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Barton's Bites

Food from a guy's perspective

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Brooklyn

Hometown Bar-B-Que

Arguably the best BBQ in New York City, the picture below speaks for itself. Hometown BBQ in Red Hook, Brooklyn is doing things right. Yes, it’s a little bit of a trek to get there (for all you Manhattanites), but it’s worth the journey. The menu is filled with brisket, pulled pork and lamb belly, as well as artery-clogging sides like mac and cheese. Top it all off with a brunch Bloody Mary with candied bacon and you’ve got yourself quite the meal.

Tip – check them out on weekends when there is live country music, but get there early or you’ll be stuck waiting in a VERY long line.

Hometown BBQ

Hometown Bar-B-Que Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie

If you’re craving some key lime pie and don’t feel like hopping on a three hour flight down to Key West, jet over to Red Hook, Brooklyn, follow the signs and end up at Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie.

This Brooklyn outpost is mainly a commercial bakery but they’ve opened their doors to serve visitors craving some lime goodness.

The shop is modest and eccentric. Scattered among tons of knick-knacks and a lovable shop dog, there are a few signs detailing your order options. There are only a handful of choices, and they’re all mainly variations of one thing – key lime pie – you’re not getting anything else here so don’t try to ask. Be prepared to grab your pie and take a walk too. There aren’t any tables or chairs, but there is a scenic pier nearby that is the perfect eating spot.

Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pie Brooklyn, Red Hook, NY

In general, key lime pie doesn’t rank high on my list of favorite types of pie (hello apple and pecan). Steve’s may have me changing my tune though. It had just the right amount of tartness and sweetness, with a buttery graham cracker crust. These key lime pies are made from real limes and they’re the real deal.

 

An Italian Feast: Patrizia’s of Brooklyn

Want to have an Italian feast with a few hundred of your closest friends? Head to Patrizia’s of Brooklyn and you too can experience the party that takes place in Williamsburg.

This place is amazing and ideal for large groups. It’s a celebration all night with diners waving their napkins in the air as table after table celebrates a birthday, anniversary or just a fun night out on the town.

Come hungry. A family-style menu is available for around $55 per person that includes an all-you-can-drink feast with multiple courses of cheeses, veggies, pizzas, pastas, seafood, meats and desserts. There’s so much food that it never seems to stop – course after course after course comes out. Luckily, you have endless amounts of wine and beer to wash it all down.

I highly recommend Patrizia’s of Brooklyn. I definitely will be going back and encourage you to check them out for your next celebration!

Patrizia's Pizza and Pasta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Marleey’s – Greenwood’s Newest Restaurant

Marleey’s, the newest restaurant to hit the Greenwood section of Brooklyn’s 5th Avenue, opens this Friday, December 11th. I recently was invited to check them out and sample some of their dishes.

Interior of Marleey's Brooklyn

Interior of Marleey's Brooklyn
Interior of Marleey’s

First impressions – the interior is VERY bright. The lights were turned on in full force creating an almost blinding effect. I’m not sure if this was on purpose or not (it made for great photos) but I recommend Marleey’s turns down the lights in the future and puts some candles on the tables for any extra light they’re looking for. The room is very nicely decorated with some great wood floors and exposed brick. It would look great in dim lighting.

Marleey’s puts a unique spin on American and Caribbean cuisine. Their sample menu took us through some of the appetizers, entrees and desserts the restaurant will be featuring when they open later this week.

Marleey's Sample Menu Greenwood Brooklyn New York
Marleey’s Sample Menu

From the butternut squash soup to the dulce de leche creme brûlée, the food was good, but not overly exciting.

On the plus side, the highlight of the meal was the butternut squash soup. It was perfectly creamy with great flavors – exactly what you’d expect from this soup. The jerk chicken was equally as good, sitting on a bed or rice with a slight kick to it.

On the negative side, the scallops were slightly soggy and watery and the creme brûlée was more of a cake than a custard.

I was secretly hoping for some exciting new Caribbean cuisine I’d never had before, but instead was faced with the usual jerk chicken and some pasta.

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Marleey’s has lots of potential and I’m hopeful they’ve worked out some of the kinks and are ready to hit the ground running this week.

Once open, Marleey’s hopes to appeal to all types of diners by hosting occasional nightly events, including speed dating, live DJ’s on weekends, and movie nights.

If you’re in the neighborhood, Marleey’s is a decent option to relax with hopefully some live entertainment starting in the near future. If you’re not in the area, I wouldn’t make a special trip to visit. I’m envisioning Marleey’s as more of a neighborhood spot.

I’m curious to see how things go for Marleey’s since this area of Brooklyn is starting to become more developed with the Park Slope crowd expanding out into the neighborhood.

Marleey's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tickets Available for 5th Annual Brooklyn Pour Craft Beer Festival

The Village Voice’s 5th annual Brooklyn Pour craft beer festival is coming up on Saturday, September 26th and you can snag your tickets now.

Brooklyn Pour will feature more than 100 craft brews from New York and beyond. The event will be held in Greenpoint, Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Expo Center from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., with VIP hour starting at 2 p.m. The event will host the Brooklyn Pour Game Zone with life size pong, cornhole and more, and an outdoor food court featuring Keste Pizza, Papaya King and Coney Shack, among others.

Only a limited number of tickets are available so grab yours today. More event details are outlined below.

  • DATE: Saturday, September 26th
  • TIME: 2:00-6:00PM with staggered entry as follows:
  • 2:00PM – $85 – VIP Ticketholder Doors
  • 2:30PM – $65 – Early Entry Ticketholder Doors
  • 3:00PM – $55 – General Admission Ticketholder Doors
  • VENUE: Brooklyn Expo Center | 72 Noble St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
  • TICKETS: On sale – http://bit.ly/BKPour15Tix

HENRI on Fifth

HENRI on Fifth – 279 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

I recently was invited to check out HENRI on Fifth, a new restaurant and bar in Park Slope. Located in the space formally occupied by Aperitivo, HENRI On Fifth is serving Brooklyn with an eclectic fusion of small bites, shared fare, locally sourced staples and bespoke cocktails.

HENRI on Fifth in Park Slope Brooklyn

HENRI on Fifth in Park Slope Brooklyn

HENRI on Fifth has a fun selection of retro board games to play. We immediately jumped on Operation (remember how awesome this game used to be?) and Jenga.

HENRI on Fifth Jenga in Park Slope Brooklyn

The space is casual, yet very energetic, and I can see the board games as a perfect way to spend a night.

HENRI on Fifth Menu in Park Slope Brooklyn

The restaurant has innovative dishes that reflect the owner’s, Binh Douglas, heritage – Vietnamese, Native American, African American, German and French. Seasonally-changing and comprised entirely of small plates intended for sharing, the menu ranges from Banh ‘Mini’ Tacos to Sriracha Deviled Eggs, with a creative Grilled Cheese Soldier selection, plus salads, soups and sliders.

HENRI on Fifth Grilled Cheese in Park Slope BrooklynThe classic grilled cheese is made of cheddar and fontina cheeses on buttered Pullman bread. In one word, delicious. Sriracha deviled eggs join the party with a devilish kick.

HENRI on Fifth Grilled Cheese in Park Slope BrooklynOne of the hits of the night was the Die Klassische, an incredibly cheesy grilled cheese served on pretzel bread.

The Verdict

Live near Park Slope? HENRI on Fifth is a great new bar/restaurant. Bringing international fare, craft cocktails and retro board games to Fifth Avenue, HENRI on Fifth joins a casual atmosphere, great service and upscale food for a perfect combination. 

Tasting Brooklyn Returns for Its Fourth Year

Calling all Brooklyn foodies! Tickets are on sale for Brooklyn Exposed’s 4th Annual Tasting Brooklyn event on April 29th – a delicious night that will showcase the best of the borough’s culinary treats all under one roof.

This event is on the heels of the Village Voice’s Choice Eats event in Manhattan (so don’t fill up!) and takes place at Brooklyn’s The Green Building in Carroll Gardens. It will feature a ton of restaurants, chefs, local purveyors and products that are all Brooklyn based. 

General admission tickets are $55 for a two and a half hour all you can bite and sip feast. VIP tickets, which include early admission (1 hour before general admission) as well as a Brooklyn inspired gift bag, are $80.

Event Details:

  • When: April 29th 2014
  • Where: The Green Building – 452 Union St, Brooklyn, NY
  • Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
  • Tickets: General Admission – $55.00; VIP $80 (VIP Gift Bags include items from: Sahadi’, Pelzer’s Pretzels, Peeled Snacks, Buttermilk Bake Shop, By Brooklyn, Brooklyn Kitchen, etc…)
  • For saletastingbk2014.eventbrite.com

Brooklyn Exposed's 4th Annual Tasting Brooklyn

A sample of some of the great food and drinks spots that will be there are below.

Food:

  • 1 Knickerbocker
  • Benchmark
  • Dinosaur BBQ
  • Dosa Royale
  • El Born
  • Fairway Market
  • Falansai
  • Hunter’s
  • Luke’s Lobster
  • Martha
  • Palo Santo
  • Taco Santo
  • Tchoup Shop
  • St. Austere
  • The Pines
  • Zona Rosa
  • Robicellis
  • Baked
  • Fabipops

Drinks:

  • Alice’s Arbor
  • Brooklyn Oenology
  • Cacao Prieto
  • Huckleberry Bar
  • Lavender Lake
  • Owney’s Rum
  • Sixpoint Beer
  • White Pike
  • Widow Jane

Italian in Brooklyn Heights – Sociale

Restaurant: Sociale – 72 Henry Street, Brooklyn, New York

After a recent trip walking across the Brooklyn Bridge with my aunt and Hailey, we opted to skip Grimaldi’s and try something a little bit off the beaten path in Brooklyn Heights.

Enter Sociale. Whenever you walk into an Italian restaurant and are greeted by an entire staff speaking Italian, you know you’ve made a good decision.

Spicy Margarita

Spicy Margarita

Atmosphere

Sociale has a very modern, clean feel to it. The vibrant atmosphere is surrounded by large windows that provide ample lighting and frame the white painted brick and dark wood floors and tables. Clean and sleek, but still with a somewhat old-world feel.

Food

Of course, we pigged out, ordering from across the menu.

Frittura Di Mare flash fried calamari, shrimp, eggplant, red peppers, marinara sauce

Frittura Di Mare

Fried calamari, shrimp, eggplant, red peppers and marinara sauce. How can you go wrong? The Frittura Di Mare consisted of flash fried seafood and vegetables piled high on top of each other.

Pappardelle Al Coniglio whole wheat pappardelle, rabbit ragout, black olives

Pappardelle Al Coniglio

Pappardelle Al Coniglio is made up of whole wheat pappardelle, rabbit ragout and black olives. The portion was a little small for my liking but the flavor packed a punch. This wasn’t my favorite dish. I thought it could have used a little more sauce since the noodles appeared to be somewhat dry.

Pumpkin Ravioli

Pumpkin Ravioli

The clear best dish of the night was the pumpkin ravioli! These bite-size raviolis were stuffed with delicious pumpkin filling in a butter sauce. The raviolis literally exploded inside my mouth at each bite. Deliciously buttery and full of flavor. I’d eat these all day long.

Veal Special

Veal Special

We ordered a veal entree which was one of the specials that night. This dish consisted of a thin piece of veal topped with some greens. Simple and done well.

Service

Service was exceptional. The staff was welcoming, friendly and inviting. The standout example of this was when I asked for a glass of Riesling. There weren’t any ‘by the glass’ options for Reisling, but our waiter didn’t hesitate to open a bottle anyway and pour me a glass. Great service and it clearly made an impression on me.

Value

The portions of some dishes may be a little small and Sociale isn’t the cheapest restaurant on the block. However, it’s not insanely priced. Prices range from $15-$18 for pastas and $20-$27 for entrees. The food is fresh, simple and delicious and everyone can find something that fits their budget on the menu.

The Verdict

Next time you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, skip the line at Grimaldi’s and head to Sociale. Traditional Italian cuisine is fused with a modern flair and exceptional customer service. Check them out! 

PS – Don’t mind their website. They clearly haven’t updated it in a few months since the restaurant opened. You’ll have to visit MenuPages.com to find the menu.

Sociale on Urbanspoon

Vimbly Helps Uncover a Homebrewers Dream – Bitters and Esters

Bitter and Esters – 700 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

A few weeks ago Vimbly, a website that lists things to do throughout New York City (some of which are free!), invited me to check out a home brewing class at Bitter & Esters, a home brew shop located in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights.

Cool!

But wait a minute,what is home brewing? For those that don’t know, it’s basically a do-it-yourself brewery, where you make the beer, bottle it, and best of all, drink it, all in the comfort of your home. 

Bitters and Esters
Drinking and beer making

The class was Brewshop 101: Home Beer Brewing Essentials and our group was treated to an interactive beer making experience. What’s so great about this class?

  • You’re immediately greeted with a pint of home brew when you walk in the door.
  • You get to learn everything you could possibly want to know about beer as well as how to brew your own.
  • The teacher and co-founder, John La Polla, is funny, entertaining and keeps the class going with jokes and little known beer tidbits. 
  • You get to drink some more home brewed beer.
  • You are taught the techniques and theory behind home brewing and how to avoid common mistakes.
  • You get to participate in actually making a beer during the class AND you get to come back in a few weeks and give the beer you made a try!
  • It’s a lot of fun!
Bitters and Esters Beer Making Equipment
Where they keep the good stuff

While I can’t say that I’m now an expert on malts, grains and yeasts, the class was a lot of fun and the entire group had a blast learning the ins and outs of beer making.

Interior of Bitter and Esters
Beer making supplies as far as the eye can see.

Bitter and Esters prides itself on its array of home-brew essentials, and they’re not joking around. They have walls lined with anything and everything you can possibly imagine related to home brewing. Being a home brewing novice, I had no idea what any of this stuff was, but thanks to our fearless beer teacher, John La Polla, I quickly learned all that goes into making a bottle of the stuff. 

Bitters and Esters John La Polla
Our fearless teacher

This class was definitely a good time and I’d highly recommend it to anyone – whether you’re just looking for something to do after work or if you’re a beer connoisseur. Not only does Bitters and Esters offer classes, but they also give you the ability to brew on premises – essentially renting out space for you to brew beer, leave it to ferment and then come back to bottle it and take it home. Really cool set up they have going!

So it’s pretty clear that I loved the Brewshop 101 class at Bitters and Esters. Now how about Vimbly? This is the first time I’d been exposed to the site but I really like how they’ve gone about aggregating events across New York City. I can see myself saying goodbye to endless googling in search of date ideas or weekend activities. Customizable by category, the site displays events in a calendar format, allowing you to easily see what’s available and when. Check them out and check out Bitters and Esters. Just don’t forget to save me a beer!

*This event was provided free, courtesy of Vimbly

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