QUOTE(Sneakeater @ Jan 19 2010, 07:18 PM)
QUOTE(Wilfrid @ Jan 18 2010, 05:14 PM)
I usually sign up to the proposition that while there are many good restaurants in Brooklyn, few offer dishes which can't be matched in Manhattan.
I agree with that.
So do I. Actually, I don't know anybody who doesn't.
That doesn't mean that there haven't been profound changes in the Brooklyn dining scene. When I first moved to brownstone Brooklyn in 1979 there was a total absence of quality restaurants (excluding the Italian places that Sneak mentioned.) When I returned in 1990 the situation wasn't much better.
It's different now. You can dine well in areas like Williamsburg, Carroll Gardens, and Park Slope. (OK, I'll throw in Prospect Heights to make Sneak happy.) That said, what we're really talking about are good neighborhood restaurants, not destinations. I expect more improvement as the demographics continue to change. The number of people with more money and more sophisticated tastes keeps growing. Within 10 years I expect it will reach the critical mass necessary to support true destination restaurants.
You know where Brooklyn kicks Manhattan's ass? Beer bars - the kind that sell 20 craft beers on tap.
I was wandering around Willamsburg on Friday night and stopped at Radegast, Iona, Spuyten Duyvil, and the venerable Mugs Ale House. They were in easy walking distance of each other and all were great in their own way. I could have hit 5 more quality places but time and age caught up to me. Park Slope is a distant 2nd but it still boasts Cherry Tree, the 4th Ave. Pub, Beer Table, and the outstanding Pacific Standard. Brooklyn Heights/Borum Hill has Brazen Head, Bar Great Harry, and the grandaddy of them all, the Waterfront Ale House.
We may not have any destination restaurants but when it comes to destination bars, we're loaded.