The best of ‘New Brooklyn’ cuisine

by Brendan Spiegel on February 26, 2010

Cheeseburger & fries at Buttermilk Channel restaurant in Brooklyn, NY

Cheeseburger & fries at Buttermilk Channel restaurant in Brooklyn, NY

Manhattan may still be the best bet for fancy five-star meals, but now a foodie trip to NYC can’t be complete without a trip across the river for what’s being called “new Brooklyn cuisine”—farm-to-table fare featuring adventurous ingredient combinations, and served in a laid-back, barnyard-chic setting. These three newbies do it best.

Buttermilk Channel (524 Court Street): Every bite is a surprise at this somewhat-out-of-the-way Carroll Gardens restaurant. Complimentary popovers are dotted with sea salt and honey; house-made pickles bring a tangy, spicy kick; and roasted almonds are doused in maple and bacon. And that’s all before even getting to the actual meal, which features hearty, Southern-inspired dishes like buttermilk fried chicken over cheddar waffles and savoy cabbage slaw. Nearby, you can stay at the Nu Hotel or at the Washington Square Hotel in the West Village and hop on the F train to Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn.

No. 7 (7 Greene Avenue): You’ll just have to trust that hotshot young chef Tyler Kord knows what he’s doing at this year-old Fort Greene spot. His far-out small plates like tempura-fried broccoli served with a black bean puree, grapefruit and dill might not sound like they work on paper, but guess again. Every one of his sounds-so-wrong mixtures ends up working just right. If you stay at a hotel near the C train, such as 60 Thompson in SoHo, you can take the train right to No. 7′s front door.

General Greene (229 Dekalb Avenue): While the seasonal menus are studded with tons of local greens and winter squashes, it’s actually carnivores who will be most pleased here. The General Greene’s Kobe beef burger is one of the best in New York, while inch-thick slabs of candied bacon put your puny breakfast slices to shame. Cocktails are just as hearty — the New Harvest mixes bourbon, sweet vermouth, orange, carrot, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple. If you stay somewhere off the Q train, such as the Soho Grand hotel, you’re just one stop (and a decent walk) away.

- Brendan Spiegel of Endless Simmer.


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