Is here somewhere in these candlelit restos
Sweet Green Dreams
Lose yourself in the lit greenery at Endswell. Various plants outline the upscale, black and white rectangular restaurant.
Showcasing the beauty of crowded diversity—perhaps a metaphor for Brooklyn itself—medium-, small-, and tiny plants sit atop the bar. A tree-hugging maximalist’s eye candy. Love them while sipping a well-done craft cocktail. Most of Endswell’s drink options include a veggie or fruit (or both) component. It’s hard to pick from a menu that looks good all over, but L’Orange, Rose, and Violet are on my list of must-samples.
One artful, wild bouquet of spikey plants, with lights of all kind mixed in, doubles as a shout out to the kitchen counter it lines and an overall centerpiece to Endswell’s sexy space. Speaking of the kitchen, you’ll find classic French dishes with vegan options scattered throughout the something-for-everyone menu. Rave reviews for the Shrimp Mac n Cheese, the Raclette burger (Impossible burger available), and the seared scallops.
Endswell Bar & Bistro
Experience the Experimental
When modern bistro Oxalis opened in late 2018, it quickly set the streets of Crown Heights on fire with talk of its unforgettable, Michelin-starred food and service.
As derived from the name of a large genus of flowering plants with sour leaves, Oxalis serves tasting and a la carte menus that unexpectedly awaken your palette.
Indulge in broccoli tempura with caramelized anchovy, soft and sensuous gnudi, melt-in your-mouth roasted duck with sweet potatoes, goat milk with honey and thyme, along with any other Oxalis menu item you think might be spectacular. It probably is.
As for the ambience, the garden room is proposal pretty with string lights and hanging plants. The plain-Jane main dining room sets the stage for the true star. Let Oxalis’s food create your mood for evergreen love.
A Lust-worthy Omelet
For the last few days, I’ve lusted after Bar Bete’s rolled omelet. Its pictures are insanely mouthwatering to me. The peeky toe crab filling looks tender, fresh and succulent. The egg looks moist, soft, and buttery instead of overcooked, dry and tasteless, as a lot of restaurants and home cooks prepare.
I tried to stop lusting after it but ended up talking a friend into joining me for a classic French dinner at this newcomer, date-worthy hot spot. Bar Bete’s interior design reminds me of a baby grand piano. A super glossy black bar, the walls and the ceiling are all black with rounded square arches, poses in the middle of the restaurant. While caramel seating paired with black and gray marble tables and creamy walls in the other “rooms” complement the sleek, art deco bar.
Although the lighting and the view is perfect, great execution of Bar Bete’s French menu is the reason for its early success. Well, Bar Bete is actually Canadian French, which in some cases—think of the richness of Poutine—is even more sinfully decadent. Crispy duck fat potatoes, mushroom brioche, rolled omelet, crispy fluke and aged duck are some of my Bar Bete must-tries.
After five years of excellence, my L’Antagoniste—I’ve eaten there seven times easily—is still a top Bed-Stuy choice for intimate date nights or small group meetups.
Its sweet, unoffensive brick exterior is charming. But once you enter L’Antagoniste’s provocative interior, you realize a much more interesting story is being told. The art nouveau-ish black and white photos of French artists that cover one entire wall is a political statement. Even if it’s been done before, it still feels original, passionate and fresh.
The cuisine you experience at this classic French resto expresses that same originality, passion and freshness. I’m sad that the cheese souffle is retired, but happy that some favorites are still in rotation. The Hudson Valley foie gras, the salmon a l’oseille, and the orange duck have always been great options.