May 15, 2007

Wonder-Full Party

(Originally Posted on The Brooklyn Record):

Saturday night in Willamsburg, hundreds came out to for "WONDER-Full IX - An annual tribute to the genius Stevie Wonder" at the Sugar Factory. World famous DJs Bobbito and DJ Spinna came together once again to play any and every song that the legendary Stevie had a hand in. Any songs written and ghost-written by the artist were fair game, as were songs that sampled his works. Now hosted by Keistar Productions, Wonder-Full started out nine years ago as a way to celebrate the Stevie Wonder's birthday, May 13th. Back then, the crowd was small enough to fit in a venue with a 75-person capacity. This weekend there were easily over 1000 party-goers in attendance in the 14,000 square foot, multi-level venue.

While glad for the success, some worry that the party may have lost something. DJ Jon Oliver has been attending these parties for years and plugged it on his website weeks ago. After it was all over though, he worried that all the hype may have backfired.

This year's Wonder-Full party did not feel as intimate as in previous years. Their success is well-deserved but as is always the case, when an event becomes "the place to be" you get less people coming for (in this case) love of Stevie Wonder and more people who just want to be up on what's hot.

-clay williams

Photo of DJ Bobbito by Ultraclay!

May 14, 2007

Fort Greene Street Party

(Originally Posted on The Brooklyn Record):


The fine folks at Habana Outpost pulled out all the stops this weekend. Their re-opening party spilled out onto South Portland Street, the festivities took over the block as local artisans sold their wares, clowns and other performers wandered about and bands played on for the crowd. Hundreds came out for the first cuban sandwiches and mexican corn of the year to be served out of the big red truck at the heart of it all.

We were there for much of the afternoon listening to the DJ alternate with Conjunto Guantanamo, a Cuban band based in DUMBO. The stilt-walkers danced above us as we sat out in the sun. We missed it, but the circus atmosphere took a more mature turn in the evening with a fashion show followed later by a burlesque performance.

Habana Outpost, 757 Fulton Street (at So. Portland); (718) 858-9500.

-clay williams

Photo by ultraclay!

May 11, 2007

Brunch At Dressler

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

Dressler is the high-end branch of the Dumont Empire. Situated on the same quiet stretch of Broadway as Peter Luger, it has already managed to make itself a destination. A recent attempt at same-day dinner reservations for a party of three yielded one opening at 9:30. Given its popularity for dinner, I was happily surprised when there was no wait for brunch.

The key to a good brunch is having a balance between breakfast and lunch fare. Some places throw a mediocre pasta dish on a menu full of eggs and pancakes—sorry, that's not brunch. Dressler does the meal right, offering a harmonious blend of omelets, french toast, burgers, and fried chicken. It was, in fact, the fried chicken that brought us there. A friend had recommended it, swearing it was the best he'd ever tasted.

Continue reading "Brunch At Dressler" »

May 8, 2007

This Little Piggy Went to DUMBO

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

This Saturday in DUMBO, the intoxicating aroma of pork will be in the air. The Brooklyn Brewery is hosting its 7th annual Brooklyn Pigfest in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Like last year, the proceeds go to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. Manning the pit will be Sam Barbieri of Waterfront Ale House along with Jeff Reilly of The Smokin Grill, Rob Richter of Hill Country Barbecue and Matt Fischer of Atoms Ribs. They'll cook up three whole hogs (each slow-cooked for 20 hours), plus ribs, chicken, and sausage. All for the hefty price of $85 at the door (or $75 presale). Thankfully admission includes as much barbecue you can eat, plus beer from the Brooklyn Brewery to wash it down. Anyone care to share any memories from last year's event?

Brooklyn Pigfest, Saturday, May 12th from 1pm - 6pm at the Tobacco Warehouse, Brooklyn Bridge Park (corner of Water and Dock Streets).

April 24, 2007

Habana Outpost to Re-Open

Fort Greene's "eco-eatery," artisan marketplace, and summer hangout spot, Habana Outpost has announced that it will open for its third season on Saturday, May 12th. Since the spacious restaurant first launched two years ago, summer in Brooklyn has come to mean lounging with friends over grilled corn, Cuban sandwiches, and smoothies from a bike-powered blender, all while listening to the DJ spin jams all afternoon.

The Outpost is an extension of the popular Cafe Habana in NoLita. It sets itself apart from the original by embracing the virtues of Brooklyn: Unlike the tight quarters of the cafe, Habana Outpost sprawls across an open outdoor space. Even the kitchen is outside, housed in a big red truck in the corner. Throughout the summer they use the space for movies, parties and even fashion shows. Expect more of the same this summer, starting with an opening day blowout.

Habana Outpost 757 Fulton St. at So. Portland. 718-858-9500.

- clay williams

Photo by ultraclay!

April 20, 2007

Solomon's Porch: An Eclectic Neighborhood Eatery

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

Solomon's Porch

If you find yourself in in Bed-Stuy this weekend, stop in at Solomon's Porch, a café, performance space and neighborhood gathering spot: It's a solid choice for good food in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere.

The menu offers food as varied as Moroccan Chicken Skewers and a Lamb and Black Bean Chili, as well as pub-food staples like Buffalo Wings, Calamari and Hamburgers. The burger isn't worth the time it takes to cook, but the wings are terrific, fried crisp and doused with a spicy, vinegary hot sauce. My only complaint is that they serve too few of them in an order. Conversely, the Chicken Skewers were bigger than we had expected. The two skewers each carry three juicy chunks of rosemary scented chicken.
After the jump: what to drink with your poultry.

Photo by ultraclay!.

Continue reading "Solomon's Porch: An Eclectic Neighborhood Eatery" »

April 16, 2007

A Beautiful Day for the Half Marathon

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

This weekend the weather held out long enough for 4847 participants to run 13.1 miles from Coney Island to Prospect Park. Runners all gathered first thing Saturday morning to run the biggest race in the borough. There was a chill in the air at the beginning, but by the time they arrived in the park, everything had warmed up and crowds were out to cheer on the runners.

The photo above was taken on the boardwalk as runners finished mile 3. Those of us standing out there cheering them on bounced with the vibration of nearly 10,000 feet pounding on the wooden planks. See the rest of the photos of the race here

-clay williams

April 13, 2007

Habana Outpost to Re-open

The Kitchen, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

OOOOH! Habana Outpost announced it's re-opening for the season. I love this place. It is my defacto hangout spot for summer weekends. I love the music, the food, the vibe, the people. It's just about perfect. I can't wait.

Look out for a write up about Habana Outpost on The Brooklyn Record

April 11, 2007

Stonehome's Spring Wine Tasting Dinner

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

Seasonal temperatures are (finally) in the forecast, which may mean that Spring is finally here. To celebrate, Stonehome Wine Bar in Fort Greene is hosting a wine tasting dinner on Wednesday, April 18th. The four-course feast will run you $70 but is a relative bargain when you consider what you get: Built around a set of primarily french wines, the menu includes wild salmon, lamb chops and Maine crab ravioli. Each item is paired with a particular wine from Burgundy, Bourdeax or the Loire Valley. Bring it on!

If you can't make it next week, another tasting dinner with a different menu is scheduled for early May, or come by another night and sample in-house chef John Gibson's new spring repertoire. The new menu replaces heavier winter faves like venison and brisket with skate wings, hanger steaks and lamb shanks. Rezzies are required for the tasting dinner but walk-ins are welcomed any other time.

Stonehome Wine Bar is located at 87 Lafayette Avenue, 718-624-9443.

- clay williams

Stonehome's Autumn Wine Picks [Brooklyn Record]

April 10, 2007

Brooklyn On The Run

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

At 8 in the morning this coming Saturday, as many as 5000 runners—Brooklynites and otherwise—will gather on the boardwalk in Coney Island, braving the early morning chill off the water to run 13.1 miles through the borough of Kings. This is the Brooklyn Half Marathon, the third this year in the New York Road Runners Club's Grand Prix series of half marathons throughout the five boroughs.

The race begins with a lap to the end of the boardwalk and back. From there, runners will head down Ocean Parkway, passing through Sheepshead Bay, Bensonhurt, Midwood and Borough Park on the way to Prospect Park. In the park they run the last 4 miles to the finish line.

As of last week, 4857 people had signed up for the race. If you think you can handle it, the Road Runners club is accepting registration until Wednesday at 5pm. If you know you can't, come out and cheer on the runners. They need all the support they can get.

NYRR Half-Marathon Grand Prix: Brooklyn [New York Road Runners]

-clay williams

Photo by ultraclay!

April 6, 2007

Restaurant Review: A Bistro

A Bistro lies stealthily just off Myrtle Avenue's strip of discount furniture and 99 cent stores. On a recent visit, I almost walked right by it. If not for the small chalkboard offering Crispy Frog's Leg, I would have missed it entirely.

The small restaurant, whose hard-to-google name is short for Abdoul's Bistro, is the domain of Senegalese chef Abdoul Gueye. His food is the inevitable fusion of West African flavors with colonial European influences, and dishes like plantain gnocchi balance out both sides very well: The texture is unmistakably gnocchi, but with the sweet flavor of ripe plantain.
After the jump: frogs' legs and wine pairings

Continue reading "Restaurant Review: A Bistro" »

April 3, 2007

New Restaurant Alert: Common Grounds

(Originally Posted on The Brooklyn Record):

Common Grounds, a new coffee house in Bed-Stuy, opened in early March as the latest addition to the burgeoning Tompkins Avenue strip. I first heard about it when the owner of Ibo Landing, a block away, insisted that we go over and check it out. It was a chilly Sunday afternoon, and patrons in their church clothes warmed up with coffee, relaxing on the couches in the back to a soundtrack of gospel music.

When we walked in, the first thing we noticed was the aroma of freshly made Belgian waffles wafting through the air. The waffles are served hot off the griddle with crisp edges and a soft, fluffy middle. Common Grounds also serves panini sandwiches, soups, salads and pastries, but clearly the main attraction is the waffles, which come topped with maple syrup and butter, honey and walnuts, or fresh fruit. Personally, I'm waiting for the homemade ice cream, which will be available in coming weeks.

Continue reading "New Restaurant Alert: Common Grounds" »

March 30, 2007

A Train Service Changes


If you ride the A Train in Brooklyn, you've probably already know about the
construction that's going to screw up your weekends for the next month or

Just in case you haven't heard, here's the deal:
There will be no train service between Utica Avenue and Jay Street. In its
place, there will be a shuttle bus running along Fulton Street - except
where there's street construction, between Bedford and Vanderbuilt. Annoyed
yet? You will be.

The MTA recommends taking the L train from Broadway Junction into Manhattan.
Allegedly, there will be extra service to compensate. For those unfamiliar,
it's 15 stops to Union Square.

It's also 11 stops to Lorimer in Williamsburg. I plan to take the opportunity to check
out the newly opened Fette Sau or play video games at Barcade.

Regardless of what you plan to do, I expect to spend a lot more time in


November 26, 2006

Kelso: The New Beer on the Block

[Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record]

If you live your life by the axiom "Think Globally, Drink Locally," add one more beer to your list of local brews to support. This summer Greenpoint Beer Works launched the Kelso of Brooklyn brand. The first release is Kelso Nut Brown, a malty medium-boded brown. Kelly Taylor, the founder and brewer of Kelso of Brooklyn, recently answered some questions for The Brooklyn Record. Taylor and his wife, both craft beer veterans, moved to Brooklyn in 2001 after years of working at west coast breweries...

21kelso.jpgKelso may be the new beer on the block, but the Greenpoint Beer Works is hardly wet behind the ears. In fact, you may already have tasted their beer. It has been in operation since 2003, and produces 10,000 kegs of beer annually, mostly for Heartland Brewery. That's right -- Heartland, with locations at every tourist spot in Manhattan, has been serving up Brooklyn brews for years. That's even more impressive when you realize that the brewery is manned by a very small staff.

You'll have to check your favorite Brooklyn bar to find Kelso Nut Brown, as there are no immediate plans to bottle it. "We're focused on bringing quality draft products to the NYC market. No bottles or cans in the foreseeable future," Kelly says. "That's a whole different business model, and a different scope of operation. We would like to keep it simple and focus on quality right now."

That doesn't mean that Kelly's eyes aren't on the future. "We plan on
releasing some other styles every season, all working around the nut brown as a base. We plan on a Scotch Ale, a Flemish Red Ale, and a Trippel Bock," he continues. He sent a specially made cask-conditioned brew to Brazen Head's Cask festival a few weeks ago. Kelso Chocolate Stout is now available in select Brooklyn bars, including Barcade.

Kelly's goal for Kelso is one we can all drink to: "I hope Kelso will
develop a name for itself as an interesting, flavorful, locally 'grown' craft beer." Cheers.
-- clay williams

Kelso of Brooklyn [Homepage]

November 3, 2006

"Real Ale" Arrives at the Brazen Head


(Originally posted at The Brooklyn Record):

It's festival time yet again at the Brazen Head. The tri-annual Cask Ale Festival begins tonight. This time there will be more cask ales than ever. They will be offering 22 hand-drawn beers from foreign and domestic producers, including local brews from Heartland, Six Points and Brooklyn. Stop in and sample one or several ales hand-drawn to perfection and served in pint or half-pint glasses at a civilized temperature -- much more appropriate to the chilly fall weather. For those unfamiliar, cask conditioned ale or "Real Ale" as proponents call it, is described by Wikipedia as "the term given to unfiltered and unpasteurised beer which is conditioned and served from a cask without additional pressure."

The experience of drinking a cask ale can be jarring at first. If you are used to cold, fizzy beer your first impression may be that the beer is warm and flat. If you take a moment to get past that, you will be rewarded with a depth of flavor you have never experienced before in beer. Strong, hoppy IPAs become more approachable, while the texture and malts take center stage in the stouts.

Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at the Brooklyn Brewery has written that his first taste of cask ale was the beginning of his life in beer. He describes his this experience in his book, The Brewmaster's Table:

The first sip was odd. This beer hardly had a head, just a loose lace of bubbles around the rim of the glass. As I started to drink it, I wondered, 'What is this stuff?' The bitterness ran across my tongue, assisted by only the faintest prickle of carbonation. Then it exploded in layers of flavor ­-- hay, earth, newly mowed grass, orange marmalade and baking bread. It wasn't even cold -- in fact, it was barely cool. Each sip seemed to reveal something new --­ a whiff of sea air, a different flower or fruit. Did I like it? I wasn't sure. But it was so interesting that I couldn't stop drinking it. Then my glass was empty. The beer was all gone and I missed it already.

Don't miss your chance to experience "real ale" as it was intended.
-- clay williams

The Brazen Head is located at 228 Atlantic Avenue between Court Street and Boerum Place.

October 13, 2006

Keep On Shucking

Tomorrow evening, Saturday, October 14, Brazen Head looks east to the shores of Long Island with a good old-fashioned clam shuck. There will be Little Neck Clams and Blue Point Oysters for your slurping pleasure and two varieties of savory clam chowder. Here's a tip: try them both. Set aside your soup convictions for a night — both are great. After trying them, you may find yourself questioning your belief in One True Chowder...

Wash all that briny goodness down with any of the four beers from the Bluepoint Brewery, including their Toasted Lager and the Oatmeal Stout. One of the beers will be offered as a cask ale, hand drawn through one of Brazen Head's two beer engines. — clay williams

Brooklyn Clam Shuck: Saturday, October 14th – 5pm to 10pm.
Brazen Head: 228 Atlantic Avenue between Court Street and Boerum Place

October 4, 2006

Stonehome's Autumn Wine Picks

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

Down the bar

No more standing in line to sit in a 'garden' smaller than your kitchen with 3 dozen of your closest neighbors. It's time to go in. Stonehome Winebar in Fort Greene has exactly the right vibe to recover from the bustle of summer festivities. Stonehome is relaxed but not sleepy, the perfect place for a laidback night out with friends or a romantic evening for two.

Proprietors Bill Stenehjem and Rose Hermann have lived in the neighborhood for 25 years. They opened Stonehome in 2003 and found a local following right away. Neighbors meet at the long curvy cherry wood bar and discuss the day, local issues and, of course, the wine. The staff knows regulars by name and wine preference. When new bottles come in, they’ll let you know which are up your alley...

Earlier this year Bill and Rose hired John Gibson to head up the kitchen. The menu was transformed. Stonehome offers new specials daily, using seasonal ingredients in some pretty exciting ways. This time of year, John is using walnuts, maple syrup, beets and acorn squash. The menu is full of comforting fall savories like Braised Beef Short Ribs and Glazed Pork.

Rose and Bill are matching these dishes with some new wine offerings by the glass. Here are a few of their favorite new additions:

Chateaunnuef du Pape '03, Domaine Des Senechaux — "Rich, supple, with notes of baked plums."

Coteaux du Languedoc, '00, Chateau Peuch-Haut, Saint Drezery — "Savory and spicy, with notes of black cherry and sandlewood."

Ribera del Duero, Spain, Guelbenzu, Evor '03 — "Ripe lingering flavors of black cherry, raspberry, chocolate and licorice."

Rioja, Spain, Marquez De Vargas Reserva, '00 — "Lush, smoky, rich dark fruits, blackberries with brown sugar."

Stonehome Wine Bar is located at 87 Lafayette Avenue at So. Portland. Open everyday from 5pm.

— photo and story by clay williams

September 12, 2006

Getting Amped for the Atlantic Antic

(Originally Posted on The Brooklyn Record):


On Sunday, September 17th, car traffic will vanish on one of Brooklyn's busiest stretches of road. Downtown Brooklyn neighborhoods will ring out the summer with a huge celebration — it's time for Atlantic Antic. The street festival, which will be celebrating its 33rd year, runs for a mile and a half along Atlantic Avenue between 4th Avenue and Hicks Street. This stretch of Atlantic is a nexus of Downtown Brooklyn neighborhoods. It brushes against Fort Greene, Park Slope, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, and Brooklyn Heights. A sea of Brooklynites pour out onto the streets to eat, drink, and revel at the party...

Unlike every other street festival in the city, this one is made up of actual neighbors. Local shops open out onto the street selling their wares, and churches draw in passers-by with song as they sell food made by the congregation. There are stages on every block and bands, drums circles, and soloists perform for their neighbors. At Clinton Street, the local Middle Eastern community hosts traditional music and belly dance performances sponsored by Sahadi's.

It wouldn't be a party without booze and the bars along Atlantic graciously oblige. The Brazen Head, Last Exit, and a few others set up cordoned-off "beer gardens" for party-goers to relax and sip a pint. New York's open container laws, tightened under Giuliani to include festivals, are technically still in effect, but enforcement is lax. Grab a Brooklyn Lager or a Six Points and celebrate the borough the right way.

Atlantic Avenue's diverse range of cuisines offers food from the world over. Have a po' boy or a shwarma or some fried chicken as you enjoy the Brooklynest crowd you're likely to find. Finish off with some zeppoles, deep fried and doused in powdered sugar, or sample some key lime pie straight out of Red Hook. At Hank's Saloon, you can throw a burger on the grill and cook it up on your own.

With so many Brooklynites in one place, politicians are never far behind. Past years have seen Freddy Ferrer, Chuck Schumer and of course "Mister Brooklyn," Marty Markowitz, kissing hands and shaking babies — or something like that. Grassroots groups also take the opportunity to recruit. So, if you've been hoping to sign petitions against the Ratner development, Ikea in Red Hook, or the re-opening of Brooklyn House of Detention but didn't know where to go, this is your chance.

For the kids, there are huge inflatable playgrounds on both ends and face painting stations every dozen feet. There are also plenty of vendors selling balloons, cotton candy, toys, and comic books, so come with child-size blinders if you want to hold on to your money. — clay williams

July 19, 2006

The Better Borough Beer Guide, Volume 2: Atlantic Avenue

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

Brazen Beer

In the wake of the Smith Street explosion, nearby Atlantic Avenue has developed a nightlife of its own. But where Smith Street transformed, leaving behind many of the old neighbors for a new young crowd, the scene on Atlantic is classic Brooklyn. Each bar provides warm, welcoming service to all who enter. Even better, for the purposes of our guide, they all serve beer that you may not find anywhere else.

The Brazen Head is a beer destination. Besides having a regularly changing selection of 15 top notch beers on tap, it is one of a select few bars in New York that offer cask ales. It has two beer engines that serve out beer the old-fashioned way. Three times a year, The Brazen Head hosts its Cask Ale Festival, drawing ales from far and wide. The next festival is slated for November. Don't miss it. Check out the chalkboards on the wall to find out about events like dart contests, nightly specials, as well as upcoming festivals. The regular crowd includes bartenders from neighboring bars and locals stopping in for a pint and a chat with friends. (228 Atlantic Avenue, between Court St. & Boerum Pl.)

Read on for Pete's Waterfront Ale House, Floyd, and Chip Shop...

Waterfront Ale House, a bar and grill, is a neighborhood institution. "Pete's," as regulars call it, was among the first beer bars in Brooklyn and still serves one of the finest selections of craft beers in town. Weekly jazz and blues performances bring friends and neighbors to take in good music and good company. The food is traditional pub food, often with an exotic twist like the Kobe Beef Burger with homemade wasabi catsup or the Venison Chili. Waterfront is a family saloon, so don't be surprised to find a row of strollers parked up front on any given evening. (155 Atlantic Avenue, between Henry St. & Clinton St.)

Floyd NY immediately drew attention when it opened in 2004, due largely to its indoor bocce court. Besides teaching people to bowl again, Floyd NY provides a comfortable wide-open space to relax. One bartender describes the space as "Rustic; raw but stylish." He attributes a lot of the appeal to the size of the space, formerly two storefronts. Despite all its space, the bar is often full. Usually bustling, the crowds vary from night to night. The 8 tap beers are good, if common selections. What really earns Floyd NY a place on this list is its selection of bad beer. Obscurity runs both ways, and in this case, you'd be hard pressed to find another bar that serves Stroh's, Schmidt, Schlitz, Miller High Life, Piel's and Colt 45. Dubbed the crapucopia, it is served chilled in a bucket of ice in the cans they came in. (131 Atlantic Ave., between Henry & Clinton Streets)

Next door to Floyd NY is Chip Shop. The Park Slope fish 'n' chips restaurant opened this branch early last year. This deep fried slice of British culture would not be complete without a respectable selection of British beer. In addition to serving some of the best beer the United Kingdom has to offer, Chip Shop rounds out its 16 taps with a some of the best beer found right here in the US. Every week two new beers are tapped, keeping the rotation constantly fresh. (129 Atlantic Ave., between Clinton & Henry)

— clay williams
[Photo by ultraclay!]

July 11, 2006

Wiliamsburg: Brooklyn's Beer Capital

(Originally Posted at The Brooklyn Record):

The Better Borough Beer Guide, Volume 1

It's no surprise that Brooklyn's former brewing center is now home to some of the best beer drinking in town. For a proper beer tour, start out on a Friday evening or Saturday afternoon at the Brooklyn Brewery for its Friday night happy hour or Saturday tours.

Mugs Ale House is the place to go when you want to geek out with other beer connoisseurs. The Malted Barley Appreciation Society meets here monthly. The crowd is older than at many of the other bars in the area, and there is a strong contingent of regulars who may seem aloof to a first-time visitor, but they warm up pretty quickly to beer talk. The food is standard pub grub — no better, no worse. (125 Bedford Ave.; L to Bedford Ave.)

Spike Hill, Spuytin Duvil, and Barcade after the jump...

Spike Hill is not your typical beer bar. There are 12 taps and nearly 50 bottles, serving up beer of all styles and nationalities — yet it has none of the geekery you might expect. There's no need to impress anyone with your vast beer knowledge here. You can sit in the front window and watch Bedford Avenue pass by, chat with fellow patrons at the long dark wood bar, and/or pack into the deep booths in the back with friends or a laptop. The menu takes unassuming dishes like grilled cheese and makes them interesting as well as comforting by changing up the breads and cheeses. (184 Bedford Avenue, L to Bedford Ave.)

Spuytin Duyvil sits in an unlikely storefront, away from the neighborhood's main strips. Behind the hole-in-the-wall façade lays a gourmet soul. Snacks include ever-changing offerings of meats, cheeses and pâtés. The beer selection is impressive, with representatives from Sri Lanka to Switzerland and a rather large delegation of Belgians, which are broken down into Flemish and Wallonian. (359 Metropolitan Avenue, L to Metropolitan, G to Lorimer St.)

Barcade has everything adulthood should have: great beer and video games. Knock back one of the two dozen beers on tap while playing Frogger or Zaxxon or Moon Patrol or any of the other '80s video games. A pool table is in the back for those seeking a more traditional bar game. Gothamist recently ran an interview with Paul Kermizian, filmmaker and owner of Barcade. (388 Union Ave. L to Metropolitan, G to Lorimer St.)

—clay williams
Stay tuned for more installments of the Better Borough Beer Guide from Clay, our in-house beer expert.
[Photo by ultraclay!]

July 7, 2006

Viva Italia

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

Cheer on Italia this weekend at Scopello in Fort Greene. The Sicilian restaurant acquired a gigantic television weeks ago for the sole purpose of showing World Cup games. It precariously straddles the bar and and makes Scopello one of the most unlikely sports bars in Brooklyn. Clearly, World Cup fever knows no bounds. In fact, Scopello has been opening early every game day just to show each match. To greet World Cup spectators, the restaurant, which doesn't usually serve lunch, offers a menu of panini and pasta specifically for game time.

The World Cup comes to a close this weekend with Germany and Portugal battling for the third place Saturday afternoon at 3pm. The grand finale is on Sunday — France vs. Italy at 2pm. Be sure to get there early, as the front bar area is small. Last week, the crowd of onlookers overflowed out onto the sidewalk as customers and passersby clustered together to watch the action.

Scopello is at 63 Lafayette Avenue, just off of Fulton Street. (718) 852-1100.
— clay williams
[Photo by ultraclay!]

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