Colonie Restaurant Opens with a Bang in Brooklyn Heights

Colonie“, the much anticipated “locavore” restaurant at 127 Atlantic Avenue (the long-empty “Petite Crevette” space), and noted for using Kickstarter for its initial funding, had its soft opening last night. The doors opened at 6 PM and when I walked in at 7:30, the place was packed. A “friends and family” cocktail party had been thrown last night, but Tamer Hamawi, one of the co-owners said nobody had expected the crowd that showed up Friday evening.

The space is designed to be open and “woody” with muted lighting and candles (note: hard to read menus this way). Notable features include a live fern wall in the middle of the room and an open kitchen with bar seating to watch the show. The menu is a small but well-executed selection of new American and Italian dishes with locally sourced and sustainable products. The wine list includes several NYS wine choices as well as a selection decanted straight from the barrel. While service was understandably slow (but attention to water glasses and napkins never faltered), the food delivered was excellent – rich in flavor without being overly complicated. My wife and I enjoyed a sweet ricotta cheese crostini, skirt stake with delicious winter greens and creamed potatoes, pork chop with mustard apple sauce and buckwheat spaetzle, and a spiced chocolate torte with brown butter ice cream for dessert. Neighboring diners recommended the roasted maitake mushrooms and fried brussels sprouts with cranberries and bacon. A few items are still missing (the meats for the charcuterie option are “still being cured”, and there are after-dinner drinks but no coffee or tea with dessert) but shouldn’t be hard to fill in.

Colonie is refreshing in that it brings all the ambiance and food quality of a Manhattan (or at least a Smith Street) bistro to the somewhat stodgy dining atmosphere in Brooklyn Heights. One they work out the kinks, this should be a sterling addition to the neighborhood.

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  • What’s up Doc

    Nancy, Does that mean anyone who owns a dog or cat shouldn’t eat in Chinatown?

  • nabeguy

    Elmer Fudd? What’s up Doc? Sounds like closing time to me. A shame that restauranteur’s are so paranoid in regards to public opinion that they feel the need to pepper threads like this with such transparent comments. What’s the upside to that? Maybe a week of interest before the real reviews come in? If you don’t trust your own menu or your ability to deliver it, then at least show a little class by expressing an interest (and trust) in the feedback of your customers.

  • Buggs Bunny

    That’s all folks!

  • skunky

    so we’ve got one confirmed server shilling for the place… maybe that’s a huge vote of confidence in my book, the guy just wants his new job to take off, and he actually enjoys working at the place enough to bother to shill on this site?

    Not too concerned, the joint will sink or swim on its quality etc.

  • william

    Elmer Fudd and Buggs Bunny don’t work there. They haven’t eaten there either. What about Shunky?

  • william

    Oh, by the way, it was Porky Pig who used to say, “That’s all Folks”.

  • nabeguy

    Given their location on Atlantic Avenue, I can only hope that they defer to their Muslim neighbors and keep Porky Pig off the menu.

  • william

    There’s a Dallas Jones BBQ on the next block of Atlantic Avenue, they serve pork. The Muslims are okay with it. They won’t eat there though.

    But don’t leave a naked mannequin in a store front window overnight on Atlantic Avenue like a neighbor of mine did last year. Jihad!

  • redbaron


  • besuretodrinkyourovaltine

    Great food, Great service, an all around winner.

  • Topham Beauclerk

    Nabeguy, why on earth should a restaurant on Atlantic Avenue take into account the peculiar eating habits of Muslims?

  • Quinn Raymond

    We went there last night for Valentine’s and it was exceptional. Much better than (most of) the places on Smith Street. Closer to the high-end places in the Village.

    A+ food, A+ bartender.

    The people we sat next to were very nice– we were agreeing that it’s a relief we don’t have to walk so far to Bocca Lupo now (although I’m sure we’ll still go there a lot too).

    The date dessert is particularly good.

  • 101010Kol

    Seems like every person who has actually dined at this spot, has thoroughly enjoyed it.
    As they say “the proof is in the pudding”.

  • Nancy

    I hve looked a little sideways at my meals from Chinatown….
    But seriously, it’s how I feel and that’s the way it is.

  • Andrew Porter

    This is apparently the best new restaurant to open in Brooklyn in the last thousand years. I intend to eat there within the next millennium.

  • bkliz

    im not a regular commentator here but im not involved in colonie in any way. i almost never put my two cents in in forums like this but in this case i feel compelled to. colonie is GREAT! i ate there with my husband last weekend and the food, service, atmosphere were all wonderful. its not all hype, it really is a great addition to the neighborhood. i grew up in brooklyn heights and have suffered through the mediocre restaurants that plague this neighborhood so i was thrilled that colonie was actually good.

  • joe

    Been meaning to eat here but it’s always packed. Last two times wound up eating at Pete’s which is not a bad thing considering how much I love the burgers and ribs there.

  • colonieLuvr

    I laughed, I cried, I loved it more than “Cats”, I’ll see it again and again and again.

  • A Local Guy

    Ate there once. Service was awful (five different people showed us to the table, asked us about water, put stuff on the table, took stuff off the table… it was dismaying). Menu is expensive. Atmosphere is OK though I wouldn’t object if they turned the music down a bit. Cooking was pretty good, though they served a badly-made “Philadelphia” ice cream for dessert. Good wine list.

    Overall, I think they’re trying too hard to bring a little bit of Manhattan chic to a neighborhood in Brooklyn. Like the now-defunct (or nearly so) Breuckelen.

    I wouldn’t say “never again” but, at the price… eh.