The Gallery Cafe
108 Jay Street, Brooklyn NY 11201
Sat-Sun Brunch 9am-4pm
We don’t have too many casual walk in restaurants in Dumbo (The Dumbo General Store café went to table service a few years ago) so I was a little disappointed when the laid back cafeteria style Choice restaurant located diagonally across the street from the York Street F train stop in Dumbo switched owners to a higher end restaurant now called The Gallery Café. But overall the changes are quite remarkable and the evidence of returning Dumbo residents to the restaurant further imply it’s a good fit for the neighborhood. Some things have not changed such as the intricate molded ceiling and the wood panel window booths, but the long communal benches (which I liked) have been replaced with white napkin candlelit tables accompanied with an occasional jazz quartet on some nights throughout the week. You can credit the owner Michael for the transformation of the space. On most nights you can see him at the restaurant tableside attending to guests and soliciting feedback – something you don’t really see anymore.
But let’s get down to the food shall we? The overhaul of the menu has replaced simple lighter fare of burgers, salads and sandwiches to more fanciful dishes such as skirt steak, braised ribs, Saffron Arancini and grilled cod (the menu seems to change quite often).
I shared a dinner meal with two others and we were able to sample a variety of dishes including crab cakes, braised pork ribs. The ribs were amazing – tender, juicy and meaty.
I also went back for brunch and tried out the fresh juice bar where you can literally hand pick the fruit off the counter and they’ll magically transform it into a juice of your liking. I ordered a plate of waffles served with walnuts and a rich buttercream that was also very good. Enjoy!
44 Henry Street
Brooklyn Heights / Dumbo
New York 11201
718 834 1776
Maybe you can say you’re adventurous and sampled some wild boar or perhaps some wild buffalo steaks. What about Kangaroo? What about Elk? What about all the above in one night! Well, you can have the whole hunter’s feast for the rest of March over at Henry’s End famous Wild Game Festival. No need to gear up and head upstate to the backwoods, Henry’s End is just steps away from the landing of the Brooklyn Bridge and at the edge of Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo.
Henry’s End also has a great selection of wine pairings so if you want to sample and truly have a feast you can check out the $25 Fixe Prix menu (Mon-Thu) which includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert and for an extra $14 you get wine pairings with all three dishes. I tried the one with the Wild Boar Ragout. I started with a pair of massive Maryland style Corn Crab Cakes stuffed with spicy cayenne spice, scallions and served with a side of tartar sauce. I forget the wine but it was a sweet Riesling from upstate that was perfect with the heavy tartar and deep fried batter of the crab cakes. Next was the entrée: Wild Boar Ragout. Served in a deep and wide bowl, the large chunks of tender boar meat in a sweet and spicy tomato sauce with a truffled polenta definitely made a very hearty meal perfect for a cold spring night. Finished with the Mud Pie which is a blend of coffee and chocolate ice cream laced with Kahlua and espresso on an Oreo cookie crust topped with hot fudge sauce. Yeah, don’t know what else to say about that but that it was obviously awesome.
If you don’t make it for Henry’s End Wild Game Festival in time, I’d also recommend the Honey and Ginger Duckling. At Henry’s End they braise the ducks in their natural juices to retain the flavor and tenderness. The meat is deboned and the skin is broiled to a crisp. Maybe not as exotic as Kangaroo or Wild boar, but who cares – it’s great!!
Almondine Bakery DUMBO85 Water Street, Brooklyn NY 11201
Monday – Saturday 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am -6:00 pm
Almondine Bakery Park Slope
442 9th Street, Park Slope NY 11215
Monday – Saturday 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am -6:00 pm
Looking for some great baked goods for the holidays? Come down to Dumbo and check out Almondine Patisserie Bakery. Voted the Best Bakery and Best Croissants in NY by New Yorker Magazine in 2009, Almondine is just across the street from the Jacque Torres Dumbo chocolate shop so you can double up on great sweets.
It’s hard to start on what to recommend because the menu does rotate and change. You can’t go wrong with the triple layer cakes such as the one that has berry jam, pistachio cream and topped with a crispy sugary meringue.
If it’s not too cold outside, grab a coffee and sit on the bench outside next to the vent from the bakery in the basement – the aroma is simply intoxicating.