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Executive Chef at Junoon
Owner Devil's Larder Bitters
The Willow is right down the street from my flat. I was really stoked when it open with very thoughtful cocktails, and dope food. Inspired by the Nordic approach using fantastic local ingredients and clean technique. Some of the best have been the Mackerel with watermelon, tequila, chilis, and anise hyssop. Cranberry beans with lamb XO, celery, tomatillos. Boar belly with faro, sauerkraut and apple. Food and drink has always been spot on. The space is pretty chill everytime I've gone and the staff is more than kind. With the rash of closings in the neighborhood lately (Do or Dine, Scratch Bread) I'm hoping this place is able to generate enough regulars to keep it going.
Travel, food, family
Oh no! I didn't know Scratch bread closed down, thats too bad. Willow sounds amazing though, loved the dish recommendations!
over 1 year ago
New York City
Event Coordinator, I research great places to eat for a living
Boar belly with faro sounds incredible! I really enjoyed this thank you!
Co-founder/CEO of Ovenly and Cookbook Author
Willow is, hands down, one of my favorite meals in Brooklyn.
about 1 year ago
Executive Chef at Junoon
Owner Devil's Larder Bitters
Heads up. The chef left and it's a different menu now.
about 1 year ago
Funemployed chef, formerly of The Pines and Willow in BK. Spent 5 years at The Modern before that.
This is true. Hi Erin! Thanks for the love, Steven.
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Cooking at Huertas
A really solid joint in my neighborhood. Chefs Tara and Yuji do a great job creating creative food with clean flavors. I like to go before work for the breakfast tasting menu. Although all the fish preparations are delicious, my favorite is the Kasuzuke. Don't forget to say hi to George!
East village resident, major sweet tooth
This sounds phenomenal. I couldn't find it on their website...how much does the tasting menu usually run?
It starts at $15 I think but, the add-ons are worth the extra couple bucks
Sommelier at Aureole Restaurant
Ah, "The Brooklyn Restaurant". What a concept. Often attempted and replicated, but rarely truly successful. I will be forever beating the wardrums on St. Anselm and it to me is the Alpha and Omega of "Brooklyn Restaurants". If I'm ever foolhardy enough to open a restaurant, it would be very similar to "St. As" as me and my friends call it. I've probably had dinner here over fifteen times in the last 3 years and brunch too many times to count. They don't really do anything fundamentally new, but they do it better than almost every restaurant that tries this concept.
Overall, the idea is this: great ingredients, cooked perfectly (but simply), served in an un-fussy, cordial manner. Seems simple, right? So many restaurants try do this, but usually some aspect of execution is missing. Either the ingredients suck or the preps are too fussy or the service is incompetent or the aesthetic is dumb or the beverage program sucks. To me, St. As is successful in all these disciplines. It's clear that Joe Carroll views every decision as important.
The work starts in the kitchen. They source great cuts of meat and grill them to perfection. There's often a very thoughtful saucing or preparation that elevates it above being meat-on-a-plate. And yeah, no duh, the 50 plus ounce tomahawks are insane. They will also slice them in-kitchen if you like. You have to put the order in before 10:00 PM though, as they take 45 minutes plus to cook.
That's the easy part. The rest of the menu is also a joy. The whole fish are to die for. No fucking bullshit skin-off, basic-bitch white fish fillet here. The whole mackerel and trout are both so good. There's a great authenticity to their preparation. As you move to the smaller assorted dishes, there's just as much care and attention to detail. Bacon and blue salad is a death-row dish or me. I can't not order it, no matter how much I've ordered otherwise. The avocado with the shrimp salad is always perfectly ripe and the shrimp sweet and juicy. The large sardines with pickled lotus root are wonderful fun too. Grilled clams are always pristine, briney and perfect in their butter and white wine. I never tire of the vegetable sides. They hand-cut the stems off of all the cauliflower just so you can have florets! The desserts are also yummy and thoughtful even though they really don't need to be.
The service never disappoints either. They're always generous and kind and quick with a smile. Food never shows up without markings. You get nice, machine-blown Austrian glassware. The steak knives are by la laguiole. The use large Erlenmeyer flasks as decanters, but who cares! They have decanters! In North Brooklyn!
Which brings me to the wine list, which is such a joy. Pricing is super soft and it's clear that he pulls older vintages from his personal cellar. It's an eclectic mix of European classics and new-wave California wines, for the most part. There's always something surprising from an older vintage for a low tariff, and most importantly delicious. The list is even more particular in a neighborhood where few people spend over $50 on a bottle of wine.
However, the list doesn't obligate you to spend money, but it certainly gives you lots of opportunities to if you're okay taking some risks. They also have really cool exclusive draft wines from some of America's most iconoclastic, bleeding-edge wineries. The beer program is also wonderful and thoughtful. You can also sort of treat the wine list as a "wine bar". You can drink in the shared backyard space if you leave a card with them or settle out on the bottle.
Which brings me to the only downside of the restaurant which is that it's insanely popular. That being said, they make it as painless as possible. The hostesses are courageously kind and brave, given the volume of people they deal with. They have an organized, i-pad waiting list system that texts you when your table is ready. The bar next door shares a backyard and an owner, so you can grab a beer there and walk through the back yard and drop your beer on your table at St. As.
That being said, expect a long wait unless you walk in at 5:30. Fridays and Saturdays are nearly impossible. I usually dine solo at the bar and sneak in that way right before they close the kitchen on a Sunday or Monday. There are only two tables that seat more than 4, and I think 8 is kind of a max party size. Two is easier, but expect to sit at the bar.
My only current "complaints" about the restaurant are that they removed the great brunch-only menu they used to have and now serve the dinner menu plus some brunch-y dishes. Brunch is never full though and so great. Also, they also just switched over to pod espresso, rather than an actual machine for coffee service. Boo!
Is St. As underrated? Maybe not, but I do not think there's a better dining value or consistently wonderful experience in Brooklyn dining. And for that, they should get every last goddamn point in my book.
Lawyer, craft beer aficianado
This is awesome. I checked out some pics of the bacon and blue salad it looks ridic
Chef / Owner at Coppa and Toro Restaurants
Solid Italian food. The specials are always changing, and will range from house made duck prosciutto, to tripe toast or clams with Nduja. It's inexpensive and high-quality ingredient driven. The wine list is super affordable. It's stocked with classic Italian table wines, and has seasonal wines all the time. I crushed the ameztoi getariako txakolina rose all summer. The service is wicked friendly and chill.
Born in Hong Kong, Instagramaholic
I love the name...Noodle Pudding! Very excited to try this out I live not too far away!
about 1 year ago
Manager at Blue Ribbon Federal Grill
Walter Foods does not get half the credit it deserves for what it offers. The food is great, the bartenders are talented and the service is top notch without ever feeling stuffy. The decor is warm without being elaborate and, weekends aside, almost always has space. To top it all off the owner is incredibly passionate about what he does and why his restaurant exists which is always the most crucial ingredient in a spot really having some magic. Easily one of my favorite places to grab a meal with a friend whenever I'm in the neighborhood.
Midwest girl, love to cook and dine out in NYC!
Fantastic description! Is the owner also the chef here?
I'm honestly not positive.
Queens native, freelance writer, food obsessed
I just moved to BK and have been on the hunt for more spots, this will definitely end up on my list!
Any time's a good time for a margarita
Super helpful, thanks for sharing this Liam!
Ex chef, current culinary recruiter. Angelino living in NYC. Instagram: KrisKracks
I know I know... We all know this one but i really believe that sometimes the tremendous, amazing, vast and perfect oyster and bar offerings overshadow and "underrate" the restaurant component. Chef Lisa's food is really perfect for the space and experience. Her dishes will always round out your already perfect experience there! I love sitting int he back garden, even if its chilly out.
Yes I have been here once for the bar and oysters but I will have to give the restaurant a second look. The outdoor space looks beautiful!
Cheap eats to fine dining and everything in between
Yes, thats really the only context I ever hear about it is oysters and booze, and the food is totally underrated. Well said!
VP at Peter Luger Steak House
Meadowsweet in my opinion, is not just one of the most underrated restaurants in Brooklyn but in NYC in general. They have a great mix of ambiance and food. The music, drinks, vibe are always on point and the food is killer. They have some delicious pastas (think truffles) and and a must-order artichoke salad! Have always had A+ meals there.
This is one of the restaurants that helped convince me I should move to BK. Definite A+!
Art Director, Design, UX
Yeah I've heard good things about Meadowsweet, love finding out about these under the radar spots. Thanks!
Brooklynite, freelance journalist/photographer
I really enjoyed this, very helpful. Thanks David! Big fan of what you guys do at Peter Luger as well!
Pastry chef at Violet's Bake Shoppe
A short distance from the great Purple Yam near Cortelyou, I discovered a unique spot called Hunger Pang (Pang is the owner's name). The place offers Asian food but with a Western comfort-food twist on everything. Examples include:
HG poutine (Pulled Pork or Confit Chicken over Fries, Pickled Carrots & Diakon, Pangry Mayo, Siracha & Cilantro Topped w/ Fried Egg)
Moules Frites (Prince Edward Island Mussels w/ Chili Lime Mint Broth & Fries).
The wings there are worth the trip alone. They also have specials that change every so often so there's always something new to try. If for some reason you find yourself in that part of Flatbush Brooklyn, check it out. Good places in that part of Brooklyn deserve all the love they can get!
Check out the menu here, I cannot do the place justice: http://www.hungerpangnyc.com/
This was the only place on the list I didn't really know much about...it looks amazing though! Definitely qualifies under the 'underrated' category!
Wine lover, world traveler
A lot of the stuff on this list is not really underrated in my opinion, good to see something a little more off the beaten path. Nice recommendation!
Food Enthusiast, Lawyer, Mother
So cool! Loved reading about this thank you Jonathan!
Ramen Hipster, I loved it before it was cool
I added this to my list, so excited to check it out!
Thanks for the kind words, everyone! Let me know what you think if you get a chance to try the place!
High-end Caterer using restaurants as my R&D
I live around the corner and love this place!
Small, casual and packs a heavy punch of flavors! The Chef/Owner really loves what he does, and it shows within every menu item (even their french fries). Besides a constant group of rotating specials, they also have some really random specials which are amazing (i.e. - crab cake eggs benedict). Beer, wine and sake selections are on point. As for the menu: wings, yum; jalapeno fried rice with 12-hour pork, must get; dumplings, unique and delicious; wild boar special, melted in your mouth; and if you go for brunch you MUST try their take on poutine with banh mi garnishes and with their 12-hour pulled pork, seriously out of this world (and GREAT for hangovers!!). I certainly suggest going with a few people and ordering a bunch of different, unique plates. The creativity and love put into each dish is always a pleasure to taste!
Pastry Chef, Entrepenuer, Positivity
I am surprised that Luksus has not been added. But here it goes! I had the privilege to get there right before they got their Michelin Star. I love the space. You go into Torst, their bar and into the back of the establishment where there is a small tasting restaurant. Its amazing. When I was briefly working with Steven Hubbell he took me there. I love the subtle Japanese influenced decor, interesting shapes around the restaurant. And especially the way the upstairs kitchen it set up. It is so efficient and just lovely. But more than anything the food was phenomenal. Im hoping everyone knows about Chef Daniel Burns... he is a true talented chef. He is so humble and we got a chance to chat with him towards the end of the night. I really loved their beer pairings, it was delicious, perfect pairings, and so fun. It was a fun dinner. An added fun element to dinner is always awesome... Eat good food and support!
I've really wanted to try the tasting menu here! Did you go before or after they moved to the 15-course menu? I'm curious what the new one is like.
I went before :) ... I'm assuming it would be also amazing! The beer names are really fun too!
Culinary Director of Fleishers Craft Butchery
Although you never hear anything about this little gem, IMHO it hits all the notes of a killer neighborhood spot. Really good wood fire pizza? Check... Good canned beer? Check... and dont sleep on the provel cheese equipped "st louie". Love it or hate it you cant get it anywhere else in the city
Coffee addict and world traveler
You just described my ideal restaurant!
Culinary Instructor, Writer
Yes I can't recall every seeing this on the likes of eater but it is indeed a fantastic little restaurant!
I love food. I live for food. Endulge.
Chef Chris Scott has been respected an honored among the culinary community. He has hosted and delivered his cuisine at the James Baird foundation. He is noted as a stellar humanitarian, jazz aficionado, and someone with a deep respect for all things food. Me? I just like his cooking and flavor combinations. Wildly successful .. he is opening a neighboring soul-food restaurant soon. Its going to be called 'Butterfunk Kitchen'. ... Look out windsor terrace. OH - get the 'grown up grilled cheese' when you go!
What's the grown up grilled cheese? Sounds awesome! I loved this post!
about 1 year ago
All I gotta say is GOOEY GRUYERE !! The rest .. you will have to adventure out and give it a go!
I just read about his new place, this convinced me I should go. Or maybe hit up Brooklyn Commune. Thanks for sharing this!
Passionate cook specializing in Asian cuisine
Nice piece Greg I really enjoyed this!
Beverage Director Starr Restaurants NYC
A fantastic spot hidden under the BQE, Traif is a go to spot of mine. Small plates abound and change often. I've loved strawberry short ribs, foie that tastes like breakfast and some of the best sweetbreads I've had. An amazing wine list and really cool cocktail program over deliver for the price. Sit at the counter and watch three cooks bang out dish after dish.
Aspiring chef, food blogger
I love the focus on pork here, and also that there's always something new and interesting to try. One of my favorite spots in BK!
I spend a disproportionate amount of my income of food
I have been meaning to come here for a long time and think I'll make a reservation here in the next few weeks. Good tip on the cocktails -- I don't konw if you remember any of the specific ones you've tried but would love your recommendation if you have one.
Media/PR, wine lover, cheese addict
I ate here once but at a table, I think I'll have to head back to watch the cooks work their magic as you suggest!
I'm thinking about bringing a group of friends here this was really helpful, thank you!
Culinary Manager at The Brooklyn Kitchen
This spot is just a much fun as it is delicious. The vibe is a balanced mix of edgy energy and easy-going service. The chef is a total riot- he will keep you laughing while stuffing your belly with outrageously unique, umami-packed dishes. The staff makes you feel like you can sit there all night, taking your time while you blaze through the totally affordable menu.
You had me at umami packed dishes. Any favorite or standout items youd recommend?
Dining Adventurist in NYC
I just moved near here, was a really nice surprise reading about it. Thanks for sharing!
My friends think I'm a food snob
This sounds like the kind of place that makes brooklyn dining awesome. Great writeup!
Regina Myers Maganzini
Owner/operator of four small establishments in Carroll Gardens Brooklyn. Black Mountain Wine House, Bar San Miguel, Union Grounds and PDQ.
I dream about the meals I have here. The food is excellent, and the service is kind and homey. Just what you're looking for after long hours at your own establishments. Its particularly rewarding to go here because the owners (husband and wife team) are also good people. There's nothing quite like a excellent meal in beautiful ambiance.
Thanks for sharing this Regina I love these kind of establishments and I hadn't heard much about The Good Fork. Thank you!
I truly enjoyed this review, I went to Google to read more about them they sounds fantastic!
Thanks Regina really nice recview!
Though the cocktail menu and the bar itself are heavily featured in this beautiful Greenpoint spot, the menu should not be missed. Try the perfectly grilled octopus, mushroom tartine with blackened eggplant and a soft egg, or the burger--the best in the neighborhood.
Coffee addict and proud
Ahh Greenpoint, my favorite neighborhood I'll never be able to afford to live in :) But I do love the restaurants here, I will be sure to check this out!
Baker, Blogger, Dog-Lover
My friend just raved to me about the burger here but I love the sound of that mushroom tartine!
I can honestly say that I haven't been around Brooklyn much but this place that I have went once still lingers in my mind. Its cheap, delicious, and very cozy. A good stop for a simple bite. Who doesn't love mexican food? Im sure it is a go to spot for the neighborhood, well i hope so! nom nom, happy eating!
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