Essential Williamsburg, Brooklyn Culinary Experiences
Marlow & Sons
There is a mass exodus under way. Over the past four years, our friends have been gradually leaving Brooklyn for greener pastures in California, Chicago and abroad. But this week alone we lost three friends to the Bay Area. We tried to dissuade them with fear mongering -- warnings of earthquakes, fires, landslides and real estate prices higher than here. It didn't work.
In a sad, last ditch effort to win back our West coast-bound friends, we have assembled a list of mouth watering dishes they can only eat in the neighborhood they have left behind.
DuMac & Cheese - The oozing cheddar, gruyere and parmesan cheeses seep perfectly into every crevice of the radiatore noodles. And when it comes to the chunky bacon bits speckling the dish, we've never seen this level of generosity.
Dumont Salad - The perfect continuation Dumont's bacon journey. Oh, and a great way to get your daily dose of nuts, cheese and vegetables.
Marlow & Sons
Oysters - It's hard to find oysters with such taut freshness. In your new home, you will have no trouble getting fresh Pacific Oysters, but good luck finding briny East Coast goodness like this.
Brick Chicken - We hear that California chefs are against baking chicken under bricks. So, for you it's good bye to the juiciest roasted chicken.
Braised Short Rib & Grilled Hanger Steak - If you're looking for a Brooklyn splurge of a meal get gussied up and hit this spot --a recent recipient of a Michelin star. It's worth the extra dollars. And if you're on a tight budget, saving your pennies to flee to the West Coast, try their Sunday brunch.
Fish Tacos - Delicately fried fresh fish, drizzled with creamy goodness. For years you've been complaining that NYC doesn't have any good Mexican food. Just when there are finally some fantastic basics you leave?
Mexican Corn - Corn slathered in mayonnaise and crumbles of queso Mexicano. Sure you can get this in California. But you'll be in California, not Brooklyn.
Brick Oven Gallery
Pizza Margarite - New York already wins the world-wide pizza contest. So to have the very thinnest, tastiest brick oven pizza in your very own neighborhood, how could you leave that?
Peter's #1 Favorite Pie - It's like eating a peppery pizza salad -- piled high with uncooked arugula, prosciutto and shaved parmigiana
Mussels - The tightest little mussels are always piled high in the broth du jour. The almost floral, anise and garlic is the best you ever tasted.
Nicoise Salad - Of course you'll find a good nicoise salad in the Bay area. But it could take weeks or even months to dine around and determine where you'll get tuna cooked to this perfection. Save yourself the trouble and come back.
Zucchini & Cheese Pupusas - Thick hot corn pancakes oozing with cheese and shredded zucchini, just around the corner. Your favorite meal after a long hard day when you just didn't feel like cooking.
Aurora & D.O.C.
The plates of Italian fixings are always tasty at both of these eateries. But they don't make romantic settings like this in San Francisco.
The best use of a corner space, this dark hole-in-the wall beneath the JMZ train tracks, feels like a noiry speakeasy. It's also one of the few spots that serves whole artichokes (the perfect vehicle to sip melted butter).
Technically, this restaurant shouldn't qualify since it's beyond the Williamsburg boundary, tucked away in Greenpoint. But with a changing menu that revolves around what's fresh, unusual and good -- we know ex-pats will have trouble locating a replacement that manages to simultaneously comfort and surprise their taste buds.
With Thai restaurants springing up faster than cheaply built "luxury" high rises, we know you won't miss Eurotrash magnets like Sea & Planet Thai (that instantly went from essential to average when it switched locations). But ever since Bozu and Zenkichi hit Williamsburg's restaurant stage with their delicious Japanese pub fare, Williamsburg has become the izakaya capital of Brooklyn.
It would be negligent to forget that before the hipsters invaded the Northside of Williamsburg, it was a Polish neighborhood serving up great pierogis that can still be found at Kasia's Restaurant.
And of course this list would not be complete without mentioning the Williamsburg institution, Peter Luger Steakhouse. It's pretty obvious what they serve.
Of course, we'll admit there's some pretty good eating in California too. After all, instead of shelling out three bucks at the corner bodega, they can pick their avocados right off the tree! And we'll even concede that California has us beat with their tacos and wine. But remember, it's hard to pick the right wine to go with your Burrito Pescado when the restaurant’s swaying from a shaker that measures 7.3 on the Richter scale.
Stay tuned to find out the very best places to drink in Williamsburg.
[thanks to FreeWilliamsburg for all the restaurant links]