The New York Metro newspaper's "Cool in Your Code" section takes a visit to Smith Street, in the newly coined neighborhood BoCoCa (Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens). Alan Harding, "founding father" of Brooklyn's restaurant row, takes the paper on a tour of his restaurants in the area. While I question the lazy journalism of letting a chef shamelessly plug his very own establishments, they might be worth a taste. (Sorry, no link available):
Patois: A French bistro best known for "glistening steak au poivre with golden, crispy
frites and simple fish dishes with sultry light sauces." 255 Smith Street, 718-855-1535
Update: These thoughts crossed my mind: Having never eaten at Patois, how does it compare to Bar Tabac, a favorite on the Chowhound boards? Also, Cafe Luluc on Smith Street with its fair prices is always a solid bet. The molten chocolate cake for dessert has been hit or miss for me, but when it hits, it hits hard.
La Rosa & Sons: "A classic Italian pizzeria," where Harding says "it’s all in how you use the toppings." 98 Smith Street, 718-935-0545
Pacifico: "A spunky Mexican cantina" where the nachos are "dripping with cheese and the pomegranate margarita is a refreshing summer hit." 269 Pacific Street, 718-935-9090
Schnack: This is Harding's latest creation in the nabe. One specialty is a "beer shake" made with chocolate or vanilla ice cream and chicory stout. I love root beer floats and this sounds like a cousin, so I’d be willing to give it a try.
Bar recommendations from the paper:
Floyd: "Indoor bocce ball, beer cheese and lots more!"
131 Atlantic Avenue
Kili: "Signature drinks by the fire and live poetry performances." My two cents: I ventured here one snowy day after work and was pleasantly surprised to have the fireplace to myself. However, I made the mistake of ordering the food. It was uninspired and dull. The décor depending on your mood can either be a fun, homey hang out or a place that feels like a finished off suburban basement that isn't quite finished if you know what I mean.
81 Hoyt Street
My favorite bar
As far as bars go, my favorite in the area is the Brooklyn Inn -- a lot of warmth and history, incredible jukebox and nice assortment of beers.