Just steps from the final stop of Red Hook’s 77 bus, near the junction of the known world and the New York harbor, is the stately Botanica. A standout in this still-growing neighborhood, Botanica’s floor-to-ceiling doors, $12 cocktails, and rare-beer lineup beckons far-Brooklyn pioneers like an understated Siren. The bar’s specialty drinks run the gamut of fruit combos, and the smooth absinthe blends lend themselves to Hemingway-type overindulgence. Meat and cheese plates and light northern Italian fare is forthcoming, but the drink menu alone does a fine job of complementing the Old World vibe; the owners modeled the place after the lounge of a bourgeois Venetian hotel, and the front room’s royal chandelier comes from the Glass City itself. For far-flung city folk debating the trek's merits, a free water taxi runs into the late evening courtesy of that mass-market king of convenience: IKEA.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.