09/30/14 8:57am
Practicing archery is actually surprisingly relaxing. Photo: Brooklyn Based

Practicing archery is actually surprisingly relaxing. Photo: Brooklyn Based

Welcome to Date Night, our new monthly series where we suggest a date that will shake up your night out routine. Whether or not it’s the kind of date that might end up between the sheets is entirely up to you–we’re just here to tell you about a good time that’s ready to be had somewhere in Brooklyn. 

The date: My new favorite night out with my husband is a trip to Gotham Archery in Gowanus, followed by dinner somewhere in the neighborhood (he favors Dinosaur BBQ, my vote is for Littleneck). If you really wanted to gild the lily, you could even follow dinner with a barrel-aged cocktail and a round of shuffleboard at The Royal Palms (or check their food truck schedule for dinner options there), and then a cone at Ample Hills. But let’s start simple.

If archery sounds like something that will make you feel frustrated and grumpy and un-datelike, take it from me, it won’t. I am the world’s worst sport at doing new things that I’m not good at, and I’m also competitive, and married to someone who is great at target shooting. I was sure the whole archery experiment would end in tears, or at the very least, bickering. Instead, it was mellow and fun and left me wanting to go back.  (more…)

08/19/13 9:36am

Has any cuisine expanded its Brooklyn presence in recent years more than barbecue? Last year BrisketTown, Fletcher’s and Fort Reno opened, joining established spots like Fette Sau. But the slow-cooked meat scene shows no signs of slowing down here. Introducing eight new, revamped or soon-to-open ways to get your fill of Brooklyn barbecue.

1. NYC BBQ: Hometown 

Hometown's brisket (Photo by Hometown BBQ)

Hometown’s menu is a mix of Brooklyn cultural influences, like Caribbean jerk chicken and traditional Texas style barbecue like this brisket above. Photo: Hometown BBQ

RED HOOK–Borough-born pitmaster Billy Durney was preparing to open his Red Hook restaurant around this time last year, and while Sandy pushed things back significantly, Hometown BBQ is now finally ready to go, with plans to start serving by the end of August. We got an advance taste of Durney’s Brooklyn-style BBQ, which melds cultural influences culled from his experience growing up in Old Mill Basin. That includes Vietnamese flavors in a lamb belly bahn mi, a modified take on Caribbean jerk chicken, and an amazingly juicy jalapeño-cheddar sausage made for Hometown at nearby Paisano’s meat market, then topped with a housemade mustard and Brooklyn Brine pickles. There’s also more traditional Texas and Carolina-style BBQ to be had, including tender pork ribs, brisket and pork shoulder. Located directly across from Fairway, the large, casual space is outfitted with salvaged 150-year-old hemlock wood, faded American flags and Christmas lights strewn above Edison bulbs for a VFW hall meets hipsterville look. Throw in live music and a full bar, and it’s easy to see how Hometown will reel in the crowds. 454 Van  Brunt St. (between Reed & Beard sts.), 347-294-4644

2. Pre-Game Spot: Morgan’s

PROSPECT HEIGHTS–This newcomer near Barclays Center is also set to join the BBQ party by month’s end. The Texas-style oak-smoked meats, available as sandwiches or platters, will include brisket, ribs, pulled pork, chicken, turkey and sausage along with sweets like bourbon pecan pie. The prime attraction looks to be the sizable Flatbush Avenue patio–a nice spot to enjoy some outdoor drinks and ‘cue before an arena visit. And perhaps even more exciting is that the same owners will simultaneously open a second Brooklyn branch of The Elbow Room next door, serving top-notch mac-and-cheese from a street-facing window, making this intersection the borough’s new comfort food corner. 267 Flatbush Ave. (at St. Marks Ave.)

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08/12/13 5:00pm
Fri August 16, 2013
It's fine dining for a good cause this Friday around the Gowanus Canal where proceeds from meals at participating restaurants go toward cleaning up the Superfund site. Photo: Gowanus Canal Conservancy

It’s fine dining for a good cause this Friday around the Gowanus Canal where proceeds from meals at participating restaurants go toward cleaning up the Superfund site. Photo: Andrew Nicholas

Since I moved to Gowanus about three years ago, it has firmly and quickly established itself as a top-notch food destination. As a burgeoning restaurant row has sprung up on Third Avenue with the arrival of critical darlings like Runner & Stone, Littleneck, The Pines and Fletcher’s, other culinary tours de force like Nightingale 9, Seersucker, Dinosaur BBQ and Fort Reno have joined an already robust collection of great restaurants in the immediately surrounding neighborhoods of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens (think Rose Water, applewood and Lot 2). On Friday night, make a plan to eat at any of these–or enjoy coffee from Crop to Cup or Southside or a glass of wine from Terroir Park Slope (actually they have a formidable dinner menu as well)–and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s ongoing efforts to restore the canal to a beautiful, green recreation destination. Dive In Gowanus is the perfect way to show both your appreciation for stellar local businesses and your commitment to cleaning up the environment they inhabit, so be sure to include a stop at one of the participating establishments in your Friday night plans.