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“360”


  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out French Brooklyn Moderate Good


MY DINNER AT 360
There are times in life when you need to leave your comfort zone, to force yourself to step outside your self-imposed womb and dip a toe in unfamiliar waters: take a risk on a new relationship, try a fresh start in a different career, or in my case, take a train (and then a bus) to a far away land known as Red Hook.

Personally, I tend to be a sad creature of habit; I am often found within my downtown rectangle, below 17th Street. I am a sheltered New Yorker, I admit it. When I travel, it’s to Barcelona—or soon to Rome to visit Susie who I miss every day— not outside my nook of comfort here in the city. But I am also a seeker of pleasure in the form of food and a former resident of Brooklyn, and I often head to Billyburg, Park Slope, and Cobble Hill for great food and to visit friends who have reproduced and moved out to the Brooklyn ‘burbs. But Red Hook? Not so fast. A few months ago though, I was writing about a bakery out there called Baked—which is AWESOME—and discovered Van Brunt Street, just a stone’s throw from the East River, a little peaceful village that made me feel very far away from everything that was familiar. I wandered around and discovered The Good Fork (which was under construction at the time), learned about the Fairway that would open (it opens in mid-May) and popped into a cool cocktail and wine store called LeNell’s. The guys from Baked told me I should come back and check out a little seasonal bistro down the block called 360, and I made a mental note to return. I did last week with Jamie, Court, and Harvey, and we had an eating rave.

Now, let me be straight with you. Getting to Red Hook from Manhattan is what I tend to call a schlep. You have to take a subway (F to Smith/9th) and a bus (B77), but when the subway comes out of the tunnel, it’s great fun, and the bus, well, it’s makes for a total experience. Seriously, it may feel like a hike, but your efforts are immediately rewarded by a sweet little street that feels remote and unchartered, but welcoming, like a docile version of the wild old west. Kids are playing in the streets, business owners are planting flowers in the window boxes, and homeowners sweep their stoops. It’s like Oz.

Somewhere down the yellow brick road you will find 360, a French-American bistro owned by Arnaud Erhart, a veteran of spots like Balthazar, Orsay and La Goulue. Erhart was ... [more, click below]

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