Tue–Thu and Sun, 5:30pm–10:30am; Fri–Sat, 5:30pm–11:30pm; Mon, closed
C at Clinton-Washington Aves.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Named for its trio of tri-lettered owners—Asa Johnson, Cam Honsa, and chef Pip Freeman (of Carroll Garden’s the Grocery)—Clinton Hill’s Three Letters plates up French fare, but the execution is pure Brooklyn. Glossy, teal tile-clad walls complement rich burgundy banquettes, chalkboard menus feature hand-sketched trompe l'oeil flourishes, and a back server’s nook buzzes with Beastie Boy turned designer Mike D’s ode to the borough in toile wallpaper. Unfortunately, the careful consideration given to the physical restaurant isn’t indicative of the food served. Crumbly chickpea-and-celeriac crepettes are little more than vehicles for a bracing chimichurri. Several options hint at Freeman’s meat-free past; a bovine-friendly seitan steak fricassee comes sliced and plated in a brandy sauce, and can sate a vegetarian’s hushed carnal desires. The best bets are of the battered-and-fried variety: pickles dished with a herbaceous tartar sauce, a poutine-moules-frites hybrid in an earthy mushroom white-wine gravy, and bugnes (ribbons of sugar-coated fried dough) served with ramekins of salted chocolate, crème anglaise, and tart fig compote. Red and white wine and beer are all on tap, and if you’re feeling something stronger, one of the five cocktails is called “Death in Brooklyn.”Recommended Dishes
Bugnes, $7; Death in Brooklyn cocktail, $10