With Brooklyn Restaurant Week set to begin next week, I thought it might be fun to give a quick rundown on the local restaurants I've been to that are participating. There are plenty of great places I just haven't had a chance to try yet, so I'm not going to be able to talk about them all.
Anima Italian Bistro
I was a huge fan of this restaurant's predecessor, Il Torchio, and was very disappointed when we lost them. Anima is a serviceable replacement, a little more geared to broader family fare than was Il Torchio. The portions are larger and less expensive, but the menu isn't as expansive or adventurous. I've been once for dinner, once for brunch, and ordered delivery as well, and I've been pleased if not blown away every time. It's certainly a good value for the dollar, and I will definitely go back in the future.
One of the neighorhood's favorite Italian restaurants, Graziella's has a claim to being the best pizza in the neighborhood, though I think Il Porto has given them a run for their money in the last year. I've been a few times, including reviewing it once in the early days of the blog. If the weather's nice, try and sit upstairs on the roof or outside, since while the food is great, I'm not a huge fan of the vibe inside. The antipasto is good and you'll be hard pressed to beat the pizza.
Maggie Brown Restaurant
A great place for brunch, and I highly recommend the burger with shaved horseradish. Maggie Brown is another neighborhood instution, and if you haven't been Restauarnt Week is as good an excuse as any.
My review of Kif remains one of the most popular pages on this site, either because people are really curious about it or because not that many other sites have reviewed it. Kif's a cozy little Moroccan restaurant in the space formerly occupied by neighorhood-favorite Liquors, and I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it out last year, not really knowing what to expect. Don't leave without trying the goat cheese "cigars."
What more can I say about Loulou? If pressed, I'd probably name it my favorite restaurant in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, and I've been back pretty regularly since first discovering it last year. A great selection of crepes (the sea scallops remain my favorite), a diverse and interesting wine list, and a wonderful warm chocolate cake all help make Loulou one of the best diing experiences in a neighborhood full of great places to eat.
Olea Mediterranean Taverna
Olea was one of the first restauarants I tried after moving to Clinton Hill, and to this day it holds a special place in my heart. It's always high up on my list of places to go for brunch because of the fantastic Savory Parmesan French Toast. I've been a few times, including recently, and I'll dertainly be back. Also, don't leave without trying their excellent bloody mary. There's cracked pepper and sea salt on the rim of the glass and it's spicy as all Hell.
Who doesn't love pizza, especially brick oven pizza? Il Porto quickly became one of my favorite restaurants after opening last year, with an excellent pizza combines with an attractive space inside. Since getting their liquor license, things have only gotten better. While it's a close call between these guys and Graziella's, Il Porto currently holds claim to being my favorite pizza in the neighborhood.
I've also been to, but haven't reviewed, a few other participating restaurants:
Tamboril on Myrtle is a great little place, offering some of the spiciest food you can get around here, especially if you make a special request.
Chez Oskar is good, if a bit overpriced - when I'm in the mood for French food I tend to gravitate towards Loulou, to be honest.
The Smoke Joint offers fantastic BBQ, and if you haven't been this is really a great excuse to give it a try. Don't wear nice clothes, though.
I wasn't impressed with Sushi D the one time I've tried it, but I've since decided I need to at least give it another shot.
So get out there and eat! I'm going to hopefully use Restaurant Week as an excuse to try a few more of the many places I have yet to experience.