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Review: BK9

Read the recent restaurant review from one of the finalists in our Food and Drink critic competition


BK9, down the block from Barclays Center, is the realized dream of nine childhood friends, all sons of Island immigrants: a “neighborhood place” serving the food they grew up loving—Caribbean cuisine with a Brooklyn accent.

NYC-born executive chef Christian Ortiz (Le Bernadin) deliciously fulfills the owners’ vision with a simple yet diverse menu handsomely presented (think Caribbean-cruise-style) from an open-plan kitchen to a 50-seat dining room; the 10 get-‘em-while-you-can places at the full bar fill up fast.

For starters ($9 to $11), we enjoyed tangy coconut citrus ceviche, falling-off-the-bone jerk chicken, crispy pork belly and a flaky braised oxtail empanada. Each entrée—braised oxtail ($18) and seared scallops ($24)—is easy on your fork and taste buds. A pleasant surprise: La Mulia, tequila, jalapeño syrup, lime with a splash of orange over ice.

Say "Yes!” to either of the two desserts ($7): Romeo y Julieta, a delicate pair of guava-preserve-filled empanadas (you won’t believe they’re fried!), or spiced parsnip cake, with yummy cream cheese frosting. Just added: BK9’s late-night menu. Both empanada items are joined by smoky fried chicken, yucca chips and sliced pork skins; we’ll have to go back and try these.

By Jim Nedelka

A native New Yorker, Jim Nedelka is happy he has the luxury of no longer needing to eat at his desk.

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