Pork chop at Dear Bushwick
Iron Lady at Dear Bushwick
RECOMMENDED: Food & Drink Awards 2013
This year, denizens of established ’hoods had reason to cheer: The scruffy East Village gained an ace Gallic charmer (Calliope), tony Soho a soulful American bistro (Jack’s Wife Freda) and stroller-saddled Park Slope a shots-and-burgers roadhouse (Pork Slope). But there’s no competing with underdog pride, and an up-and-coming Brooklyn nabe rallied for its favorite new local, Dear Bushwick. Though British-inspired, the tiny gem sports no stiff upper lip (or indie-rock hauteur, for that matter). Invoking a great neighborhood pub, the prettily appointed joint supercharged feel-good vibes with life-affirming sustenance: gorgeous cocktails (the Iron Lady, a tart, rose-infused gin sipper) and hearty fare (a fat, juicy pork chop glazed in a bacon-fig vinaigrette). That strangers nestled in at the bar and shared plates as covet-worthy as Gollum’s ring is a testament to the tiny spot’s outsize camaraderie; the only thing too precious at this new Brooklyn beaut is the name. Dear Bushwick, 41 Wilson Ave at Melrose St, Bushwick, Brooklyn (929-234-2344, dearbushwick.com)
Bo's Kitchen & Bar Room
Bo's Kitchen and Bar Room offers you a choice: dinner in the full dining room or more casual bites at the bar. For bar snacks, there’s crispy alligator with chili aioli ($15), a cheeseburger topped with caramelized onions, heirloom tomatoes, lettuce and onion ($16) or olive oil–braised baby octopus tacos with mushrooms and blistered fresno chiles (three for $17). You’ll probably want a signature cocktail to go with it. Order something sweet like the Antebellum (bourbon, blood orange tea, lemon and mint) or a drink with more savory notes, like the Casa Capri (gin, cherry tomatoes, basil, black pepper, lemon and honey). Sit in the dining room to order something off the more extensive dinner menu. There’s fried brie with fig jam and braised beets ($14), lemon-buttermilk fried chicken with creamed kale ($23) and truffle mac and cheese ($12). Don’t forget dessert—the restaurant offers fried cookie dough beignets and a blood orange tart with chantilly cream (both $13).
Venue says: “Join us for TIKI TAKEOVER on Tuesday June 13th from 8pm-close in the garden district lounge. Try tiki concoctions with our guest bartender!”