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celebrating the glories of eating in brooklyn. from the gut.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Eat Like a King

Brooklyn vs. Manhattan

Lately, whenever I eat out in Manhattan, I've been disappointed. As I'm eating my overly-salted moules frites in a faux French bistro, my thoughts always return to Kings County, where I feel you can eat like a king and pay like a pauper (at least by Manhattan standards.) I maintain (and I will probably get slack for this) that restaurants in Brooklyn are simply better than in Manhattan.

Has the long, slow demise of the Manhattan neighborhood bistro begun?

Without turning this into a battle of the boros, in Brooklyn it's possible to find the old New York. Whether it's a new-fangled restaurant or an old-timer's haunt, Brooklyn encapsulates the spirit of hard work and determination that sets it apart. They try really hard and often succeed. In Manhattan, unless you are eating at the top, the restaurants have become part of a theme park, resting on past laurels (and taking foot traffic for granted) as a restaurant city. Don't get me wrong. Manhattan has many fine restaurants that don't require a second mortgage and are not part of a theme park, but they are becoming few and far between.

There's been a lot of press about the Brooklyn renaissance. One writer in 'New York' magazine went as far as proclaiming his hate for the boro. Many other bloggers can only deride Brooklyn as they panic about the epicenter of cool shifting across the East River. The emergence of new restaurants and the survival of the old attest to Brooklyn's revival. I hope to treat myself and my readers to the diverse offerings of Brooklyn's bounty.

So, let's not bash Manhattan. Let's celebrate the glories of a food and restaurant scene fit for a king.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To say that food in Brooklyn is better than Manhattan, is just so silly...

I live in and love Brooklyn (and eat out 5+ times a week in both)....

Where is better Spanish Tapas in Brooklyn over Tia Pol (OK whats it caled Zipi Zapi maybe its as good?), where can I find better Sichuan vs Grand Sichuan International, and the Korean food, and Sushi, etc....

Nothing in Brooklyn comes close to the amazing value of The Modern (non-main dining room) for value on the higher end, Per Se is one of the greatest places to eat in the world, etc...

Brooklyn has so many wonderful places some that are better than most NYC, like Al Di La and Locanda Vini Olii....

Either you dont know what your talking about or your just not eating in the rite places in Manhattan.

6:59 AM

 
Blogger EFB said...

Point taken, but I'm not talking about places like per se. I think there's been a change lately in Manhattan restaurants. I don't find the same quality and bang for the buck I used to. The mid-priced places are becoming like theme parks. Otto and Spice Market come to mind, not to mention the endless faux French bistros. Can we enjoy French food without the kitsch please? To top it off, the ultra-expensive places like per se, in my mind, can't justify their prices.

Maybe I don't know where to go in Manhattan. It just seems to me that I have better luck in Brooklyn. I do think Brooklyn restaurants have a certain something that Manhattan can't touch. Am I talking about *all* Manhattan restaurants? Of course not.

And there's nothing like an extreme statement to spark a debate.

11:19 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant agree with you more that there is a lot of "bad" food in Manhattan, Spice Market is not interesting, Otto (Lupa, Babbo) they make good food IMHO but we could go on forever.

I hope this blog does well, it just should not be oh were (Brooklyn) better,
cause in many area's were not unless you have places to point out....

IMHO there is a lot of not that exciting food on Smith St...

360 is one of the best places in the city period, hope you have been there.
Banana Leaf in Bay Ridge is fantastic.

Applewood and Stone Park, I will go next week, hope they give Manhattan a run for quality....

PEACE

5:00 PM

 
Blogger EFB said...

I agree with you 100 percent about 360. Haven't been to Banana Leaf, but I'm always looking for new places. Like I wrote, I want to celebrate eating in Brooklyn, not detract from Manhattan.

I hope you like Applewood. I only ate there once a few months ago and I was thoroughly impressed.

I tried La Esquina (in Manhattan) last night, while some dishes were hit or miss, I would definitely recommend because of the reasonable prices.

Thanks for reading!

9:21 AM

 

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