The Brooklyn restaurant scene has been booming the past few years, and 2013 was no exception. From homey barbecue to modern Asian-inspired cuisine, dining out in Brooklyn just keeps getting better. Plan a trip to King’s County for a meal at any of these five Brooklyn restaurants that opened in 2013. By Adrienne Smith.
184 DeKalb Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
Martha opened in August 2013, after the owners reincarnated the Brooklyn Sandwich Society in order to expand their menu. And good thing they did. The Fort Greene restaurant’s rotating menu – it changes daily – offers dishes with a subtle Asian touch. Try the fried chicken with General Tsao glaze for $24 or butternut squash with miso butter for $8. Plus, all of Martha’s ingredients are picked with care. The meats are sustainably raised, hormone and antibiotic-free and all produce is locally sourced.
160 N 12th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
The Elm, which opened in Hotel Williamsburg, brought a “first” to Brooklyn: a two Michelin star chef. Paul Liebrandt moved from TriBeCa’s Corton to open The Elm in July 2013. The higher end, French-inspired menu is divided into four categories: Raw, Sea, Land and Share. Standouts from the menu include the foie gras with Concord grape gelée, peanut and ginger ($18) and the duck with slow roasted fig and toasted honey jus ($24). If you’re feeling indulgent, spring for the eight-course tasting menu at the chef’s counter for $135.
604 Union St
New York, NY 11215
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que expanded from its long-standing Harlem location this past June, attracting hoards of Brooklynites and Barclay Center visitors avoiding a trip uptown. But be prepared to wait at this Park Slope outpost. You can hole up at the large bar, which serves Brooklyn beers on tap. You can’t miss the wango tango chicken wings, which are spice rubbed, pit smoked and then grilled to charred, sticky perfection in a garlicky sauce. Stick around after a Friday or Saturday night dinner for live blues starting at 10 p.m.
Whiskey Soda Lounge
115 Columbia St
New York, NY 11201
Thai-focused chef Andy Ricker opened Whiskey Soda Lounge in August, down Columbia Street from the celebrated Pok Pok. The new bar serves “Aahaan Kap Klaem,” or the drinking food of Thailand. Nibble on deep-fried anchovies with Shark sri racha sauce ($3) or sour cured pork riblets with cabbage, peanuts, ginger and chilies ($10). Ricker’s renowned Ike’s Vietnamese fish sauce wings from Pok Pok are available too. The umami-packed wings are coated in fish sauce, palm sugar and garlic and deep-fried. Of course, a trip to the Whiskey Soda Lounge isn’t complete without a drink. Try one of the dozens of whiskeys and scotches, or sip the Tamarind whiskey sour (Tamarind, lime juice, palm sugar and bourbon on the rocks, $12).
295 Flatbush Ave
New York, NY 11217
Marco’s opened in September this year, moving into acclaimed pizzeria Franny’s old space. Don’t fret – Franny’s moved down Flatbush Avenue, and Marco’s is worth a trip in its own right. Owners Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg have focused Marco’s menu on old-school Italian food done right. The varied menu is divided into antipasti, primi, secondi and contorni sections. The new wheel-cranked wood grill creates can’t-fail choices like the spit-roasted pork loin with wood-grilled kale ($19). If you’re in the mood for pasta, choose the bigoli with cauliflower and anchovies ($18). And whatever you do, consider the brown butter nut tart ($10) for dessert.