As a Food City, Brooklyn 'Sucks'

Categories: Food Trending

Dominic Perri
As Brooklyn restaurants struggle to reopen after the storm, Josh Ozersky writes a piece for The Observer about the borough's over-hyped food scene. Ozersky praises a few well-known spots, like Seersucker, Mile End, and Pok Pok, but singles out The Farm on Adderley, Buttermilk Channel, and Franny's, as some of the restaurants getting by on hype, rather than talent. And he blames food writers for praising young chefs who don't deserve it.

Apparently as they get older and more established, food writers do not get more confident:

Brooklyn food culture is bounded by the hardest of parameters: the comfort zone of callow youths and the insecure older writers who seek relevance to them.

The piece is long. In short: Writers who can't afford to live in Manhattan are just pretending to love Brooklyn's mediocre restaurants which are run by people with no frame of reference for what makes a place great.


This is a rant, and much of it is ridiculous. But it's true that the old school of fine dining isn't part of the ambitious chef's career path the way it used to be. Cooks are more likely to work at the restaurants of their own generation than, say, Le Cirque. More likely to stage at the new spots in Copenhagen than the old ones in Paris. Time passes. Things get lost. Food culture changes.

So I was delighted to see a carefully constructed, good old-fashioned ballotine of pheasant at The Pines, a small restaurant that opened quietly in September, in Gowanus. The restaurant looks like a dive bar from the outside, but this dish showed discipline and a respect for the classics, even as it veered off with raw peanuts and celery.

Chef Angelo Romano is making interesting, often delicious things there. Service is focused and intelligent. There's good music too, playing not so loudly that you have to shout. This means you can take your grandparents (or some doddering old food writers?) and they might have a properly good time. No pretending.

You can read this week's review here, if you like.

Read the most recent posts on our food blog or check our longer weekly reviews. Contact the writer at or follow her @tejalrao.

Location Info

The Pines

284 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant


329 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant

Mile End

97 Hoyt St., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant

Pok Pok NY

127 Columbia St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

The Farm on Adderley

1108 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant

Buttermilk Channel

524 Court St., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant


348 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant

Le Cirque Restaurant

151 E. 58th St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

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sorry to hear you got swept away in the flood.


Brooklyn, like the Bronx, SI and Queens are repeatedly looted by Manhattan;s political machine so that most people in the world think NYC is one place - Manhattan.  Brooklyn was hoodwinked into joiining NYC as a way to reduce the cost of government.  The sales tax in Brooklyn City should be 5 per cent; there should be no need for a NYC income tax in The B.  Real estate taxes should be lower and the schools should be far, far better.  Manhattan eats out the substance of the boroughs to support its pet lifestyle - and gets away with it.  Without the tax revenue from the boroughs, Manhattan would collapse.  If Sandy had hit lower Manhattan, but not Brooklyn, the wailing would never end.  It hit the B and SI thus it  should be ignored - let's have a marathon!  Think I'm wrong? Parcel out revenues = Manhattan gets no dough from the boroughs - watch the result..


I am looking forward to trying The Pines. It looks really good. (I may have to go in a false beard though, for fear of flying stones.)  If The Pines is as good as it looks, that will be, what? Six or seven first-class restaurants in the borough? Why is it so ridiculous to point this out? Everyone knows this to be true. Blanca and Brooklyn Fare are not representative of Brooklyn. I wish they were.