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)
Whether you’re looking for takeout or a casual dinner on the Upper West Side, Alachi Masala has you covered. Not only is this restaurant BYOB, but it also doesn’t charge any corkage fees. Whether you’re dining in or taking your dinner to go, you have a long menu of Indian favorites to choose from. Go the traditional route with vegetable samosas (two for $4.95) or vegetable pakora ($6.95) to start. You’ll find classics like chicken tikka masala ($15.95) and saag paneer ($13.95) alongside specialty dishes like emlyka murg, boneless chicken cooked in peppercorns, tamarind and garam masala ($14.95). Of course you’ll want some naan—what Indian feast would be complete without it? Try it flavored with garlic ($3.95), stuffed with spiced potatoes ($3.95) or studded with cherries, raisins and coconut ($4.95). Hungry for something sweet? Sample some of the traditional Indian desserts on offer, like the cardamom- and rose-scented pudding called kheer ($4.95) or ice cream flavored with saffron ($4.95).
Venue says: “New York’s Best B.Y.O.B. Indian Restaurant famous for the Chicken Tikka Masala and other gluten free and vegan options available!”