This place is so lovable that I think it might tend to get a bit overrated in its reviews. But I'm about to do the same thing. Because I loved it.
Everybody says it's in Prospect Heights. But it's on the Crown Heights side of Washington Avenue, so that's where it is.
The food concept is clean, stylish versions of Midwestern comfort food. There's an incredibly appealing day menu. But I'm never gonna be there for that. The night menu is more limited. But it's all so lovable.
I started with fried giardiniera. Fried pickled vegetables is an idea whose time has come. Very cleanly fried. Incredibly good with a cocktail from the very basic list.
It may be hard to get excited about a Patty Melt. But it was So. Fucking. Good. Part of it is that they get the "secret sauce" right: not overly spicy, not cloying. Just right.
The Patty Melt comes with these fried "crispy potatoes" that are addictive.
They have only one dessert: a slice of whatever kind of basically disgusting, buttercream-rich diner-style cake they made that day (on my day, it was an Ambrosia cake). Of course, they absolutely nail this. Nobody fails to order it -- and nobody is unhappy to eat it. Quite the opposite. You can see the joy radiating up and down the bar and from table to table as people reach the dessert course (which no one seems to skip).
One of the hooks for this place was that it would be determinedly LGBT friendly. That translates into a general feeling of ease, of belonging, that is palpable when you walk in. I can't remember the last time I felt such a good vibe walking into a restaurant. The crowd is mixed. The staff certainly seemed to go out of their way to make at least one cis male solo diner feel as welcome as anyone else.
This is clearly a neighborhood place. You'd be nuts to go out of your way for it. But just as much, you'd be nuts to have it near you and not make extensive use of it. I'm sort of embarrassed that it took me more than a year to drop in. Cuz I just loved it.
COMP DISCLOSURE: A slice of that cake. (I didn't think I wanted any. But after a glass of artisanal Malort, I was ready for anything.)