Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Body By Brooklyn Review

Apologies for the delay in getting this up, but holiday travel and misplacing my camera has meant everything's been backed up a bit.

A couple of weeks ago I got the opportunity to go down to Body By Brooklyn on the north side of Clinton Hill and try some of the fare offered up by their new chef, Alfredo.

First thing's first - yes, Body By Brooklyn is a spa. It doesn't really sound like a restaurant, does it? It sounds like a spa, and it is - as it turns out, it's a really very nice one. Mira, the owner, gave me a quick little tour of the place before we sat down to eat. It's a really incredible space, and with 10 private massage rooms, a wet lounge with body Swedish and Russian sauna rooms, and a private spa room, BBB has got to be the most full-featured spa in the neighborhood.

So why did they invite me? I honestly had no idea at first, since I'm not really a connoisseur of spas, though I doubt I'd mind that. As it turns out, Body By Brooklyn is not just a spa, but a self-titled spa and lounge. The lounge part is key, as it's not only a really inviting space for, well, lounging, but there's also a bar and restaurant. A spa with a restaurant! How European!

So how was the food? Pretty great, as it turns out. I'm not sure exactly what I expected, but new chef Alfred provided for really great courses.

First up was an anise and red onion salad with a pear-infused vinaigrette. Light and refreshing, but not for anyone who doesn't already like onions, as it's very, well, onion-y. I liked it well enough, but I'm interested to see what else they offer as far as salads go.

Next was a really impressive presentation of goat cheese and a spring roll. The goat cheese was panko-crusted and served over a balsamic reduction, and the spring roll had jumbo lump crabmeat, shitake mushrooms, and fresh corn served over a sweet chili sauce. The spring roll was a little on the mild side, but good. We all know my love for goat cheese, and this didn't disappoint, especially with the addition of the very sweet balsamic.

What says a spa more than sliders? These weren't anywhere near what I was expecting for a main course, but they're great. Body By Brooklyn calls them Surf & Turf Sliders - one's a salmon filet with a honey maple mustard while the other is ground lamb with a cranberry horseradish sauce. Of the two, I prefered the salmon, but the lamb was very good and not as greasy as I would have expected. The sliders were served with fried juilienne potatoes between them. The potatoes were good, but I think I'd have prefered something a little easier to eat.

For dessert? A grand marnier sabayon with red currant. Very fluffy, creamy, and refreshing, it was a great end to the meal.

Body By Brooklyn is a rather unique experience, especially in Clinton Hill. It's up on Park and Washington, right next to local favorite Mojito and nearby one of my newest haunts, Il Porto. Word has it that both a new boutique hotel and a gourmet deli (!) will be joining this part of the neighborhood soon, so hopefully there will be more than a few reasons for everyone to go north, off the traditional Myrtle/Dekalb path. I liked Body By Brooklyn enough that I'll definitely be back, although I really do hope they re-brand the restaurant portion somehow so that it stands out a bit from the spa.

If you're in the mood for something new and don't want to travel far, I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy Body By Brooklyn. Both Mira and Chef Alfredo were excellent hosts, and be sure and let them know I sent you.


Body By Brooklyn
275 Park ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Google Map


Anonymous said...

I think you mean fennel, not anise.

Brian said...

The menu says anise, and I have to go by what I'm told.

Anonymous said...

Anise and Fennel are one and the same. F.Y.I

Anonymous said...

Anise and fennel are absolutely not the same, though the mistake is often made.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

if you will direct your attention to the last citysearch review, you will find all of the disgusting violations in the kitchen where this 'delicious' meal was prepared.

also, the owner is a disgusting greedy bitch who cares nothing for her employees.

there are so many clean spas in brooklyn where the owners are decent, like Dmai spa, please don't give your business to this rotten place.

Anonymous said...

Also, Brian, you can't understand why they would invite you? Ummm, because they wanted you to advertise them on your site.
Only reason, my friend...
and you really gave them exactly what they wanted.

Check the laundry room, under the towels if you want to see where the mice leave all their droppings, it's quite, unappetizing-fennel and all.

Brian said...

That review details an inspection from last June which totaled 40 points. Not passing, but not egregious. The latest DOH inspection was in October and they received 13 points, easily passing.

The June inspection did have some red flags, to be sure:

1.) "Choking first aid" poster not posted."Alcohol and Pregnancy" Warning sign not posted. "Wash hands" sign not posted at hand wash facility. Resuscitation equipment: exhaled air resuscitation masks(adult & pediatric), latex gloves, sign not posted. Inspection report sign not posted.
2.) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to vermin exist.
3.) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility's food and/or non-food areas.
4.) Appropriately scaled metal stem-type thermometer not provided or used to evaluate temperatures of potentially hazardous foods during cooking, cooling, reheating and holding.
5.) Cold food held above 41°F (smoked fish above 38°F) except during necessary preparation.

However, in October they received a passing grade. The restaurant also does not have a history of failing grades. You can view the DOH report on Body By Brooklyn here:

I have no affiliation with the spa. The owner, Mira, treated me very well while I was there, and Alfredo was extremely courteous and served some very good food.

I'll happily go back.

Anonymous said...

so I guess, from someone who has worked there and is telling you it's filthy means nothing to you?

it's ok...
you were fooled but they won't be around long.

while you are there, try their champagne...it costs them a full $2.00 a bottle, real quality stuff.

ask mira about all the lawsuits pending against her and her shoddy business practices and see how charming she is then...

Brian said...

Of course I knew why I was invited. What I say in my post is that when they called, I was confused because I had no idea they were also a restaurant. It hasn't been my experience that a lot of spas are concerned with the scribblings of a food blogger.

Anonymous said...

2.) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to vermin exist.
3.) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility's food and/or non-food areas.

If this isn't enough to gross you out...Bon appetit!

Brian said...

It's certainly a red flag :)

Was Alfredo the chef while you worked there? I know he's a recent addition, but I don't know exactly how recent.

Brian said...

Also, it's worth nothing that those particular violations are just red flags, and in this case were corrected by the next inspection. Some of my other favorite neighborhood restaurants, Loulou, Graziella's, Madiba, Maggie Brown, Mojito, Chez Oskar, and Red Bamboo have all has this exact violation in at least one recent inspection. This kind of thing is common, and pretty easily rectified. Evidence of chronic problems is one thing, but one 40 point inspection isn't it, especially when the following inspection was only 13, which is pretty good in comparison to the rest of the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

you want to compare this dump to amazing restaurants like Lou Lou and Chez Oskar?
Later, dude...

Brian said...

I'm talking specifically about DOH inspections. Every single one of those restaurants had a "Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to vermin exist" citation in a recent inspection.

Do you consider them all unworthy of eating at? I don't, and I doubt you would either.

Anonymous said...

No, you are right, all of those places are absolutely worth eating at however, I guess when you see stuff with your own eyes, it's different and I'm also hoping those restaurant owners are decent people who deserve my business.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Ask anyone who has ever worked for this inexperienced nut job and you will find every single one of them hates her with the same vengeance. She's a racist and a bitch...not necessarily in that order.

Anonymous said...

As a long time Clinton Hill resident I was very happy when this spa opened. Over the last few years I've spent quite a bit of time and money in this establishment and became very friendly with the staff.

At times the quality of the food has in my opinion been iffy but the staff made up for it. They where warm and welcoming.

I can not in truth same the same of the owner. The few times I saw her in the spa I noticed that she seemed very unkind to her staff.

I passed it off as a cultural difference until several months ago when I started to notice a big turnover of staff and the atmosphere completely changed.

When I asked about the turn around I was astounded with what I heard!

To say that this woman is undeserving of your business is an understatement.

Anonymous said...

This is funny every time I find a Blog about Body By Brooklyn it starts so nice and ends in disaster, well as a ex-client of this so called amazing spa, I wanted to add a little bit of my own experience at Body By Brooklyn.

Well I can start by saying the food was always good, but at one point the chefs they had where disgusting, well they got better but I believe what goes on in there is not cute and clean. Enough about the kitchen let me tell you about the massage therapist, one of them was a pervert he did things that made me never want to get a massage again. I’m glad he got fired, but after he violated so many clients.
Half of the massage therapist there are not even certified how nice is that you have people doing things to you with out being certified to do so. There is this one massage therapist she is Russian, I believe because she don’t even understand English or even speaks it, I had the pleaser to get a horrible massage by her, I believe her name is riina something like that.

Well a little bit about Ms. Ice Queen like someone mention (lol) she is horrible every time something wrong happed she ran in her office and acted like she was not around she has very poor business experience, horrible customer service and I do believe she’s a bit racist, I can say from personal experience and from a couple of friends too.

We all stop going there because of all the RED FLAGS like you want to call it that whole spa is a red flag. The way that Mira treated her staff is uncalled for, its bad that clients know about it because she did it in plain view. I stop going there recently because I had to experience the new member of Body By Brooklyn, the new nasty Hispanic manager that Mira hired she was horrible, disgusting, annoying, unprofessional, no class what so ever, and I can keep going. I think her name is Kim(hoe).

So I guess that was my last straw, I figured that’s why non of the old employees are there I stopped by to speak to a friend and everyone was new and I found out that the ugly bitch new manager didn’t even last a goooooood month there…… Well enough about this in the low down crappie spa, please there are so many nice spa all around don’t give your business or money to this horrible spa once they have your money they don’t care to work on keeping you there they have lost so much clients and am one of them….

Anonymous said...

Hi guys. This place is 5stars out of 15, so each of you can decide where you want to go and how you want to be treated if you think you deserve 5 stars spa and no more, then that’s your place :)

Anonymous said...

just curious where you got that rating system from? I've never heard of 15 stars?

Anonymous said...

On behalf of Body by Brooklyn we would like to clarify a few things.

Until recently, the kitchen was under the auspices of an outside service provider, who also cooked food for the spa's clients. Since Alfredo joined as the spa's executive chef, the kitchen has been under his supervision, and is kept in immaculate condition. We are proud of both the delicious food we serve, and the sanitary environment in which it is prepared.

We hope you join us for a relaxing massage and a delicious meal.

Come join us for an evening of jazz and delicious dinner on Valentines Day, February 14th.

Anonymous said...

After all the negative comments, I'd rather not give my business to a place that obviously doesn't care about their employees very much. I feel bad for those people. They should leave that job.

Anonymous said...

This establishment is very dissappointing and lacks organization. I went in on a random day to use the wet lounge facitlity and had to order food from an outside source as opposed to having food from their "resturant" and had to wait a half hour for juice!!!. They harrased me several times to ask me if I wanted a massage done even though i did not have an appointment..I guess business was slow?. Upon me leaving I was then approched by a so called "consultant" who began to drill me on several questions about my personal business instead of responding directly to my complaints.. he was quite annoying with his "wet Noodle personality" . For pete's sake I could not even get a razor to shave in this "spa" aka Russian social meeting. Last but not least I had to nudge my way through the round up of smokers at the front entrance including one of the workers who had the nerve to be in the front with just a towel on in freezing weather. I gues he was more interested in showing off his tacky tattos and russian stories. This place need to be hidden under the BQE for a specific purpose, please do not be distracted by the decor..it is just a facade for money hungry people who obviously have no idea of the spa business, no wonder the staff changes faster than the speed of light. I AM DONE WITH THIS PLACE, THEY CAN FEEP THEIR $8 JUCIES GET A REAL "CONSULTANT "TO TRAIN THEM IN SPA 101.

Anonymous said...

This chef has already quit. This place is going down fast.

Pat said...

I was introduced to Body By Brooklyn over a year ago and I am now a regular visitor. From the front desk to the wet lounge, a warm and friendly atmosphere is created. You feel at home.

The decor is clean, clear and sophisticated. The wet lounge is one of the best I've experienced. The new menu is quite impressive. I recently brought friends to the Sunday brunch and they were all completely impressed and satisfied. Not only was the food pleasing to the palette but aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

The Spa is a complete treat and just to mention a few of the people who contribute to the overall experience: Anya (not sure of spelling) the new manager, Anastasia, Erin, Theresa, Hope, Ben (the best platza), Paul and Rafe (hope I'm not leaving anyone out).

Body By Brooklyn is a total experience and one worth treating yourself to.

Anonymous said...

I just want everyone to know that all these horrible and cruel comments have been made not by customers but by one or two employees that were fired from the spa for being lazy and not doing any work. I have worked there as well as been a customer for years and have not been able to find a nicer spa in Brooklyn. The wet lounge is incredible, and the regular lounge has flat screen TVs, a great bar and a wonderful weekend brunch. You can't find a combination like that anywhere. The owner is a very sweat and caring person who is far from racist and these employees has taken their firing so personally that they have gained a vendetta against this spa and its owner. Anyone that comes by to check it out will be very satisfied and enjoy treatments like the chocolate massage which is unreal. You get to lick off the delicious dark chocolate as well as get a very relaxing massage. No one is racist and the staff is a mix of different nationalities and races which would make it hard to believe that an owner who hires a staff like that could have anything against anyone. My point is its great, give it a try, and don't listen to this one or two people who take being fired for not working well a little too personally.

Anonymous said...

I recently went to Body By Brooklyn for an even and really enjoyed it. It was a great space, we had friendly service, and the place was well-kept. We had about 25 people in our group, and we truly enjoyed our experience. I recommend going on a week night (like we did) so that you can really experience the serene environment, etc. Sucks that this place gets a bad rep because of one or two infuriated ex-employees...

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys You can go there :) You will get life time experience ;) This place is so great you want believe your eyes. No seriously !!!


wont bother again said...

Hi ive frequented this spa several times father my last visit I will not be returning. The masseuse was great but the service to the friends who accompanied was not. The food took forever the staff seemed disorganized and the manager was a jerk. I will be sure to send a letter to the owner if she gets it.