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“The Grocery”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American Brooklyn Moderate Great

I am now one of the others. One who lives in Brooklyn. My 10003 has been replaced by a 11201. The F Train is now my sweet orange train ride. But I’ve been here before. I used to be a Brooklynite. Many moons ago before it was en vogue, way before it was The Culinary Wonder Borough. The year was 1991, and I was a first year at Brooklyn Law School. I remember the August before school started, and I had just come home from a trip across Europe with Melissa, my best friend from high school. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I was starting Law School after all, beginning the journey toward what I hoped would be a long career as a champion of justice. But first, I needed a place to live.

My Dad and I started our search in Brooklyn Heights where most of the students lived, but Dad shook his head. No way. Too expensive. We walked down Court Street and crossed Atlantic Avenue and entered Cobble Hill, but he kept shaking his head. Too expensive, let’s keep looking. We walked over to Boerum Hill, and I got the same response. He was footing the housing bill, after all, so I was in his hands. And so we kept walking down Smith Street. It was a steamy August day, and I remember clusters of pot-bellied men, their shiny scalps browned from the sun, smiling in shirtsleeves in their lawn chairs on the sidewalks, with hot cement underfoot. Smith Street was their Hamptons.

We kept walking farther and farther toward Red Hook until we reached Carroll Gardens, a neighborhood marked by Italian social clubs, little old widows walking around in black and young wives with big hair and lacquered nails kibitzing on the corner. There were no yuppies in this neighborhood. In 1991, it was still 99% old school Italian. And it was there in Carroll Gardens that my father finally stopped shaking his head and started nodding it—yes. We found a huge walk-through apartment on the top floor of a brownstone on Carroll Street for practically nothing in rent a couple of miles from law school. I was impressed with the place. It was sunny and big with a separate study and two huge closets, but I was not happy with its location. I saw an apartment in the boonies, far from my friends on Remsen Street. I felt isolated, in the middle of nowhere. “It’s too far from school, I said. “It’s not. You’ll live here,” he said. I frowned. “You’ll be happy,” he said, not giving into my pouting. And he was ri ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Brooklyn :
+ Chickenbone Cafe-- Closed   + Pier 116-- Closed   + Chestnut   + Lunch at Peter Luger's   + 360   + Palo Santo   + The Good Fork   + Porchetta-- Closed Now   + Bocca Lupo   + Flatbush Farm   + DuMont Burger   + Dressler   + Farm on Adderley   + The Grocery   + Saul   + Black Mountain Wine House   + The General Greene   + Char No. 4   + James   + Chestnut   + No. 7   + Vinegar Hill House   + Motorino   + Buttermilk Channel   + Buttermilk Channel   + Vutera   + Watty & Meg    + Prime Meats   + Aqualis Grill   + Jack the Horse Tavern   + Roman's   + Fatty 'Cue   + Thistle Hill Tavern   + Broken English   + Trix, by Dara Pollak   + An Ode to New Orleans in Williamsburg: Maison Premiere, By Dara Pollak   + Brooklyn Wok Shop by Dara Pollak   + Arthur on Smith   + La Vara   + Gran Electrica   + Pok Pok Ny   + Ganso    + Reynard   

“I haven’t gotten over my Brooklyn guilt yet.”

Here's hoping you can replace my 11201 with your 10003. Sooner the better.

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