Restaurants & Bars


If you like, call it BoCoCa Day.  Last Saturday Paul and I decided to forego our usually weekly trip to Fairway and visit some of the local markets on Court Street (below Atlantic) instead.  

 

Cafe Pedlar

Cafe Pedlar

Our first stop was Cafe Pedlar, the new coffee shop from the owner’s of Frankie’s 457 and Prime Meats.  Everyone’s all excited because they serve Stumptown Coffee, which I’ve never heard of.  We each ordered a cup of brewed coffee and shared a proscuitto and butter sandwich.  The coffee was amazing.  I wasn’t expecting to be able to distinguish it from the Fairway coffee we make at home, but it was definitely different, and better.  The sandwhich unfortunately wasn’t so good.  The brown bread it was served on really overpowered the proscuitto.  The whole thing turned out kind of bland with a very unpleasant texture on top.

 

Jim & Andy Fruit and Produce

Jim & Andy Fruit and Produce

Next up was Jim and Andy’s vegetable stand.  We’d been meaning to go here for years, but this was our first trip.  It was definitely a mom and pop place with lots of unique offerings.  Lots of the produce was fresh, although a few things looked less than fresh.  We found good options to keep us eating dinners all week though.

 

Caputo's Bake Shop

Caputo's Bake Shop

No trip to Cobble Hill (or is it Carroll Gardens?) is complete without a stop at Caputo’s Bake Shop.  They have every kind of bread imaginable and its all baked right there.  Everything I’ve ever gotten there has been well priced and very very good.  One time I could not find a round of pumpernickel bread for my spinach dip to save my life, but they had it, and it was perfectly soft and amazing.  More recently I’ve discovered their lard bread.  I don’t know what lard bread officially is, but it seems to have lots of parmesan cheese and bits of salami in it.  It’s very amazing and very indulgent.

 

D'Amico

D'Amico

Even though we’d already had coffee at Cafe Pedlar, Paul couldn’t resist trying the espresso at D’Amico.  They roast their own beans and we’d heard very good things.  Paul was not disappointed.

 

The Chocolate Room

The Chocolate Room

I usually resist the sweet stuff, but Paul convinced me to have a peanut butter cup from The Chocolate Room on the way home.  I have to say, it was very good.  There was a very high peanut butter to chocolate ratio and the peanut butter was kind of salty, which I thought made it perfect.

After buying all that food for our home we decided to head out to Smith Street for dinner.  We’d been to Char No. 4 for drinks before, but this was our first dinner experience.  We started with the fried cheese curds and pimento dipping sauce.  Very good, but very rich.  I had the scallops over pureed butternut squash.  Paul had the home-made pork sausage with cabbage and roasted apples.  Everything was very good, I would definitely go back.  They have an amazing looking brunch menu too.  (Only thing I wished is that they had more to offer the non-bourbon drinkers.)

Vinegar Hill House (http://vinegarhillhouse.com/)

bar at Vinegar Hill House butternut squash & goat cheese tart at Vinegar Hill House

We’ve been wanting to try the new Vinegar Hill House since it opened this winter. We tried once before, and even though it’s in the middle of nowhere, it was a mob scene. There were even Manhattanites getting dropped off out front by cab. But we didn’t let this deter us and we returned last night. We arrived before 7pm and there were a few tables open and we were seated right away. They have a few cocktails on the menu and a reasonably sized wine list. I started with a glass of prosecco and Paul with a house cocktail. For an appetizer we shared the butternut squash and goat cheese tart. This was excellent. So the squash and tart dough were so amazing, I would say it didn’t even need the goat cheese on top, coming from me that’s quite a compliment. For entrees we shared the rabbit ragu over pasta special and the cast iron chicken. Both were very good. However the rabbit ragu wasn’t as good as Henry’s End or Noodle Pudding. For desert we shared a slice of the Guiness chocolate cake with cream cheese icing.  The icing was VERY good, together with the cake it was delicious.

68 Jay Street Bar (http://68jaystreetbar.com/)

We’ve been to this bar a couple of times, sometimes we even take Milo (the dog).  It’s never packed, its never loud, but it’s also never too exciting.  It’s a good local bar where you’re guaranteed a seat and a friendly bartender.

Agave (http://www.agaveny.com/)

Went to Agave for the first time last night.  I was a little disappointed.  I started with a Strawberry Margarita, should’ve just had a regular lime, it was boring.  For appetizers we had the Hand Hacked Haas Avocado Guacamole and the Old School Blue Crab Chipotle Spinach Dip.  The guacamole was very good, but the crab dip just tasted like a big blob of cheese.  For my entree I had the Blue Corn Enchiladas (chipotle chicken breast, spinach & cheese).  I didn’t taste any spinach or cheese.  It was more like a brown mole sauce, very dry.  I wish they would have mentioned on the menu that it was mole.  For drinks we shared a pitcher of Red Sangria, this was very good.  I guess I might consider going back for guacamole and sangria, but not for dinner.

Pegu Club (http://www.peguclub.com/flash/)

I’ve been wanting to try this place for a while, have heard good things about the drinks and bartenders.  We didn’t show up at Pegu until 10:30 or so, and it was a bit of a scene.  Luckily the door is just a traffic control device and not a “analyze how cool you are” device.  So we had a short wait outside before we were ushered upstairs.  The bar area was VERY crowded, but I noticed some available tables and the hostess was happy to seat us at one.  The drink menu was very good, I tried the Applejack Cobbler and my girlfriend had the Champagne Mojito.  We enjoyed both.  I would probably prefer this place earlier in the evening, maybe before dinner, it’s a bit much of a scene later at night, if we hadn’t gotten a table I wouldn’ve been very miserable.