Bar Meridian arrived this October in Prospect Heights, amid a collection of popular standbys like the Bearded Lady and the Way Station. Before you even enter, it’s clear that Bar Meridian, from Union Pool alum Sage Geyer, is aiming for a more buttoned-up, dare I say *mature* clientele. The sophisticated space features an elegant horseshoe bar, romantic lighting, and art deco infusions. On a recent Friday night, we were seated at a table (as the ample bar seating was taken) between a lovely couple on date and a family with a tiny, civilized baby. Even though it was a tight squeeze, everyone was comfortable, and our server was happy to provide drinks-only table service. (The food menu offers bar snacks, salads, sandwiches and pasta dish if you haven’t already had dinner). It’s a beautiful, welcoming space with an atmosphere that’s lively without being overwhelming.
The cocktail menu still feels like a work in progress, and it’s hit or miss. Still, the signature cocktails are $12, which shouldn’t feel like a bargain, but prices at Brooklyn spots that have no business charging $14 or more for a cocktail have been more than happy to do so as of late. A concoction called “The Last Call Negroni” n’est pas un Negroni, as it is absent the key ingredient of gin, and is also served on the rocks, which we know is technically allowed, but we don’t know why. Rather, with Inferno Bitter mixed with cava, it’s more likely to be confused with an Aperol spritz. The Prospective Crown, a daiquiri served in a Nick and Nora glass, was a vast improvement, and the first drink I would order on my next visit. An off-menu rye Manhattan also hit the spot. The wine list rotates, but appears to be exclusively natural; and offers a $60 bottle of Pet-Nat, the old-school sparkler that has become the go-to bubbly for the hip and adventurous.
Among the highlights of the bar is a pristine, classic-style jukebox that actually works, offering a menu of curated selections from local DJs and collectors that changes from month-to-month. Patrons can use it (for free!) during the last hour before closing, and during happy hour, which is 4-7pm Monday through Friday. The happy hour menu offers bottles of natural wine for $40, and a weekly rotating local draft beer with a well shot for $9.
Geyer told Time Out New York “Meridian” is a reference to the intersection of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights. But we don’t see Bar Meridian as just a two-neighborhood watering hole. We strongly recommend if for your next group outing of far-flung friends (with easy-ish access to four major subway lines), for a cozy cocktail stop after a visit to Brooklyn Museum, or beforehand, when Bar Meridian launches weekend lunch service in January.
Bar Merdian (@bar_meridian_nyc), 406 Prospect Place, Brooklyn NY, 11238. This New Year’s Eve, Bar Meridian will be celebrating with pet nat bottles, cocktail specials, a DJ and no cover.