January 18, 2009

Char No. 4 -Smith Street's Modern Twist on Bar Grub

Char No.4Char No. 4 is a new bar/restaurant on Smith Street in Brooklyn- right off the F train at Bergen.

While Char No. 4's claim to fame is its extensive list Whiskeys and Bourbon, I come for the food.

Deliciously simple, inventive comfort food with a modern twist.

Now I love sitting at the bar to grab a bite to eat- I find it more social and entertaining.

For those of you deuces who prefer a table to dine, one caveat with Char No. 4 is that the main dining room appears to be primarily for larger groups- several long booths await parties of 3 or more.

On a recent night my boyfriend and I came in and were told there was a 45 minute wait for a table but we could eat at the bar. Right after us came a party of 3 who were seated immediately in one of 3 large booths which were empty. Just a warning for those planning on bringing a first date...

As for the food - it is delicious. Portions are on the small side, so while prices are definitely reasonable, it might take several dishes to fill a hungry tummy.

The BLT was filled with thick slabs of fried fatty pork with a kicker of pickled jalapenos and peppers lending it an almost Asian feel.

The Shrimp and Grits were smoky, spicy, with a fresh hint of cilantro to give it that extra crisp.

As a side dish- I recommend the cauliflower gratin with almonds. Creamy and cheesy, its a perfect way to get daily dose of veggies. The almond topping adds that extra crunchy texture that elevates the dish to another level.

For dessert you have a choice of chocolate cheesecake or homemade butter pecan ice cream with bourbon.

As you can guess most of the diners seem to go with the butter pecan ice cream. The strong bourbon is a perfect accompaniment to the sweetness and buttery flavors of the ice cream. The combination is simply to die for.

For those of you die hard Manhattan foodies - Haven't you heard that Brooklyn is the new Manhattan?

At least "The Real World" and "Top Chef" think so.

So venture out on the F train - the restaurant is less than a block off the Bergen stop. You won't be sorry :)
(picture from NY Mag)

Char No. 4
196 Smith St., Carroll Gardens

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