Prospect Heights

Lunch: Bark Hot Dogs

Hot dogs may be one of the most basic New York foods: a tube of beef or pork, a squishy bun, and some mustard, ketchup and relish. Simple, right? Wrong. Hot dogs just got a whole lot more gourmet at Bark Hot Dogs in Park Slope.

Bark Hot Dogs, Exterior

There are 10 different kinds of hot dog on the menu at this airy, industrial space with communal tables and high school science lab stools. But Bark’s are a different kind of mystery meat from your traditional dirty water dog. Commissioned from Hartmann’s Old World Sausage in Rochester, the recipe is a private label affair, with the exact mix of ingredients kept secret. But the mix of pork and beef with garlic and spices served as an excellent canvas for the creations that followed. (more…)

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The Vanderbilt

In its Prospect Heights neighborhood, the Vanderbilt is known as “the expensive place.” Mobbed at first and then dismissed for its small portions at higher-than-usual price tags, the Vanderbilt is quieter now. You can actually see the reclaimed wood in the industrial but rustic front room when it’s not jam packed with people, and when you order one of the excellent cocktails at the marble-topped bar, you can hear yourself speak. You can even walk in and get a table. And if you’re from Manhattan, land of the $15 glass of wine, $15 for thick, peppery slabs of hamachi crudo by Brooklyn’s Michelin-starred chef Saul Bolton will seem like a bargain.

Front Bar Room, the Vanderbilt

The problem seems to be one of clarification: the Vanderbilt was probably never meant to be cheap. It brings Saul’s artisanal, global cuisine from the more formal restaurant on Smith Street to a wider audience via a small plates menu that touches down everywhere from Japan to Germany. Could you go down the street and get bigger portions for less? Yes. If your idea of fancy food involves Hollandaise sauce, then by all means keep walking. But if you want a kitchen that can do artisanal food very well, you’re in the right place. (more…)

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Lobster Alert: Brooklyn Fish Camp

If Sam Sifton’s dining brief on Rocky Sullivan’s lobster night made you crave lobster, you don’t have to go as far as Red Hook to get in on the action. The other night we walked without a reservation to Brooklyn Fish Camp, the Park Slope companion to Mary’s Fish Camp, and settled down to an excellent lobster right away. Though you can get the 1 1/2 pound lobsters grilled, the char can distract from the true lobster flavor.  They’re excellent Maine-style: boiled to bring out the sweet, saline, deep-sea taste and served with drawn butter alongside. Get one with a pint of Six Point and a side of Old Bay fries.

Lobster and Pea Pancakes, Brooklyn Fish Camp

Brooklyn Fish Camp
162 Fifth Avenue between Degraw and Douglass Streets
Brooklyn, New York

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