7 Following in 360’s footsteps, the brand-new Good Fork adds to Red Hook’s unexpectedly compelling culinary appeal, thanks to a chef who cooked at Annisa and her handyman husband, who built the joint—curved wood ceiling, cozy corner quarter-booths, and all. Of the few Asian interlopers on a menu of elevated American comfort food, don’t miss the juicy pork dumplings or Korean-style steak and eggs.
8 Carlo and Michelle Pulixi opened Convivium Osteria after a stint at Il Buco, and the rustic Mediterranean influence is readily apparent. But they’ve made their own mark on Park Slope’s northern fringes, with a cozy candlelit room and a tricultural Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese menu. Not to mention waiters who can be trusted to make smart wine recommendations for your mint-braised artichoke, salt-cod casserole, and duck-stuffed pasta.
9 Al di Là might be Park Slope’s preeminent success story: a young couple, he Italian, she American, plying old-world charm, authentic Italian pastas like poppy-seed-strewn casunziei, and some of the city’s best homemade gelato in a space that fills up faster than the bar at Babbo.
10 DuMont might not have singlehandedly made the Lorimer L stop such a hot destination, but it had a lot to do with it. The cozily weathered feel, the chalkboard comfort-food menu (we’re partial to the “yardbird” roast chicken), and the chefs’ seasonal nightly specials keep the repurposed pizzeria seats full and the mood buoyant.
11 It took guts for the owners of Locanda Vini e Olii to open their Clinton Hill restaurant in a culinary near vacuum of landmarked brownstone Brooklyn. And it took imagination to build it in a Ulysses S. Grant–era pharmacy complete with wooden apothecary drawers, a kitchen where the prescription counter used to be, and rolling ladders right out of Henry Higgins’s library. The service is smart, the wine list uncommon, and the Tuscan menu refreshingly unfamiliar: Where else, after all, can you find octopus “soppressata,” chestnut lasagnette, and bison-tongue salmistrato in Brooklyn?
12Like his predecessor, Savoy vet David Wurth, Chestnut’s new chef Daniel Eardley (late of Washington Park) betrays his maniacal allegiance to the NBC school with creative dishes like a delicious take on pasta primavera—lightly sauced penne beneath a mound of green garlic, thumbelina carrots, and raw mustard greens. The utilitarian room isn’t much to look at, but the kitchen compensates for any dearth of personality with excellent house-baked bread and a Tuesday and Wednesday $25 prix fixe that should be packing them in.
13 Even after the departure of the first chef, a Savoy veteran, Rose Water continues to purvey a distinctly seasonal, Mediterranean-inspired brand of New Brooklyn Cuisine: charmoula-drizzled black-eyed-pea soup, a charismatic meze plate, and roast chicken with fiddlehead ferns, sugar snap peas, and chickpea fries.
14 The artfully rehabbed Diner has its fans, and rightfully so, but we like the mellow vibe and back-room romance of Marlow & Sons, the grocery–cum–oyster bar that Diner’s owners opened next door. Chalkboard menus announce food that’s more assembled than cooked—ripe farmstead cheeses, Spanish olives, panini made with buffalo mozzarella and bagna cauda, a terrific tortilla española. The place invites lingering, whether for a glass of rosé at the bar or brunch at a sidewalk table on a glorious weekend, when it’s fun to peruse the shelves of what might be New York’s best pint-size gourmet shop.
15 Northeast Kingdom has brought deer antlers (an allusion to its mom-and-pop owners’ Vermont roots) and sunflower-sprout salads to a bleak Bushwick intersection. Comfort food like lamb stew and chicken potpie isn’t groundbreaking, but it is satisfying, as is the friendly, rough-hewn place itself.