While the easily distracted servers seem to be Beast’s continuing burden, the exquisitely prepared American tapas and small plates should soothe a savage appetite. An animalistic bar scene greets you; opt for the quieter, crimson-walled back room adorned with gargoyle statues, where you can tuck into fleshy, well-chosen marinated olives while you weigh your options. Smoky, beer-braised short ribs, a touch sweet, are a natural winner amid the room’s lusty, carnivorous vibe. Seafood can be hit or miss, with seared scallops over a mellow bed of leeks and squash outpacing a timid take on skewered shrimp. Street front seating is tempting on a breezy summer night, but it’s almost a shame to skip the intimacy of the den-like interior—a cozy cave.
638 Bergen St
|Cross street:||at Vanderbilt Ave|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu 6–11pm; Fri, Sat 6–11:30pm; Sun 6–10:30pm|
|Transport:||Subway: B, Q to Seventh Ave; 2, 3 to Grand Army Plaza|
|Price:||Average main course: $11. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|