Now 15 years old, The Grocery on Smith Street shows some of its age, but the kitchen's precision and the staff's genial service never get old.
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Brooklyn favorite Battersby has been drawing long waits since it opened two years ago. Here are some more spots for good eating in the neigborhood—or good drinking while you wait out your table.
Anyone can fry potatoes, roast vegetables, and braise meats, but few can do it as well as Brucie's chef Zahra Tangorra.
Fish Tales has been supplying Brooklyn's Cobble Hill community with fresh seafood since opening in 1996. The Court Street fixture has followed the neighborhood's growth over the following 17 years—rotating its offerings and boosting its grocery selection—but two concepts remain firmly rooted in the shop's inception: its dedication to high quality fish and superb customer service.
A massive ice cream sundae best shared with two or three of your sugar-crazed friends.
Yemen Café's ambience recalls that of a cafeteria—the bare tables are dominated by families whose gigging toddlers race around the dining room, and the ice water and sweet mint tea are self-service. The casual atmosphere makes it that much easier to focus on the food here, which is soulful, delicious, and a great bargain.
To pair with fish sauce wings, five-spice pig ear strips, and sour pork riblets, you'll find fruit-forward drinks—developed primarily by Andy Ricker and Dave Kaufman.
My favorite kind of restaurant is the neighborhood restaurant: a place right down the street that's short on frills but long on coziness, serves down-home but excellent food at fair prices, and where the quality never seems to suffer no matter how many decades old the restaurant is. Waterfalls Café is that kind of restaurant.
Slathering pimento cheese on a sandwich is such a brilliant idea. At Van Horn Sandwich Shop on Court Street in Cobble Hill, it makes an appearance on the "BLP."
Saul Bolton opened Red Gravy with the desire to pay homage to the Italian-American experience. The menu is inspired by recipes and traditions that immigrants brought from the shores of Southern Italy to the blocks of Southern Brooklyn; changes were made only to reflect the different ingredients available in their new homes.
Levant specializes in Jordanian cuisine, putting a less-seen take on Middle Eastern classics like falafel, eggplant, and yogurt.
A delicately fried catfish and 'slaw sandwch is a pleasantly demure alternative to the big ticket fried chicken and pimento cheese at this Cobble Hill sandwich shop.
Why isn't asparagus the star of more sandwiches? Roasted stalks are lined up on thick slices of Bien Cuit's Campagne bread (which means "country bread," and this is a gorgeously rustic loaf). "That bread just came out of the oven this morning," said the lady behind the counter. It's always a good sign when a sandwich begins this way.
If you've heard anything about Dassara yet, it's probably been about the "Deli Ramen," a.k.a. the matzo ball soup with ramen noodles and Montreal-style smoked meat. "It's my Aunt Sherry's matzo ball soup recipe," said co-owner Josh Kaplan. But he wants people to know that Dassara's menu contains much more than that.
Cobble Hill's La Vara has a whole fried section of the menu. The very first: these formidable fried artichokes, drizzled with anchovy aioli.
A scoop of Strawberry ($4 for small) from Brooklyn creamery Blue Marble doesn't look like much in the cup, but don't be fooled by its understated facade—this is serious ice cream.
We'll say this about La Vara, the new Brooklyn restaurant from husband-and-wife chef duo Alex Raij and Eder Montero of Txikito and El Quinto Pino: they know how to write a menu. Read down the 30-odd list of dishes and, if you're anything like us, you'll be prompted to read aloud—Cumin roasted lamb breast? Ooooh, fried chickpeas. Murcian pasta with goat butter?! It's the sort of lineup that gets you drooling before you've had a single bite. And for the most part, each dish lives up to its promise.
The Turkey Sandwich ($9) at Ted & Honey may not reach the heights of poultry greatness, but it's a solid union of mild smoky turkey, sharp dijon mustard, and plump, tender apple butter.
You want to be careful when labeling a sandwich a "cheesesteak." Doing so cues certain expectations of a particular type of sandwich. But since the Smith St. Cheese Steak ($12) is in Brooklyn, not Philly, I neutralized my expectations and decided to go with the flow.