NeroDoro's handsome interior and its prime corner location are inviting, but the menu needs significant reworking.
'Bedford-Stuyvesant' on Serious Eats
The Peasant Sourdough comes out the oven looking like some crusty rye loaf, but it's actually on the soft and thin-crusted side. As in many SCRATCH products, the bakers build the ingredients for this bread out of a small group of building blocks that are also used for other loaves. First comes the sourdough starter, made from oat mash, rice, and wheatberries. To this they add cane sugar, a bran mix of wheat bran, flax seed, and oats, and then a mixture of dark rye, whole wheat, regular wheat, and spelt flours.
In order to celebrate the season, SCRATCHbread, one of the city's most creative bakeries, has concocted a Mesquite Pork Sourdough with Maple loaf ($6.50) that captures its essence in bread form.
Nice Pizza is a true neighborhood spot, offering a decent meal in a relaxed, convivial atmosphere. Don't come here looking for a Michelin-rated meal, but certainly stop in for a bite if you find yourself in Bed-Stuy come evening.
Sleep early tonight and wake up early tomorrow. That way you can visit Dough and get a Cafe Au Lait ($2.50), fresh from the fryer and cooled just enough to apply that layer of creamy coffee icing.
The deli's name notwithstanding, I generally prefer the pastrami or corned beef to the brisket at David's Brisket House. (I mean, in general, I prefer pastrami or corned beef to brisket, too.) Unless the brisket is turned into a "Brooklyn Cheesesteak" ($8).
The Do or Dine chef and new Food Network star took us on a tour of his neighborhood to show off the spots that do Bed-Stuy proud.
If I lived in Bed-Stuy, I have to believe that my food expenses would plummet, just because I could live off dollar-fifty chickpea-flatbread sandwiches, or doubles. And the ones at A&A Bake and Doubles Shop make me pretty happy for six quarters.
Peaches Hothouse, an offshoot of nearby Peaches, bills itself as a "country cafe," and while I'm not sure what that means, their menu of reasonably priced Southern classics has a lot going for it.
You probably can't get simpler than Sud Vino e Cucina, a restaurant in Bedford-Stuyvesant specializing in traditional Italian food, with an emphasis on specialties of southern Italy.
I don't usually eat lunch in Brooklyn—that whole "office in Manhattan" thing—but when subways are limited and buses are so packed as to be almost un-rideable, you end up wandering around your own borough quite a bit. Which brought me to SCRATCHbread in Bed-Stuy.
The rich, mustardy egg salad tops a leaf of raw kale and a thick piece of crusty bread, with kale pesto on top and breadcrumbs for crunch. A little sprinkle of chile flakes adds heat. Nothing too complicated, but certainly more interesting than most egg salads out there.
"I was on a date here last week," said the lady at the table next to ours at Alice's Arbor. We'll summarize for you: the date went well! Perhaps the couple simply had chemistry, but we think this seasonal American restaurant/grocery/cafe on the border of Clinton Hill and Bed-Stuy played a big part. After all, it's a date-tastic place.
When I moved to into a Mattress Factory loft in Bedford Stuyvesant, the food options looked bleak. But it was close to campus and the view was phenomenal. It didn't take long to discover I was on the edge of the blooming culinary scene surrounding Pratt. Pratt students are surrounded by affordable, delicious food options, with many more just a G Train ride away.
What does La Mar's Katy McNulty eat in her Bed-Stuy neighborhood? How about Jamaican beef patties, a brisket-pastrami-corned beef sandwich, to-go grits for a start? Take a look at all her neighborhood favorites.
While not quite heaven, with the windows open onto Halsey Street, the seats filling up, a baby gurgling in the corner, and quite fine food in our bellies, Celestino made for a swashbuckling time.
When I first heard about SCRATCHbread's "brunch in a cup," I have to admit that my brain did a few rather skeptical somersaults. But then again, it didn't hurt that the weather has been particularly fine, or that founder Matthew Tilden named this novel concept STOOPbrunch, implying that his creations are meant to be consumed while sitting outside, basking in the sun. At $5, it certainly seemed well worth investigating. I picked up all three daily specials at the bakery's window in Bed-Stuy this Sunday (for roughly the same amount of money that I would normally spend on a single sit-down brunch), and I can confidently report that these messy paper cup-fulls of hearty brunch servings are not only a steal—they kind of blew my mind.
Good brisket is hard to come by, but the slow-cooked meat at newly re-opened David's Brisket House does right by its namesake.
These Buttercream Brownies ($3.90) are not brownies in the traditional sense. They are a cross between a flourless chocolate cake, a classic brownie, and, well, an awful lot of buttercream.
If pun-laced pre-meal banter annoys you, you may as well stop reading here, because Do or Dine probably isn't for you. Opened in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy earlier this summer, the restaurant is an intentionally oddball, intentionally free-form eatery with no particular culinary bent (except fried things; and yuzu) and no totally fixed menu ("This whole restaurant is a culinary expression of ADHD," said co-owner Luke Jackson). What you'll eat is sometimes bizarre, sometimes delicious, and occasionally both.