Boerum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, Restaurants and Cafes
The first summer I moved back to Brooklyn from San Francisco back in 2010, ramen joints had taken the city by storm. In the three years that I was gone, places like Ippudo, Hide-Chan, Toto Ramen, and Rai Rai Ken (just to name a few) had sprouted around town. Having recently traveled to Tokyo, I was ecstatic that I wouldn't be missing those very tasty noodles. The only problem? The restaurants were all in Manhattan and required a subway trek (and in the case of Ippudo, a two-hour wait.)
So I'm pretty thrilled with the new ramen shops popping up around Brooklyn these days. Dassara on Smith Street is a go-to-spot. Chuko and Ramen Yebisu are on the next-up list. And Ganso in Downtown Brooklyn has just become a new favorite. Even before the restaurant opened, it had already received a good amount of press. (One of the owners, Harris Salat, is a cookbook author and blogger at The Japanese Food Report.) And after, well, plentyofdining critics plus a whole bunch of friends on Instagram were thrilled that it lived up to the hype.
Boerum Hill, Shops
I first tried macarons from Vendôme Patisserie last spring. My friend Barb and I were meeting up with her husband Max after a morning at Dekalb Market, and he had somehow taken a very long detour somewhere in Boerum Hill. When he finally showed up, it turned out he had stumbled into a macaron shop and had spent some time carefully picking out a sampling to try.
Macarons? Well okay, that's easily forgivable. We got some coffee, found some benches in a community garden nearby, sliced up each macaron with a little plastic knife, and savored every bite.. So. Worth. The Wait.
Boerum Hill, Italian, Restaurants and Cafes
A few months ago, I found myself OD-ing on reading restaurant reviews, and becoming so paralyzed with indecision, that I gave up choosing new restaurants altogether. I'd leave the decision up to my dining companion(s), who were surely less cursed with the paradox of choice than I was. Or I'd just visit the same favorite restaurants over and over again.
When my friend Ami suggested this week that we try out Krescendo in Boerum Hill, I agreed in a second. I didn't know much about it, except it recently received a great review from Pete Wells in the NY Times and slightly less enthusiastic reviews on Yelp. Which is more than fine with me.
Boerum Hill, Shops, Design
Growing up, I loved visiting Vermont. Not so much for the skiing, but for all the general stores. Every time I went on a road trip with friends or family, we'd always stop at a roadside general store that sold an assortment of nice things: candy in glass jars, flannel shirts of all colors, tools of all stripes, apothecary items, and cider made right down the road. Maybe the general stores were aimed at tourists, but I didn't care. There weren't really any places like that in the Boston suburbs where I grew up, at least not by the 1990s.
Dry Goods on Atlantic Ave is a modern day interpretation of an old-fashioned general store. It's a fun place, with the slightly cluttered but carefully curated feel of many Brooklyn shops. A good portion of the products are imported from Europe, from brands and makers that have been around for generations. Scattered throughout the mix are a few vintage collectables from the shop's owners.