While Brooklyn is already home to an egg-centric eatery (“They’re one of nature’s prime examples of when the real version is so much better than the factory one,” Egg’s George Weld enthused to us once) it stands to reason that the provenance of poultry is just as important. So credit dismaying peeks beyond the matrix of America’s chicken industry for recent openings like Manhattan’s Le Coq Rico (which exhibits Portlandia-esque zealotry for slow growth birds, whose origins are outlined in accompanying pamphlets) and now, Beasts & Bottles in Brooklyn Heights as well, its rotisseries spinning with pedigreed fowl of all feathers.
A Provence-inspired boite from the Atrium DUMBO team, chef Laurent Kalkotour has devised the menu, anchored by large format offerings like preserved lemon and butter-rubbed Crystal Valley chickens (which are vegetable-fed, antibiotic-free, and hail from an 80-year-old farm in Indiana) along with hoisin-glazed, free range, 100% organic Jersey birds (obtained from the multi-generational Silvestri family of Goffle Road) and black truffled, French-bred, firm-fleshed Sassos, provided by La Pera Bros. of Bensonhurst by way of Lancaster, PA. “At Atrium, we kept finding that the majority of orders were for our Chicken for Two, so we decided to take that interest and run with it,” said co-owner Leslie Affre. “And here at Beasts & Bottles, it’s been fascinating to discover such variation amongst the birds we serve; where they’re from and how they’re raised makes a remarkable difference in flavor.”
The nuances of terroir are equally significant to their “sense of place” wine list as well, lovingly cultivated by partner (and Brooklyn’s only master sommelier) Alexander LaPratt. Focusing on magnums and big bottles sourced from small, environmentally responsible producers (New York, Oregon, and California selections are supplemented by Bordeaux from Medoc’s Chateau Greysac, Gruner Veltliner from Karl Lagler Burgberg in Austria and Fino Sherry from Macharnudo Vineyard in Spain) it further encourages convivial, family-style eating and drinking—although thrifty singletons will be thrilled to find that most are poured by the glass; and often at a considerable cost to the restaurant. “In the wine world, awards are generally handed out to establishments with lots of money, big cellars, and up to 2400 selections,” LaPratt said, “but in my mind, a notable list combines the highest integrity and highest quality for the very best price point possible.”
“They’re one of those things that, in their simplicity, are still really revelatory,” George Weld further expounded on eggs. It seems the same sentiment just might apply to the philosophy at Beasts & Bottles.
151 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights
All photos by Jane Bruce.