Yes, Williamsburg again. We just can never seem to get enough! And somehow, although we have hung out here many a-nights, new places are always found, which inevitably leaves us wanting more and wanting to come back again and again.
Of all the times we have been here, we have never made it to the classic Brooklyn Brewery. Maybe it’s because we end up coming here too late or eating and drinking somewhere (like Beco!) and time slips away from us and we never make it in time for the tour. But this time we finally made it! Well at least some of us made it to the tour.
K+M were apartment shopping and pushed it too close and just missed the tour by 5 minutes. But no worries, the tour is a mere 30 minutes and the bar is still open following the last tour. K+M bought some tokens and sipped some local beer waiting for A+L to join them. Fortunately, A+L snapped some great shots of the Brewery during the tour (which was really just composed of a mini-lecture in the main storage cellar) and gave us the play by play that we, sadly, missed.
Over a few rounds of Oktoberfest and Brooklyner Weisse, we caught up (it had actually been a while!) and hashed out our plans for the evening. We planned to go back to one of our favorite brunch spots, but this time for dinner… Beco! (Check out our full Beco review here.)
During yet another afternoon wandering Williamsburg, A+K stumbled upon what might be one of the best hidden gems we’ve ever found… Cadaqués. Since the boys didn’t want to hang around for vintage shopping, they decided to grab a few rounds at one of our other Brooklyn faves, Loreley. When we called them to meet us at the most perfect little tapas bar, with live Flamenco no less, they showed up shortly following… three sheets to the wind! Well, Loreley has that effect on people. A+K thought it was entertaining and hilarious, as the roles are usually quite reversed. So, we couldn’t help but enjoy ourselves over some tasty small plates, sangria, and some gypsy music.
There’s just something about dim lighting, delicious mini-bites that offer bursts of flavor, house-made sangria, and live flamenco that creates the most perfect ambiance. And as tapas experts, we know that our first plate must be a round of pimientos de padrón….sauteed little green peppers with olive oil and sea salt…each one will keep you guessing if THAT will be the one that burns your face off. We love it. So much, that we had to get two rounds! And pepper lovers beware: pimientos de padrón that are harvested in late September and October have the greatest risk of being hot hot HOT! Yum!
L+M continued to enjoy their adult beverages, as they finished off the sangria that A+K had ordered. But A+K continued to enjoy the show… that is, until M kept trying to sneak into the kitchen to get some candids with the chef. Fortunately we talked him back from the ledge… why didn’t he want to just do a little flamenco dancing out on the floor?! Nonetheless, we had a fantastic experience… the food, drinks, music, and fabulous staff… who even took the time to swap travel experiences and recommendations… and even a final round of Cava, incredibly delicious Spanish bubbly. We can’t wait to go back… next time we’re bringing our castanets!
Check out all of our pictures!
Dinner- 2+2www.cadaquesny.com Spanish Tapas, Wine and Sangria, Brooklyn
In classic tradition, the spontaneous finds are always the best ones. While out exploring Bedford Avenue, as we love to do, we strayed off the beaten path and stumbled upon Cadaques, a lively tapas bar on Grand Street. The sounds of the live flamenco trio in the background invited us in! The loud stomping of flamenco footwear ensured us that a show was currently in progress… how fun?! With prime seats in front of the group, we thoroughly enjoyed the live entertainment. It was exciting and added to the authentic ambiance of this Spanish-influenced gem.
The menu consists of a full listing of every food you just love to eat. Thank goodness this place is a tapas bar, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to order nearly everything on the menu! Starting with a pitcher of refreshing and potent red Sangria (made in house), small plates of tasty goodness soon followed. We couldn’t get enough of the Padrónes, a simply sauteed Spanish pepper with a generous touch of salt, as well as the Patatas Bravas, fried mini potatoes with a spicy dipping sauce. We may have actually ordered two rounds of each! Both were so simple, yet so delicious, we just couldn’t stop popping them in our mouths. The same went for the Pan con Tomate with Serrano Ham, and the Croquetas de Jamón y de Queso. L+M, of course, ordered up the Terrina de Boquerones, a perfectly seasoned dish of white anchovies. Even A+K had to admit….they were pretty tasty.
After our slew of dishes, M insisted that we finish strong with some dessert. With several recommendations from the staff, we devoured the Crema Catalana, a Spanish rendition of Crème Brulee, and the Deep Fried Chocolate Lollipops with Madagascar Vanilla Ice Cream for dipping. It was one of those moments where we thoroughly regretted the food coma we had just placed ourselves in. We were exploding!
Overall, the experience was one for the books. Between the enticing, intimate ambiance of the tastefully decorated main dining area and bar, the authentic live entertainment, wonderfully accommodating staff AND the highly addictive dishes… we were hooked. Cadaques is at the top of our list for our next trip to BK.
What we ate…
- Aceitunas Marinadas [Marinated kalamata and manzanilla olives, garlic, oranges, thyme, olive oil]
- Terrina de Boquerones [Marinated white anchovies, grilled zucchini, piquillo pepper, preserved lemon]
- Pan con Tomate [Plancha bread, garlic, fresh grated tomato, olive oil, Serrano ham]
- Padrones [Fried Spanish pepper, maldon salt]
- Patatas Bravas [Fried potatoes with spicy piquillo aioli]
- Mejillones con Chorizo y Cava [Steamed mussels in cava saffron broth with chorizo, shallots, parsley]
- Croquetas de Jamon y de Queso [Serrano ham fritters and Tetilla and manchego cheese fritters]
- Vegetable napoleon [Layers of peppers, cheese, balsamic]
- Crema Catalan [Catalan crème brulee]
- Deep Fried Chocolate Lollipops with Madagascar Vanilla Dip
- Congelado de Orange [Sorbet in a frosted orange]
A: I love this place! We wandered in to hear the music and we left hours later full and satisfied and yearning for more.
K: Wow, wow, wow! I love everything about this place! A little slice of Catalunya in NYC!
L: Food was awesome, especially the Spanish peppers. I don’t recall much else of the meal though. M and I were a little tipsy at this point. My best memory was hanging with the owner and joking about European countries.
M: Although at this point in the night the experience was a little blurry to me, I do remember loving everything about it. So much that I wanted to go in the back and take a picture with the chefs. Next time it’s happening! Oh, and the chocolate lollipops were unbelievable!
Our Rating Scales…
- Scene- Dark and inviting Spanish tapas bar with sounds of the old country… yet, very swank!
- Food/Drinks- 4: Stellar! Wouldn’t change a thing!
- Tip Worthy- 4: Double the tax and then some
- Coordinates- 4: City- Fun is right around the corner
- Restaurant Return Rate- Green Light!
Beers- 2+2www.BrooklynBrewery.com Beer, Bring Your Own Food, Brooklyn
It can be said that “what goes around comes around” or “history repeats itself” or “things go in cycles”. In the early 1900s most all of the beer drank in New York City was a product of its many local breweries. Somewhere between then and the mid-1980s the large breweries from the Mid-West had become staples of every restaurant and bar with their cheaply made light beers. Now, it can be said that the current state of brewing in the United States (or the world for that matter) looks more like things were at the turn of the 20th century. To every beer drinkers enjoyment most bars and restaurants today are carrying equal parts craft to national brand beers. I mean, other than a light beer, it seems that most people today are ordering and trying a higher quality craft beers.
We would argue that the beer list has become just as important as the wine list. Doesn’t it seem that there is a direct correlation between the beer on tap to the quality of the restaurants food? If we walk into a restaurant and see just the “national” standards on tap, the immediate thought is that the food will be standard. It may be silly to say but if we walk into a bar or restaurant and they have anything from the Brooklyn Brewery on tap, I immediately feel comforted. I always think… “This place gets it!” Not only is Brooklyn one of our favorite craft beers but it is local, made by real New Yorkers.
As the story goes, somewhere in the mid-1980s, Steve Hindy and Tom Portter wanted to bring real bear back to New York. So they quit their jobs and started brewing beer. They hired a German-American brewmaster, commissioned a brewery in Utica and the rest is history. After early struggles to convince distributors, bar owners, and restaurateurs to sell their product, they eventually developed themselves a nice niche. In 1996 the owners were finally able to open an actual brewery in Brooklyn. Shortly thereafter the brewer developed some new tastes including Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Brooklyn East India Pale Ale, Brooklyn Pennant Ale ’55 and a long list of seasonal and special beers.
Since the opening of the brewery in 1996, the company has grown and is now distributed in many states and a few countries. It is easy to say that what the Anchor brewery did for craft brewing in San Francisco, Brooklyn Brewery has done for New York.
Today we can enjoy the fruits of Brooklyn Brewery’s labor by not only picking up a frosty 6 pack at almost any deli, bodega or market but by visiting the brewery itself. Weeknights from 5-7pm the brewery offers 30-45 minute private tours for $8 that includes a tasting afterward (email@example.com). Every Friday the brewery hosts a happy hour with $4 beer tokens or 6 for $20. This is easily one of the best deals in town, maybe even the city. Not to mention its a great way to get your party on.
The 2+2 team visited the brewery for a Sunday matinee of beer drinking before dinner. The brewery is open from noon-8pm Saturdays and noon-6pm on Sundays. Free tours are offered both days starting at 1pm (and every hour thereafter until 5pm) that are more like an overview of the company than a full tour. You do however get to go into the brewery and learn the history and how the product is made. It’s certainly a light version of the weekday tour but it’s well worth it… it’s free. The bar room is filled with plenty of tables for playing UNO! (hipsters…) or checkers or whatever. Groups of locals will commandeer the tables on weekends so get there early if you want to sit down. There is no food at the brewery but there is a pizza truck just outside the main doors. Feel free to grab a slice and bring it in with you. Better yet, grab an entire pie and come inside! The brewery has no problem with patrons bringing in whatever they would like. If you really want to make an afternoon out of it, grab some local eats to go, grab a table and a deck of cards and get sloppy with the best beer in NYC.
What we drank…
- Brooklyner Weisse (A+L+M)
- Oktoberfest (2+2)
A: It’s no secret that beer isn’t exactly my go to alcohol, however, I was thoroughly impressed with the Weisse and Oktoberfest that we had. I drank three whole beers… and liked them!
K: The Brewery had a great vibe! I felt like I was at a backyard party and everyone from the neighborhood was there. The beers were really stellar. I’m disappointed that M and I missed the tour… although it’ll be something new to do when we go back again.
L: Loved it here. The bar was packed but the vibe was mellow and the beer was cold. The free weekend tours are a nice touch also.
M: I could definitely stay here for hours. Love the Weisse! Next time I need to get a t-shirt….deep V!
Our Rating Scales…
- Scene- A successful, world renowned brewery right in the center of bustling Brooklyn
- Drinks- 4: Stellar! Wouldn’t change a thing.
- Tip Worthy- 4: Double the tax and then some… our tour was quite comical, complete with lots of inside hipster jokes
- Coordinates- 4: Neighborhood- Centrally located!
- Return Rate- Green Light!