Many Manhattanites are only just realizing what others have known for years: Brooklyn offers some of the world's most inventive dining. It even has a food market, Smorgasburg, a popular destination, dedicated to gourmet grub and culinary innovation, that is the birthplace of the much-hyped Ramen burger.
Roberta’s You know this place is cool because neighborhood hipsters wait hours to eat here. You know it’s worth the wait because the Clintons also eat here (or they did once in 2012, propelling this artisanal pizzeria to instant fame). It would be a disservice to classify Roberta’s as a mere slice spot, though, because it also grows seasonal greens on its rooftop garden, broadcasts food-focused shows from its in-house radio station and creates artfully composed small plates not unlike those you would find at a much more refined restaurant.
Reynard This stylish eatery, just off the lobby of Williamsburg’s Wythe Hotel, offers elegant, creative New American cuisine with seasonal ingredients. The open kitchen turns out of-the-moment dishes—refreshing cucumber slices with yogurt and cherries, a grilled pork chop with whatever greens have been foraged and that omnipresent grass-fed-beef burger—from a menu that changes daily.
Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare This three-Michelin-starred restaurant is so revered that you must book reservations six weeks in advance. For committed foodies, it’s an incredible experience, thanks to the intimate dining space and the chef’s commitment to innovation in crafting the twenty-plus-course menu.
Peter Luger Steakhouse You’ll have to sacrifice some niceties at this old-school steak house, which opened in 1887, but in exchange for surly service, lackluster side dishes and an inexplicable cash-only policy, you’ll receive a spectacularly delicious, aged, marbleized and charred porterhouse. Although steak houses old and new continue to proliferate around town, this is the place to go for the quintessential New York steak experience.
Maison Premiere Indulge in absinthe and oysters at this perpetually packed Williamsburg hot spot. You’ll wait a while to be seated, but this NOLA-inspired haunt is nonetheless a charmer, thanks to its serious cocktail program, stylish crowd and excellent seafood-focused small plates and raw bar. The backyard, surrounded by vine-covered walls, is one of the most romantic gardens in the city.
Allswell Diners at this Williamsburg gastropub can feast on wonderful pasta tossed with whichever greens are of the moment (pole beans, pesto and zucchini on a typical spring night), a beautifully done half chicken with seasonal sides or a pick from left field, such as beef heart crostini. Brunch and lunch are also excellent.
Glasserie Making the trek to the industrial stretch of northern Greenpoint where Glasserie is located requires some justification—and this truly unique, Middle Eastern–inspired restaurant provides one. The small plates—fava-bean-and-chickpea dip served in fried potato husks, hot-grilled radishes dusted with za’atar— are excellent, but the large-format rabbit is the jewel in the crown, cooked three ways and served with an addictive flaky griddle bread and myriad garnishes.
Luksus This twenty-six-seats eatery set in the back of an Icelandic beer house is enough of a foodie favorite to draw diners to remote Greenpoint. The luckiest score a spot at the bar, where they can chat with the chef as he prepares the often-changing menu of Scandinavian-inspired fare.
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