Brooklyn Heights at Night:
Tavern Through a Wine Glass

 Jack The Horse

Photo by World's Worst Photographer in the World

I am beginning to love Jack The Horse Tavern. The Mac & Cheese is amazing — the perfect combination of crunch and goo — and they make the best burger I've had in a long time. The atmosphere is warm and friendly, though that could be the wine. I just wish they would knock a few bucks off all the items on the menu so I can justify frequenting the place more often. Perhaps I should stick with a glass of the Rasteau at the bar.

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  • T

    I dunno. My wife and I have been to JTH a couple of times and both times we found the staff to be totally pretentious and their friendliness really fake. The first time, the food was good but terribly overpriced and our waiter (pretentious, fake friendly) really turned us off.

    The second time we went, we wanted to sit in the nearly empty dining room and have a drink and dessert, but the maitre’d said the dining room had to be left open for walk in diners. So we sat at the bar and in the hour we were there not a single diner came in. Also, the bartender, like our waiter the previous time (pretentious, fake friendly) was a huge turn off. We won’t be going back anytime soon.

  • Homer Fink

    Fake friendly? Where’s Ed Harris as Jackson Pollack when you need him? (“I’m not the phony you’re the phony.)

    Have found the bartender at JtH to be very cool and knowledgeable. Actually prefer eating at the bar. Agree with Qfwfq that prices are a little high, but that’s a nabe issue. Rents are stupid high — so either a quality effort like JtH opens with higher than norm prices or we’re dealt a misguided one by folks who have deep pockets but no talent (or more hopefully, they just need the loss to offset taxes).

  • jen

    I love it too, the wine selections are pretty good. Agree it’s overpriced but clearly a lot of love goes into the menu. My complaint is that like many nice restaurants, the food can be sneakily overly salty. The salt attack always tastes great but then keeps me up all night gasping and reaching for water.

  • PB

    Yes, the food is a bit pricey, though it’s good. But I don’t understand the notion that the staff are “pretentious” or “fake friendly.” I’ve become a quasi-regular at the bar because Damen, the bartender, is a nice guy who knows a lot about cocktails–nothing fake about him or his demeanor. His drink menu has both classics and originals, and he makes cocktails with care and style. Perhaps people in this town are so jaded that anyone who isn’t surly or brusk is deemed a phony. I hope JTH can keep going strong; I’ll be a patron as long as it is around, which I hope is a long time.

  • Claude Scales

    I was recently weeding my book collection and came across a 1973 restaurant guide titled Word of Mouth, by Jim Quinn, which I have kept despite the fact that at least 75% of the places reviewed in it no loger exist, and the price categories (this is for a complete meal for one, net of drinks, tax and tip) are: inexpensive – under $5; moderate – between $5 and $10; and expensive – over $10. (Ah, yes; and Watergate, not Iraq, was the big news in those halcyon days.)

    Anyway, I keep this book for the quality of Quinn’s prose and his humor. His description of the “room for wrongos” at Lutece is delightful, as is his account of getting a good table at La Cote Basque despite showing up in “a cotton velour suit which looks like it was made of 200 gerbil skins, all stitched together sideways and brushed in the opposite direction.” As a service to tourists, he also includes reviews of places they might blunder into, like a certain cafeteria-style steak restaurant near Times Square, the review of which concludes with: “And as a special bonus you won’t need to add any salt: the chef sweats on the meat.”

    Anyway, to cut to the chase, PB’s post above made me think of Quinn’s quotation, in the preface to Word of Mouth, from a rival restaurant guide, Gael Greene’s Bite, concerning the recession-induced decline in haughtiness at top-tier restaurants:

    For certain New Yorkers, being wanted is the cruelest blow. We want to go where we are not wanted … the fact that we are not wanted is the surest sign that we are storming a retreat worth wanting.

  • rms

    There’s every reason to love this place. The bartender is completely professional and charming without being cheesy, and definitely knows his booze. The wait staff are consistently friendly (again, not in a cheesy or fake way), and yes, that freakin’ mac and cheese…it needs another name, lest anyone think for even a second of associating it with that 99-cent powder for cheese garbage we used to shovel down our throats. It’s almost as good as the prime rib at noodle pudding. I’ve never been wild about the take out options in our neighborhood, but damn, between noodle, henry’s end and now JTH, I’m gonna get damn fat real soon.

  • razrgrl

    Has anyone eaten at Le Petite Marche on Henry yet? The place is packed Saturday night!

  • Sasca

    Has JTH gotten rid of the Nazi Hostess yet? You know the one, blonde, obnoxious… Went there twice and was so put off by her behaviour and attitude I haven’t been back in months.