Maxwell’s Love Lane

maxlovelane.jpgSure Heights tipplers were sent into a semi-frenzy when bartender Damon Dyer left Jack the Horse. Qfwfq was convinced that he'd go into Man of Leisure withdrawl, while Fink lamented that he'd never see a GIANT ICE CUBE ever again.

Fret not, friends. Bartender Maxwell Britten is in the house. And while we may have favored his Brandon Flowers inspired look of days gone by, the freshly clean shaven barman has whipped up a lovely cocktail just in time for Valentine's Day according to Vittles Vamp.  And wouldn't you know it, the concoction is called "Love Lane":

Vittles Vamp: Named after a real-life romantically-dubbed alleyway in Brooklyn Heights, how could I resist Max's fizzy concoction of Prosecco, Harvest Syrup, House-made Brandy Poached Cherries (pictured above) and Rose Flower Water? Max recently took over bar stewardship at Jack The Horse Tavern and with the advent of The Love Lane, he has surely proven that he is an up-and-comer cocktailer, worthy of his leadership role behind the bar.

Jack the Horse

66 Hicks Street


Photo: Vittles Vamp

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  • anon

    I don’t get the excitement over this place. The food is average at best, and they are not doing well. Why do you think Damon left?

  • guest

    Agreement with 12:48 almost as overrated as Noodle Pudding.

  • Peppermint

    Noodle Pudding is phenomenal! Jack the Horse is very good but the atmosphere is a little stuffy. The food and wine are quite enjoyable however. Let’s try not to knock these great local restaurants people! There are to many haters out there!

  • guest

    Yeah, I agree with peppermint, what is the purpose of knocking two of the best restaurants available in the heights? Both place are great, Noodlepudding is busy all the time, which is because they are doing something right. Jack the Horse may not be crazy everyday of the week but come friday night at eight without a reservation you’ll be lucky to steal a seat at the bar before someone else.

  • anon

    To 12:09 the purpose is that I don’t care for either restaurant. They are average at best. That’s my opinion. It’s a fact that JTH is not doing well, and when I walk by they never seem to be busy. Damon leaving is more than likely is due to a decline in business.

    Noodle Puddling is busy because it provides an average product at a decent price. They have been around for years and have allot of loyal customers.

    On a positive note Henry’s End is excellent and that is my opinion too.

  • Jonas Von Groucheau

    anon – you know what they say about those who speculate aka assume.

    Do you like Oven?

  • anon

    To 2:31 I believe that is my right to not like something and to be able to express that freely here. You obviously like JTH and Noodle Pudding. What do you like about them? Please express your opinions.

    I have not been to Oven.

  • Jonas Von Groucheau

    anon, once again you assume. are you a mind reader? what is your insight into damon’s departure?

    you said: “To 12:09 the purpose is that I don’t care for either restaurant. They are average at best. That’s my opinion. It’s a fact that JTH is not doing well, and when I walk by they never seem to be busy. Damon leaving is more than likely is due to a decline in business.”

    “more than likely”… interesting. you’re making an assumption based on facts you do not know.

  • Maxwell the Barkeep

    I would like to thank Mr. Fink and VittlesVamp for the write ups, it is nice to know that people are still coming out to see what new things we are trying out at Jack the Horse.

    I made a self introductory in an earlier blog in response to the article about Damon leaving us

    “I know many of you are disappointed to see Damon on his way as am I. But i must assure you that is no reason to turn your backs to Jack the Horse Tavern. I have been a friend of Damon’s for close to two years, a co-worker of his 1 and a half years, and his protégé in that time. I have studied very closely with him and many other bartender greats of the city, and I will do my best to honor his name and the cocktail itself. I am sad to see him go, but honored to be given this opportunity. Our cocktail menu will always have the “Man of Leisure”, as it was conceived at Jack the Horse, a landmark cocktail of the restaurant. I am delighted to inform the patrons and aficionados of cocktails that the menu has also got a lot of new drinks, using innovative recipes based off of the original models of cocktail conception, as well as couple of my own creations. So please come and join me at Jack the Horse for a cocktail or three and know that though personality has changed behind the bar, our drinks will remain true to our customers. I man the stick monday, wednesday, friday, and saturday evenings, I look forward to shaking your Man of leisure’s, and stirring your manhattans.”

    I am not quite at liberty to say why Damon left because it is his own personal business, but I can assure you that your speculations are not up to par.

    As for all the negativity being posted in response, I must say I am truly sorry to hear that your experiences have been so disppointing, and I would like any naysayers to please give us another chance, make yourselves known when you come to the bar and let us give you the experience that you can walk away from with a completely different perspective. I am sure you have given us chances before, but we are always working on being innovative and good at what we do.

    The Brooklyn Heights Community has been very welcoming to us at JtHT, and I want to thank all of you who have supported us over the past year and a half. You have been our greatest asset and it because of you and your word of mouth that has kept us on the map. We are going to keep trying as long as you keep coming!

    Thank you.

    Maxwell Britten
    Principal Barkeep
    Jack the Horse Tavern

  • Beavis

    Best damn Pisco Sours at JtH. Wish they were a big bigger.

  • http://BrooklynHeightsBlog Karl

    Maxwell, your prose was beautiful. You are a good dude and a good reason to have a cold brew at your attractive restaurant.

  • guest

    I haven’t tried the bar. Just the dining room on several occasions and found the food to be nothing special. Is the bar really that good that it warrants a return trip to try it?

  • Beavis

    IMHO, the food is good. Love the trout salad. Pork is usually good. Good burger, and the aforementioned Pisco Sour.

    Reason I don’t go often is the price. I find JtH aboout 30% more expensive than I think they should be. Drinks are also Manhattan prices. So I usually go elsewhere that’s as good in Carroll Gardens and Red Hook (I have a car). Examples include Good Fork, 360, Chestnut.

    Although I like JtH and am glad they are there, the management needs to know that their nickname around the nabe is: Jack the Wallet.

  • EJ

    Beavis, 360 has been closed for a long time now…

  • Beavis

    No way! In that case, I’ll have to do a 180.

  • CJP

    And my two cents worth on local bars. Being a married guy with a five-year-old I don’t get out to Brooklyn bars at all. But last weekend friends of the wife’s took us to “Deity” on Atlantic. Who knew such an interesting nightspot existed near Brooklyn Heights?

    A little too trendy for my liking and way, way, way too expensive for cocktails (in the vicinity of $12 a glass!) but they did have a great selection of $5 beers, pleasing music in the background for all age groups and a great aesthetically-pleasing interior in what used to be a synagogue and a furniture store.

    I enjoyed the evening but won’t be rushing back. I also really hope the place makes it. It’s worth searching out on the internet because the interior is truly stunning and I appreciate the chance that the owners are taking in bringing what I think is an international lounge/club experience (young and pretentious??!!!) to Brooklyn. Were it in LA it’s the kind of place I’d envision Lindsay and Britney showing up to.

    I DO plan to go and check out “Downtown Atlantic” next door. That looked interesting too and seem to have more realistic price points for food and beverages.

    But curious to see what other readers think of “Deity!”

  • bubbles

    I love the fact that the article makes no sense except to the writer. I agree that Noodle Pudding is average fare at best. Henry’s End & La Petite March are far better. Jack the Horse seems to be hit or miss.

  • Jonas Von Groucheau

    Bubbles, you post makes sense only to you.

  • anon

    Jonas it is you who doesn’t seem to make much sense. I share bubbles opinion that Noodle Pudding is average at best and that JTH is definately hit or miss with the food and service.

  • Lovie

    I LOVE Noodle Pudding! The Osso Bucco is the best I’ve ever had and the staff always treats you feel like a million bucks. I also am a huge fan of Jack the Horse for a romantic dinner for two on say … Valentine’s Day! It’s pricey but is to be saved for special occasions. There are different types of restaurants you know. They don’t ALL have to be affordable for any random evening.

  • Beavis

    I also think Noodle Pudding is highly overrated. Much better Italian food and atmosphere in Caroll Gardens at places like Fragole or Frankies 457. Ferdinando’s has some good salt of the earth Sicilian fare, and the best damn canolli for desert.

  • guest

    Based upon this thread I did try the bar. The drinks were good but for the price I’d rather go across the bridge. The atmosphere was stuffy and the food was not impressive.

  • embee

    I wonder where the idea that JTH isnt’ doing well comes from? I live next door and see a healthy number of patrons there very night, with Fri. and Sat. being packed. It’s not equally jammed all evening on weeknights, but it’s far from dead, which seems like a decent showing given the prices and slightly off-the-beaten path location.
    That said, I agree it’s hit or miss, and also I think the service isn’t quite up to the standard implied by the prices. Don’t know about the Pisco Sour, but a couple of the wines by the glass are outstanding.

  • patbnyc71

    Went in this past Sat for a nightcap with my wife and another couple. It was 10:30pm, the bar had 4 people at it. The dining room was 1/4 full. The hostess tells us there isn’t enough room for us at the bar and she would have to check if we could sit at a table if we weren’t eating (again,10:30, 1/4 full). She leaves and we cozy up to the bar to order our drinks. Maxwell Britten (principle barkeep) is more concerned with repeating the house policy that the service bar area stay clear than he is with which of his supposely lovely potables we might be interested in ordering. Stuffy and pretentious are relatively mild adjectives for both JtH and Maxwell. Let’s keep it real. You are a Tavern in Brooklyn and if you’re going to bother having a bar you should bother serving bar customers with a little more respect.