The Commodore

Restaurants , American Williamsburg
Critics' pick
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(10 user reviews)
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1/4
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

The Commodore

2/4
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

The Commodore

3/4
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

The Commodore

4/4
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

The Commodore

First came the gastropub, an import from Britain featuring upmarket pub grub in an ale-drinking setting. Now, welcome the gastrodive, which further blurs the lines between restaurant and bar. The Commodore in Williamsburg, with its old arcade games, Schlitz in a can and stereo pumping out the Knight Rider theme song, offers the city’s best cheap-ass bar eats, served in a seedy venue where folks come to get blotto. The short menu—with descriptions as curt as the service you’ll encounter while ordering your food from the bartender—reads like a classic collection of fryolator junk. But the “hot fish” sandwich, for one, is a fresh, flaky, cayenne-rubbed catfish fillet poking out of both sides of a butter-griddled sesame-seed roll. “Pork du jour” turned out to be two soft buns filled with a delicious mix of pinto beans, sweet-spicy barbecued pork and vinegary slaw. Chef Stephen Tanner, formerly of Egg and Pies ’n’ Thighs, heads the kitchen, cooking up fried chicken that trumps even that of his former employers—three fat thighs with extra-crisp, peppery skin and tender brined flesh, served with thimbles of sweet-and-spicy vinegar sauce and biscuits with soft honey butter. Even the thick fries are a superior product—right in the sweet spot between soggy and crisp. While the Commodore, with its fatty foods and blender drinks, would hardly qualify as a destination for dieters—the house libation is a frozen piña colada—Tanner and his crew do a fine job of keeping vegetarians happy. In addition to the creamy, gooey “adult cheese” sandwich—oozing pimento cheese made in house with poblano peppers—there are beautiful seasonal salads and vegetable sides (lemony rainbow chard and buttermilk-dressed snap peas on one recent visit). The Commodore serves no dessert—the only sweet stuff on hand is slushy booze. But if you keep on drinking and require more sustenance, Tanner’s got you covered with a fortifying bowl of posole—exceptional hangover preemption, thick with hominy and tender poached chicken.

Venue name: The Commodore
Contact:
Address: 366 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn

Cross street: at Havemeyer St
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 4pm-midnight; Fri-Sun 4pm-1am
Transport: Subway: J, Z, M to Marcy Ave; L to Bedford Ave
Price: Average main course: $9. AmEx, Disc, MC, V.
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Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
LiveReviews|10
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1 of 2 found helpful

I had the worst bar experience of my life last night at the Commodore. The tattooed male bartender with short hair was abusive when I ordered a round of the "signature" pina coladas, he sarcastically said "What is this August?" then he proceeded to violently slam every cabinet in sight. This guy has serious anger issues and should not work with the public. I tried to find a manager but, of course, no manager was available.

lily r
tastemaker

This is one of my go-to spots in Williamsburg. There is always a great crowd, the drinks are awesome (and really well-priced for good cocktails) and the back patio is key. I love the borderline tiki vibe that nails kitsch without trying too hard. This is a great spot for day-drinking or a fun weekday night with friends. The branded shirts are also super awesome - which isn't something I notice often, but may have to go back and buy one.

Jennifer P

I love this bar's fried chicken and biscuits. Two words: Honey butter. The drinks are also delicious—you can get a frozen beverage anytime of year. They spot has multiple seating areas, including a nice outdoor spot. The DJs that play here are sometimes a hit or miss, so I wouldn't recommend coming here if you're in the mood to dance. It's more of a "sit-down and eat some amazing food" bar. 

Evelyn D

Delicious fried chicken, old arcade games and great drinks. The only down side is that you have to order food at the bar, there isn't table service. Another huge plus is that it's right by the knitting factory so it's a good hang before/after a show.

Andrew F

You're going to order the hot breast fried chicken sandwich. It'll be too spicy. Next time try for the mild—not quite enough kick. Here's what to do: order the medium breast. Just the right amount of kick and you'll still be able to feel your face afterward. That's if you can pull yourself away from ordering the burger, which might one the finest in the city, and certainly for the $6–$7 price tag. To drink get a beer, probably Schaefer or a frozen mojito. Or whatever you want. It's often very busy, and honestly, you shouldn't go cause then there'll be less spot at the bar for me.

M. R.

We LOVED this bar - especially loved the whiskey flight and super cheap backyard BBG and laid back vibe

Ryan N

I've been coming to The Commodore for just about as long as they've been in business and I plan to continue stopping by for their most amazing affordable food, great drinks and the coolest most welcoming staff. Seriously, eat something while you're there (the kitchen usually closes at around 2AM), you won't regret it. EVERYTHING tastes AMAZING. It's overall a cool cozy spot to catch up with friends, drink and dance.

Stephanie B

Amazing food and drinks. I come here at least once a week. Service can be slow when its busy, but if you go early evening its great. Try the commodore, a pina colada w/ amaretto float and the medium breast sandwich, or nachos. Cant go wrong! Heard the fried chicken and biscuits are good but haven't tried them.

Charles

These are very misleading pictures, the place actually looks like a dive bar, its run down and shizzy, i should know, i'm a rapist.

Dave G.

I stopped drinking years ago, but Schlitz in a can! Automatic 4 stars from me. The vicarious pleasure of that one of a kind unearthly pleasure is orgasmic. 5 stars if they can get their hands on some Pabst tall boys!