Most modern-day eateries are passionate about the provenance of their product, proudly relaying the origin stories of their proteins, produce and grains. But at Crown Heights’ BKW, that commitment to craftsmanship and locality even extends to their vino, as every bottle is sourced from Williamsburg’s own Brooklyn Winery.
A shrewd offshoot of the borough’s first boutique urban wine producer, BKW aims to be more than a mere tasting room. Sure, patrons can approach it as a hyper-focused wine bar (Brooklyn Winery’s entire portfolio is available by the glass, bottle or flight), or as a go-to retail spot for nabbing a 2012 Malbec, a 2013 Riesling, or 2015 Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon. There’s even a micro-winery located in the basement, serving as a lab for imbibable experimentations.
But operating as an actual, full-service restaurant, BKW is able to demonstrate precisely how well their sister wines pair with food, extending beyond usual suspects like cheese, olives and charcuterie. Small plates include cubes of kombu-cured mackerel, propped between rye crisps and roasted grapes (which couples nicely with the creamy texture, intense aromatics and bright acidity of an unoaked Chardonnay), as well as sticks of smoked slab bacon cut with astringent yogurt and crags of maple candy, mirroring the effervescent, candied apple qualities of a Finger Lakes Blanc de Blancs. As for entrees, they remain anchored in approachable, American bistro territory—think plush fans of skate, beribboned with sweet-sour squash agrodolce and finished with caper brown butter and mint (an ideal showcase for a quirky, skin fermented orange wine, reminiscent of black tea and honey), and full-bodied Pinot proves the perfect partner for a classic hanger steak, served with creamed greens and bbq potato chips, and lapped in marchand de vin.
Even dessert provides further incentive for drinking: whether you’re alternating bites of warm, lavender-scented, butterscotch-bloated donuts with sips of dry, currant-y “Fortitude,” or sucking a slurry of Old Vine Zinfandel and cola—infused with islands of mascarpone gelato—up through a brightly colored straw. Because at BKW (which keeps the party going from 4pm to as late as 2am, from Tuesday through Sunday), it’s always Wine O’ Clock.
747 Franklin Ave, (718) 399-1700, Crown Heights
Photos Courtesy of BKW