C at Clinton-Washington Aves.; B, Q, R at DeKalb Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Zip codes 11205, 11238
Though still a sister restaurant to local bistro Chez Oskar, Lola BKLYN has shed its original “Chez” title and rebranded itself with strictly North American fare. Gone are the French influences, but chef Octavio Simancas remains. This not-quite-gastropub, not-quite-bistro features a menu with Canadian (duck poutine), American (wings, veggie fries), and Mexican (chili con carne, build-your-own duck fajitas) influences. The empanada starter changes daily, but a recent chipotle and tomatillo sauce bite was only average. Skip straight to the entrees: the salmon burger leconte, made with Simancas’s own “secret blend of spices,” was hearty and perfectly seasoned. “There’s only one steak”—the dish’s name—on the menu, but it doesn’t disappoint: a recent well-done cut was pleasantly charred, yet tender and flavorful; the $20 price tag excuses its skimpy portions. Lola is as hip as her Fort Greene neighborhood, outfitted with pasta strainers as makeshift wall sconces, wide paper lanterns covering the overhead lights, and soon to-be-installed scrolls from Jack Keroauc’s On the Road. A small library is available on the church-pew-like seating in the back, with everything from Charlotte’s Web to Leviathan. The back garden is equally charming, with live music every summer Sunday.