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brooklynr's Profile

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Dinner to impress: The Grocery or Saul (or other)?

Grocery if you can get a reservation. I agree that Saul has lost something in the last few years, Michelin stars notwithstanding. Po is not at all in the same league with the other two, although Chestnut is a reasonable substitute.

Apr 03, 2008
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

TOP 5 RESTAURANTS WITHIN TEN BLOCKS

My guess: Strong Place, closer to Kane.

Feb 19, 2008
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Italian Heros for Super Bowl

If that was meant for me...Esposito's is closed on Sunday, and I don't think of them as a sandwich shop (although I probably should, since their meats are off the charts). And, incredibly, I forgot Los Paisanos entirely. No excuse.

Jan 29, 2008
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Italian Heros for Super Bowl

I second the Catene's recommendation. Along the same lines but closer to Carroll Gardens is DeFonte's, in Red Hook on Columbia St. just south of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Both places are normally closed on Sundays, so I'd call ahead to see if they're making any special arrangements for the Super Bowl.

Although I wouldn't put them quite in the same league, I've also enjoyed heros from Mastellone on Court and Degraw. I'd also consider getting heros from Caputo's Deli, on Court between 3d and 4th Place -- I've never had their sandwiches, but their other prepared foods and cheeses are exquisite. Both Mastellone and Caputo's are open Sundays.

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Defonte's Sandwich Shop
379 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Mastellone Italian Deli
303 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Caputo's Fine Foods
460 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Jan 29, 2008
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

al di la or lunetta or Convivium

I like all three for different occasions, but have to agree with NYJ -- al di là is the one I'd pick if I had to choose. Keep in mind they don't take reservations, so depending on the night you'll be waiting from 30 minutes to an hour. Happily, you can spend that time in their wine bar, just down from the restaurant on Carroll St.

Jan 29, 2008
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Tonight: Park Slope - Near the R train at 9th Street

I'd concur on the suggestions above, and perhaps add Al di Là on Fifth and Carroll. One point, though -- if you're taking the R, and want to avoid the cold, you might consider getting off at Union St., which is one stop closer to Manhattan than 9th Street. It's a bit further from your eventual destination (three or four short blocks), but much closer to Sheep Station (on Fourth Ave.), Blue Ribbon, Al di La, Bonnie's...essentially most of the Fifth Ave. restaurant row.

Jan 25, 2008
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Lucali's: liquor license?

They've had calzones since my first visit, which was over a year ago (admittedly not "day one," but close enough). I stipulate the other points :)

Jan 15, 2008
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Lucali's: liquor license?

Not much has changed there since day one, which was well over a year ago, so I would be surprised if they decided they had to have one now.

Jan 14, 2008
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Early Breakfast in Cobble Hill or close by -- 9 am on Saturday

The intarwebs said that Miriam opens at 10a on Saturday, which is why I excluded it.

Jan 09, 2008
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Early Breakfast in Cobble Hill or close by -- 9 am on Saturday

For basic fare (breakfast sandwiches, egg plates) I'd head to Boerum Hill Food Company on Smith Street (excellent breakfast sandwich on ciabatta). For something slightly more elaborate, I'd go to Teresa's on Montague Street.

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Teresa's
80 Montague St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Boerum Hill Food Co.
134 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Jan 08, 2008
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Alchemy, Park Slope

Talk about downhill. My first visit to Alchemy was almost a year ago (last February) for a friend's birthday. The group was medium-sized (8-10) and the staff was accommodating about stragglers. The food was interesting and tasty -- about what I'd expected given the pre-opening blog buzz and my cynical refraction of same -- but the service wasn't firing on all cylinders yet. All in all I thought it was good enough for having just opened, so I made a mental note to revisit.

Well, the revisit took longer than expected -- La Guapa and I went back mid-December, despite my mild misgivings (based on reports from this board). We walked through the front door, turned to each other and simultaneously remarked on the very foul odor*, which was immediate and powerful. Exeunt omnes for better fare at Sheep Station.

FWIW, neither of us can be said to have delicate sensibilities when it comes to food. This reek wasn't simply strong, it was foul. As far as we're concerned, this alchemical experiment is over.

* Actual remarks elided for family viewing.

Jan 03, 2008
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Is Lucali closed or open for New Year's Day dinner?

Yeah, it's an uncommon night to be closed.

Jan 02, 2008
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Is Lucali closed or open for New Year's Day dinner?

I think it's you. They're closed on Tuesdays, and there was the hiatus for renovations in early November, but I've never gone there expecting them to be open only to find them closed. YMMV.

Jan 02, 2008
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Food/Drink items made in Brooklyn

Are they bottling yet?

Dec 13, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Best sports bar/restaurant near Court St

One thing I know, one I will guess at: you'll have to bring in eats to the Brazen Head (no worries, there's a big binder of takeout menus), and I would venture that they don't have the NFL Network -- to my knowledge they don't have anything beyond the digital cable basic package. Cody's definitely has more screens, and the usual range of heart-stopping pub grub; not sure about NFL Network availability there either.

Nov 29, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Movie at Prospect Park Pavillion, dinner at?

I'm a big fan of Bar Toto at 6th Ave. and 11th. Fairly casual, good food, nice room.

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Bar Toto
475 6th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Nov 15, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Advice about Grimaldi's

For my money the best cannoli in Brooklyn can be had at Monteleone & Cammareri's on Court Street between Union and President in Carroll Gardens. Other CHers will recommend places deeper in Brooklyn (Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge and environs) but in this case, proximity wins out for me.

Oct 17, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Best Brooklyn area for eating and shopping?

We just had this debate not so long ago:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/426435

FWIW, given your preference for markets like Whole Foods and Balducci's, I think your choices come down to Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens and Park Slope. There are upscale food markets in DUMBO now, but not worth it.

Oct 16, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Wedding vendors

Unless they are edible flowers, presumably.

Oct 10, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

birthday dinner for eight

The Good Fork can handle parties of eight on their back porch. $40pp might be tough, though. You might talk to the folks at Bar Tabac about their back room: I've never done it myself, but I've seen parties of eight back there.

Oct 04, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Fette Sau

Bar BQ's in the South Slope/Greenwood Heights also has an extensive list; from what I recall it's comparable in price to Fette Sau's. They also have a free bourbon special on Monday evenings from 7-9pm (they pick the special of the week, you drink it for free).

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Bar BQ
689 6th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Oct 04, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

How long will I wait at Di Fara's this Saturday, Sept 29?

In the spirit of offering useful contextual information, I would also add that an itinerary of DiFara's -- Stone Street -- Baked is impractical by car, and even moreso by public transit.

Sep 28, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Hero Place near 4th Ave/9th Street

I don't know about chicken parm, but DeFonte's wins in my book for meatball parm.

Sep 26, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Places I must eat in Brooklyn

I recommend the scallops, the duck breast and the guinea hen.

The Grocery does seem to generate some antipathy on Chowhound, and I'm not exactly sure why. It's true that since they opened the food's gotten slightly smaller and the prices have gotten not so slightly higher, but the quality hasn't changed. For what it's worth, I find Saul to be a bit better and, well, more "professional" on all fronts, but to me it's not as intimate, and lacks the neighborhoody je ne sais quoi that distinguishes Applewood, Convivium, al di là and other top-tier Brooklyn restaurants. All of the choices are appropriate for a special birthday meal, but if you're choosing between the Grocery and the Good Fork for two diners, I would pick the Grocery.

(Disclosure: my birthday dinner this year was for 11 people at the Good Fork -- everyone had a great time and loved the food; dinner last year was for 2 at the Grocery -- ditto).

Sep 26, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Moving to Cobble Hill, what are your recommendations?

When's the last time you went to Apt. 138? I ask because I used to have an equally dismal opinion of the food there, but I've been a few times more recently (reluctantly at first) and it seems to have improved considerably. Are there better options on Smith St.? Absolutely -- but not for what they do. NB I exclude from this distinction Downtown Atlantic, the Waterfront Ale House and the new Café on Clinton.

Sep 26, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Hero Place near 4th Ave/9th Street

It's the real deal. The roast beef/mozzarella/grilled onions hero is off the hook.

Sep 25, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Places I must eat in Brooklyn

How many in the party? If four or fewer, Grocery; if five or greater, Good Fork. The Grocery's room is too small for bigger parties, and the Good Fork has a back porch (and patio area) that is great for medium-size groups (speaking from specific birthday experience for both places, in fact).

Sep 24, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Impress the Manhattan Family in Cobble Hill?

On Smith in Cobble Hill/northern Carroll Gardens, Lunetta, Patois, and the Grocery all have gardens in the back; if you don't mind the trek to southern Carroll Gardens, Frankies' 457 has a great backyard.

Sep 24, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Peter Luger demoted to two stars... what has happened to the emperor's new clothes?

I think that's only natural. When Luger was the only game in town, people didn't realize what was missing, because those things -- a better winelist, more urbane service, a better room, a more sophisticated menu of complementary dishes -- simply weren't available if you wanted Luger-level porterhouse. Now that the playing field has leveled in terms of the steak, it's no longer too much to ask for to want superlative porterhouse and those other things, too.

Sep 20, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs

Best Wings in BKLYN? (preferably grilled)

In general I'm more a fan of Buffalo-style deep fried wings, but I have to put in my enthusiastic recommendation for Smoke Joint's BBQ chicken wings. Best dish on the menu, IMO.

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The Smoke Joint
87 S Elliott Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Sep 19, 2007
brooklynr in Outer Boroughs