giving my business to TJs over a place like Key Food. The prices are generally better, the employees (real people, mostly real Brooklyn people, despite the funny titles) are generally more pleasant, and the store is about 10 times cleaner. I think the best side effect of TJs' arrival has been that the Key Food on Atlantic has finally started to clean up its act to compete.

Oct 23, 2008
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Just moved to Cobble Hill

For very good, inexpensive Middle Eastern takeout, try Waterfalls Cafe (Atlantic b/w Henry and Clinton). Chip Shop (also Atlantic b/w Henry and Clinton) does takeout (and delivery) if you're in the mood for fish & chips. You can get burgers, salads, sandwiches, etc. to go from Waterfront Ale House (call ahead to order, then pick up from the bartender).

Oct 22, 2008
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Two new Restaurants on Atlantic Ave.

We tried the brick oven pizza place over the weekend. Apparently it's owned by the same folks who own Caffe Buon Gusto on Montague. The staff was very pleasant, but the pizza didn't wow us. We'll try it again in a few weeks after they've had some time to work out the kinks and see if it improves. By the way, they apparently intend to have a pretty extensive wine/beer list, but the license is still pending so for now it's BYOB.

Oct 06, 2008
jmh in Outer Boroughs

New to Carroll Gardens, what's good fellow hounds?

Welcome to the neighborhood. Another place to check out is Bocca Lupo, at Henry and Warren. This is a wine bar, with very good small plates (salads, soups, cheeses, panini, bruschetta, etc.). It's not a "health food" place per se, but it's definitely possible to make a meal of the lighter options.

Oct 06, 2008
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Baked Bakery in Brooklyn?

The poster who called these "middle of the road homemade" must have had some awfully good homemade baked goods. This isn't a fancy French patisserie on the Payard model -- it's basically a cake place (although they have other things). In my opinion, these are some of the best cakes/cupcakes in the city. I think it's definitely worth giving it a try so you can decide for yourself. If Red Hook (359 Van Brunt Street) is too far out of the way, Tazza in Brooklyn Heights usually has cakes and cupcakes from Baked available.

Sep 30, 2008
jmh in Outer Boroughs

best brunch in BK Heights/Cobble Hill

For a special occasion brunch, I would go with Jack the Horse Tavern. Great food, pleasant atmosphere, and a more relaxed feel than some of the other places mentioned for a leisurely Sunday brunch.

Sep 25, 2008
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Trader Joe's Brooklyn

Brooklyn Paper reports that they will open on Sept. 26th.

Sep 16, 2008
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Any one check out Eton for dumplings yet?

They were open last Thursday when we stopped by for shave ice. It looked like the interior renovations were done.

Sep 10, 2008
jmh in Outer Boroughs

Red Hook Soccer Fields - Any less crowded?

Went last Saturday around noon to avoid the lines. And there were no lines. We had the elote (grilled corn) which was astoundingly good just as in years past. We also had pupusas, huaraches, and a couple fruit juices. I didn't notice any decline in quality from last year. I do think the experience of the ballfields is diminished now that the vendors are in trucks along the streets rather than in tents in the park, but that really doesn't affect the food in my view. And it definitely still had the feel of a local scene when I was there.

I guess I can see how the long lines might take enough away from the experience to make some say it just isn't what it used to be. And I guess it's possible that the quality declines when the vendors are trying to move the long lines. But I think it would be too bad if we wrote the ballfields off as a tourist trap just because they are drawing a larger audience. These are the same people making the same food as before, and in my experience there's still some good chow to be had.

Aug 25, 2008
jmh in Outer Boroughs