Archive for ‘Bars’

Brooklyn Wine Exchange Talks Rioja Basics-TONIGHT

By , 25 January, 2012, No Comment

We’re still in the thick of red wine season and though we here tend towards simple Pinot Noirs and Cote du Rhones, there’s nothing wrong with a good Spanish Rioja. Just ask Patrick Watson, wine and cheese expert and owner of our favorite family-owned specialty shops in the hood. Though it’s a little last minute, you can still get in on his Rioja 101 class this evening at Brooklyn Wine Exchange, which will guide you through the geography, the grapes, and the great pleasures gained from this accessible and pleasing Spanish region. Starts at 7pm and you can sign up by calling 718-855-WINE (9463).

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Cobble Hill Getting New Middle Eastern Restaurant

By , 18 January, 2012, 4 Comments

All that is old is new again. This adage is especially true when speaking of the coming soon Middle Eastern eatery/lounge, Levant, named after the owner’s original region (including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Israel). The restaurant is taking over the space of current Middle Eastern restaurant Palmyra (Court St. between Degraw and Sackett) and the food will be Jordanian-based.
According to one half of the husband/wife ownership team, Sara Abus, “Our food is a bit different than Lebanese food because we use different kinds of spices. We do however have a particular dish in common called Manakeesh. They are a cross between pita and pizza, though the dough is made differently than pizza dough,” she says. “Our restaurant will be serving around 20 different kinds of Manakeesh, some which will be authentically Jordanian and others that will have some American influence. They will be served in twos or threes because they are smaller than regular, individual size pizza. Levant will also have a variety of mixed grills including Shish Kebob, Shish Taouk and Kafta. The Mazzeh (appetizers) will have around 10 different items including hummus and baba ghanouj. We will also be offering an Arabic burger which contains parsley and onion and is stuffed with feta cheese.”
Brunch will include Arabic breakfast specialties like ground beef with eggs, pastrami with eggs, and potatoes and eggs. And of course, there will be Falafel. Three different kinds to be exact: Jordanian falafel (made with chick peas and fava beans), Syrian falafel (made with only chick peas) and Egyptian falafel (made with only fava beans). Wine and beer will be available and you can expect it to open for business in mid-February.

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Carroll Gardens Outpost of Bourgeois Pig Open for Biz

By , 11 January, 2012, 1 Comment

Buh-bye dusty Calpurnia Wine Bar, he-LLO Bourgeois Pig! Yup, another fabulous, trendy bar/cocktail lounge has opened its doors at 387 Court St., and this one is a BK outpost of the already popular East Village space. Draped in velvet and lit by vintage chandeliers, the Bourgeois Pig is all about chilling with some wine, cocktails, small plates and fondue. A perfect winter hang. Best of all, if you can sneak out in the beginning of the week, they’re offering half-priced bottles of wine on Monday and Tuesday evenings. You can take a look at the menu here.

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Carroll Gardens and Red Hook: Scenes of a Crime

By , 9 January, 2012, 2 Comments

Hold on to your fancy mobile phones people (ie: iPhones), robberies in the neighborhood are up and the cops are warning everyone to be aware of their surroundings. According to the NY Post,

Oral patients are however perceptible, and take first year to get off the site. I have prepared to be blown, but no blowing has happened much much.

In Carroll Gardens, patrons of NY Perks, a nightclub on Smith Street on the neighborhood’s Restaurant Row, have been recent targets, as have subway riders at the Carroll Street station, residents and sources said. In Red Hook, crooks from the Red Hook Houses are targeting tipplers and IKEA and Fairway shoppers, police sources said. Both neighborhoods are in the 76th Precinct, which reported 124 robberies in 2011, up from 100 in 2010. As a result of the uptick, the precinct has stepped up its patrols.

I know I don’t think twice before I plug in my headphones or tap texts on the street. But from the looks of it, we all may want to keep our tech out of site–especially after dark. Anyone have any problems recently?

Happy New Year Brooklyn

By , 31 December, 2011, No Comment

Hi Bococaland. Sorry, been having a little too much holiday cheer (which will cost me countless hours at the gym next month), but wanted to check in before the end of 2011 and wish you all a happy, healthy new year. A few things going down tonight if you’re still undecided on plans, so wanted to give you a small smattering of ideas. And of course, the fact that you don’t have to don scarves, gloves and hats (or spend an hour wrapping your children in appropriate layers) to leave the house may inspire you to head out as well. See you in 2012, and thanks for coming back to check us out.

Bar Bruno (520 Henry St.), a newcomer to the scene, promises a little fun with your food–Mexico City-style. Wash down the salty, professionally-charred Shishito peppers and duck taquitos with a $6 Tecate and Maker’s shot special (until 10pm, then you should probably switch to one of the well-chosen Micheladas). Come early with the family and let the children play with the goodie bags provided by the establishment while they choose from the large kids menu.

Bark Hot Dogs (474 Bergen St.) will be serving specials until 9:30pm on New Year’s Eve and a soak up brunch the next day.
The Resolution Special
$2 Salt & Pepper Fries
$3 Classic Dogs
$4 Sixpoint Ales
$5 Bark Burgers
$12 Half Bottles of Blanc de Blanc or Rose Sparkling Wine from Gruet
$8 Any Egg Sandwich + Hash Browns + Coffee, Tea, or Juice
$6 Mimosas (Gruet Sparkling Wine and Fresh Squezed OJ)
$12 Half Bottles of Blanc de Blanc or Rose Sparkling Wine from Gruet

In addition to a $49 three-course dinner, Provence en Boite (263 Smith St.) is offering a Galette des Rois on New Year’s day–a classic French pastry filled with an almond cream. It comes with a crown in case you’re on the fence.

Bocca Lupo (391 Henry St.) is doing a four course prix fixe dinner with prosecco toast. Though they are taking ressies at, they welcome walk-ins and promise to accommodate anyone who turns up. A DJ will be spinning so expect to stay late.

Char No. 4 (196 Smith St.) promises a bourbon and whiskey-soaked night with an $85 four-course meal, with entrees including venison, beef two-ways, and lobster. Brunch starts at 10am on Sunday and Monday morning, though January 2 patrons will receive a gratis chipotle bourbon bloody mary or mimosa.

And, I’m gonna throw this in because a friend owns the place, and maybe you’ll be shopping sales at Bergdorf’s and need a place to put down the bags. New joint Amali (115 East 60th St.) promises to change your well-worn image of the upper east side. In fact, with inviting decor and design (all the wood is re-purposed from New York City buildings) and a menu offering farm-to-table Mediterranean cuisine using locally-sourced ingredients (I’m still dreaming of the crostini with buffalo ricotta, fresh red chilies and olive oil), it’s kind of a Colonie for the shopping set. Tonight you can get a $75 prix fixe meal which will take you on a trip through Italy, Greece and France with luxe offerings like truffles, foie gras, oysters and cavier.

Coney Island to Stay, Well, Coney Island

By , 13 December, 2011, No Comment

image via NY Daily News

Though darkness is falling at approximately 4:47pm, we’re here to tell you summer is right around the corner. Kind of. Sort of. Not really. But if you could bear with me and imagine a sunny day at Coney Island sometime in 2012, it should make you happy that Italian amusement operator Zamperla has decided to leave the boardwalk more Brooklyn than Miami Beach. Last November, we reported that the company was looking to gentrify the area–and asked nine longtime businesses to pack their bags and make way for $15 cocktails. But, according to the NY Daily News, Zamperla has seen the folly of its ways and decided to stick mainly with Brooklyn businesses–including Prospect Heights favorite Tom’s Restaurant. Other mainstays will include the beloved Ruby’s Bar and Paul’s Daughter (I see your bucket of Corona’s and raise you a paper plate of oysters).

“We understand that Coney Island is not Miami Beach. We want to keep what is already working there,” Zamperla USA President Valerio Ferrari told the Daily News Sunday. Zamperla, the Italian ride maker tapped by the city to take over its Coney Island land last year and open new amusement parks, did go ahead with evictions of several businesses: Beer Island, Cha Cha’s bar, Coney Island Souvenirs, Grillhouse, and Gyro Corner.
Also set to return with eight-year leases are the Lola Staar boutique, Coney Island Beach Shop, and Nathan’s — in a new bigger space.
Rounding out the Boardwalk space will be more new rides — including go-karts and the 109-foot SkyCoaster — and a beer garden run by Zamperla, Ferrari said.

Buschenschank Great for Meat, Beer and Service

By , 9 December, 2011, 7 Comments

Get Cozy at Italian/German Buschenshank

Got a chance to spend some time at the Buschenschank tavern at 320 Court St. (at Sackett) last night, and I think you can safely file this under the “if you build it they will come” category of BoCoCa. Like other new and kinda new restaurants to the hood (like Colonie, Strong Place, Buttermilk Channel and The JakeWalk, to name a few), restauranteurs are beginning to get the idea that folks want a place with great food, a bar to hang out at and most importantly, a hip and cozy atmosphere. Now, I know this is going to get some readers all hot and bothered (Check, we should all be ashamed of ourselves for turning this into a yuppie paradise), but the fact is, these restaurants are thriving and if everything is done well enough, lines are forming out the doors. So I say, keep ‘em coming.
As for the restaurant itself, the bar scene was hopping by 7pm on a Thursday night and my friend and I sat at a two-top bar table instead of one of the longer, communal tables in the dining room. Our waitress was super-adorable and helped us navigate the well-chosen beer menu. I was impressed that there were proper glasses for each tap beer, though I did not go for the Das Boot (maybe next time). We shared a bunch of stuff, including a spinach and potato dumpling which resembled a matzoh ball, except smothered in a rich mushroom gravy, and a beet salad studded with apples and blue cheese which we actually didn’t order, but which she gave to us gratis (not that it would have mattered, but I didn’t mention I was writing the dinner up). The short ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender and deeply marinated for a flavorful biteful, while the Wurst Platter could have fed about four of us. In fact, we’ll be having the remaining sausages for breakfast tomorrow, after I demolish the perfectly wilted red cabbage salad, German potato salad and tender sauerkraut that came with it. The wine list is also worth perusing and we chose an Italian red to wash down the meal, though the German and Austrian selections looked promising.
Also, if you want to come in a little early, it’s a nice place to sit with the kids on a cold, winter’s night. There are no high chairs, FYI, but those long, wood tables are perfect for a family dinner.

Carroll Gardens Buschenschank is Italian, People, Not German

By , 1 December, 2011, 2 Comments

Peeking into the shiny, new Buschenschank tavern at 320 Court St. (at Sackett) this weekend, I forgot that just a few months ago I had written about its roots in the northern Italian region of South Tyrol, and promptly started thinking about how much I was looking forward to sampling German fare and well-curated beer and wine. Lucky for me, this Italian region borders on Germany, so the food is heavy on wursts, pork, burgers, potatos, dumplings and other carb-heavy grub. As you can see from the pics, the interior is all cozy brown wood, shiny fixtures and a kick-ass tin roof. As you venture further in, you’ll find communal tables for larger groups and hunkering down with your neighbors, as well as some serious comfort food (and yes, they have “das boot” for your beer if interested). The owner is Jim McGown, who’s also responsible for the South Brooklyn Pizza chain (451 Court St.), so in addition to three fondues (two cheese, one chocolate), there’s also pizza on the menu. You can stick to the NY style pie or go for one of the white pizzas, with toppings like mushrooms, arugula, caramelized apples and chives (not all on one pie, thankfully). But beware the Buschenschank Burger, which packs a heart-attack worthy combo of rib-eye, bison, black truffle, foie gras, fried egg and pickled veggies, and is more than a little reminiscent of Daniel Boulud’s DB Burger with braised short ribs, foie gras and black truffle–though the former is $35 and the latter $32 (that’s right, it’s more expensive in Brooklyn folks). If digestion is more your thing, you may be interested in a few smaller bites with your drinks, like a house-made pretzel with beer cheese and sides like kale with belly speck, braised red cabbage, german potato salad and spekknodel.

Whiskey & Cheese Tonight in Cobble Hill

By , 29 November, 2011, No Comment

With more holidays coming right around the corner, it’s time to hone your nose for future parties and gatherings. Sure, wine and cheese is fine. But why not try something a little different and come by for Char No. 4′s whiskey and cheese tasting tonight at 7:30pm or 9pm. In conjunction with Stinky Brooklyn’s Patrick Watson and Robin Robinson of Compass Box Whisky Co., you’ll be privy to the secrets of pairing the right cheese with the right whiskey–and you’ll have a grand time doing so. Tickets are $45 per person plus tax but seating is extremely limited with only 20 spots available at either session. Please call the restaurant to reserve at 718-643-2106 and check out the pairings here:
Great King Street Artist’s Blend
Pecorino Junipero (sheep, Emilia-Romagna, Italy)

Midnight Moon (goat, Europe)

Spice Tree
Appenzeller (cow, Appenzell, Switzerland)

The Peat Monster
Lincolnshire Poacher (cow, Lincolnshire, Great Britain)
Roaring Forties Blue Cheese (cow, King Island Tasmania)

Delice de Bourgogne (cow, Burgundy, France)

So Long Breuckelen, We Hardly Knew Ya

By , 11 November, 2011, No Comment

Back in April, we noticed that bustling Cobble Hill eatery Breuckelen (268 Clinton St.) was closed. The sign said it was “taking a breather.” Today, a mere seven months later, we walked by and saw a load of crap being brought up from its basement and piled outside its doors. When we asked the dumpee about what was going on, he told us it would be opening in the next few months under a new owner.
Grub Street is way ahead of us, however, reporting that a tapas bar called La Vara will be moving in.

Until now, it’s been easy for Alex Raij and her husband and partner Eder Montero to commute between their Spanish spots — the Chelsea tapas bar El Quinto Pino and its Basque sibling, Txikito, conveniently situated just across Ninth Avenue. That will change come early next year, when the co-chefs plan to open La Vara, their first Brooklyn venture, in the landmarked Cobble Hill space that briefly housed Breukelen. Although they weren’t actively seeking a Kings County location, Raij and Montero were charmed by the residential character of the surrounding blocks. “We wanted to go to a real neighborhood, not a commercial strip like Smith or Atlantic,” says Raij, who considers her establishments neighborhood restaurants that happen to serve Spanish food.