Best of Brooklyn Heights: The Winners!

Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations for the Best of Brooklyn Heights! Exactly 100 readers responded and the votes have been carefully tabulated. Without further ado, here are the results:

Best Fine Dining

Jack the Horse Tavern and Colonie in a tie.

Yes, there is fine dining in Brooklyn Heights. These two are the finest and nicely bookend the Heights at its borders.

Jack the Horse Tavern's Chef Tim, Lead Server Jason and Head Bartender Bear

Jack the Horse Tavern’s Chef Tim, Lead Server Jason and Head Bartender Bear

 

Yellowfin tuna crudo with smoked paprika, caper, sesame & nasturtium at Colonie. (Photo courtesy @colonienyc on Instagram.)

Yellowfin tuna crudo with smoked paprika, caper, sesame & nasturtium at Colonie. (Photo courtesy @colonienyc on Instagram.)

Best Casual Dining

Noodle Pudding

Honorable mention: River Deli

Best Overall Restaurant

Noodle Pudding

Noodle Pudding earned the most votes in the “casual dining” category, and almost as many in the “fine dining” category, for the most votes of all restaurants across categories. We thought this called for an added category of “best overall restaurant,” and that the honor belongs to Noodle Pudding. A choice so good, even Mark Bittman instagram’ed about our favorite neighborhood restaurant and Chef Tony.

Noodle Pudding Tony

Best Breakfast/Coffee

Clark’s Restaurant (in a decisive win)

Honorable mentions: Cranberry’s and Joe Coffee Company.

Most cagey response: “There is a deli with a man who makes the best breakfast sandwiches, but I don’t want to say for fear of it getting too busy.” Fess up, dear reader, and share with your neighbors!

Best Lunch Spot

Hanco’s

Honorable mention: Grand Canyon Restaurant.

Best Pizza

Table 87 (in a very close win)

Close runner up: Fascati Pizzeria

Honorable mentions: Luzzo’s and Dellarocco’s

This contest was down to the wire and counting the votes sent the heart racing. Because it’s Brooklyn and it’s pizza and it’s dead serious. As one reader put it, “we are awash in great pizza.” Indeed we are, and we’ll argue about it til the end of time.

Best Burger

Five Guys (by a mile)

Honorable mentions: Henry Street Ale House and Jack the Horse Tavern

Most socially-conscious response: “Don’t eat red meat (unhealthy and contributes to climate change).”

Most apologetic response: “282 (sorry, I know it’s out of bounds)!” But you’re right, the burgers are so good.

Best Groceries

Key Food on Montague (by a big margin)

Honorable mention: Perelandra

Best Hair Salon / Barber

Fabio Scalia and Choo Choo Cuts

The votes in this category were close and spread out over many choices, with Scalia and Choo Choo having marginal leads over others.

Other winners in their own right: Studio 78, Van Sickel Salon, Clinton Street Barber Shop and Cutting Edge.

Best Nail Salon / Spa

Dashing Diva

Best Dry Cleaners / Laundry

Best Cleaners (in a landslide)

Best Gym / Fitness

Eastern Athletic Club (in a close win)

Close runner up: Equinox

Most contrary response: “Anything but Eastern Athletic.”

Most eyebrow-raising response: “My bedroom.”

Most nostalgic yet inappropriate response: “Club Wild Fyre.”

Best Miscellaneous Retail

Sahadi’s (in a decisive and unsurprising win)

Honorable mention: City Chemist

Best Miscellaneous Service

Housing Works and James Weir Floral Co. in a tie.

Honorable mention: Rocco & Jezebel for Pets

Most loud response:  “ROAMING KNIFE SHARPENING GUY WITH THE OBNOXIOUS BELL ON HIS TRUCK.”

Most whimsical response: “The guy who repaints stuff around the Heights.”

Most think-out-of-the-box response: “A Better Way”

And… the best and most correct response (according to BHB):  Brooklyn Heights Blog

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  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7nPOzGeyaw Arch Stanton

    A Big Thank You to Mary Kim for making it happen.

  • Jorale-man

    Great set of responses. I must say, Noodle Pudding’s no-reservation and no-credit card policy has kept me away. In the 21st century, you should be able to get online and make a reservation with minimal fuss. I’m sure others here will disagree but it feels like an unnecessary inconvenience.

  • Andrew Porter

    Interesting winners. Every time I think about going out to eat, I think to myself, “But what about all the food you already have at home?” and don’t go out.

    Then there are all the places I used to go to, which have closed—Teresa’s being the most recent and maybe largest blow.

  • AEB

    What keeps me away despite the reliably good grub is the noise. Ear-splitting! Earth-shattering!

    Loud!

  • Mary Kim

    Thank you for being a loyal reader and participant of our little blog.

  • Jorale-man

    That keeps me away from many a restaurant too. Who wants to yell over your dinner??

  • Puffinette

    Notice lack of best Chinese food because the only decent ones have closed. Also no vegetarian category cause THERE AREN’T ANY IN THE HEIGHTS.

  • KXrVrii1

    I avoid it for the same reason, but it is a pretty tried and true model for a popular restaurant. Maximizes table turnover and minimizes fees.

    And some people seem to actually enjoy having a drink in a crowded noisy bar while waiting for a table!

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    Seriously – why do I feel I need to say that – what restaurants are vegetarian-friendly, because I’m sure there are some of those. That is – if it isn’t obvious – while you might prefer a place that ran its kitchen along lines you’d be more comfortable with, are there places you like in or near the Heights when – for whatever reason – you’d rather be served than cook yourself?

  • http://www.louispeterdaily.com MrLoueylou424 .

    I’m a New York City native who’s lived in the very heart of Brooklyn Heights for five years. Fascati is thee worst pizza in NYC. Noodle pudding has zero flavor. Clarks restaurant (Diner?) doesn’t even know how to prepare an eggcream and everything on the menu tastes as bland as Noodle Puddings dishes.

  • MAIA NERO

    Best grocery store – WEGMANS- Key food has poor customer service just not a friendly environment, the worst produce. Wegmans opened anout a mile away and has a very good brand, excellent device, no lines when u check out and better pricing.

  • Andrew Porter

    It ain’t in Brooklyn Heights, so couldn’t be considered.

  • Azru

    Missed the voting, but against my better judgment (since I love always being able to get a spot there), the best restaurant in the neighborhood is Boutros on Atlantic. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the best restaurants in the city. Get the burrata, fried rice, and beef skewers, and tell I’m wrong. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why it’s not more popular, but I hope it starts getting more notoriety and more of a following around the neighborhood.

  • aconcernedneighbor

    I think the same thing then head to Iron Chef House anyway. Wish we had more options like Cobble Hill or Carrol Gardens have.

  • A Neighbor

    I avoid noisy restaurants – with one exception: I love Noodle Pudding!

  • Edo Express

    Nothing personal, but I find this obsession with Wegmans odd. It is just a grocery store. Been there myself was not converted.

  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    What’s your secret for getting bad customer service at Key Food? That takes some dedication.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    Fine vs. Casual Dining conundrum. This one is likely to go unsettled for several reasons, and it’s interesting that Noodle Pudding was the most prominent example of the thin line between them. (Yes, there’s a difference, because it’s hard to imagine more than a couple of others in the Heights GETTING votes in both categories.)

    Price has something to do with it, obviously, but since Prix Fixes are very much the exception in the States, you can’t fall back on something simplistic. Beverages have a big effect on the average “tab,” too. For “Best of Heights II,” I propose that there be a “Best Overall Rest.” category, one that answers to “If this were your last meal before something like a move were likely to take you away from the Heights for years, where would you go?”

    And then I think Mary or whoever might have to “curate” in advance, much the way the Oscars do. (Who’s a supporting actor?) (But seriously! Grand Canyon is a fine place, … but on any rational spectrum between it and [Colonie or JTH], would ANYone say that Noodle Pudding is more comparable to Grand Canyon?) (Goes back to someone’s comment that the Heights is NOT Hudson Yards!)

    This WAS a great (and quickly put together) concept/contest, by the way, … with very few situations like this. I *would* appeal the fuzzy line (Mary designated) demarcating Brooklyn Hts. Shocking that Julianna seems not to have been a player in the pizza category, but maybe, that’s because I’m not alone in thinking that Old Fulton separates the Heights from Dumbo … not the hulking Brooklyn Bridge. That change would render ineligible 5 or so eateries as of now and not much else.

    And I’d add a few categories (e.g., best Ice Cream purveyor) and drop ones that shouldn’t have been in Best of #1 – “Best nail salon,” for example, was way past “idiosyncratic!”

  • Mary Kim

    Well worth reading as usual, here’s Pete Wells’ take on restaurant noise:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/21/dining/restaurant-noise-level-loud.html

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7nPOzGeyaw Arch Stanton

    Who are you yelling at, The people who never opened a vegetarian restaurant in the heights or the ones that tried and went bankrupt?

  • Puffinette

    Not telling at all…just stating a fact.

  • Puffinette

    Snarky.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7nPOzGeyaw Arch Stanton

    When one types in all caps, it’s considered YELLING.