Brooklyn bar bites evolved well beyond Chex Mix eons ago; even next-gen snacks like deviled eggs and shishito peppers barely pass muster any more. Because amongst the borough’s newest, exemplary establishments, drinking fare can refer to anything from grilled oysters with hot sauce butter and seaweed, to chicken fried chicken wings with honey mustard and dill—and here’s just a small sampling of spots serving swanky late night eats.
Now that Bill Murray mania has (almost) subsided, patrons can finally focus on the true twin draws of this River Styx revamp. Namely, cocktails courtesy of Sean McClure (formerly of Le Bernardin and Dirty French), and foodstuffs via Sean Telo, late of Extra Fancy—graze on “ugly” vegetable remnants slicked with carrot top pesto, slips of salmon pastrami coiled around smoked trout and gribiche, or hunks of lamb fat-saturated bread mounded with mustard and steak tartare.
21 Greenpoint Ave, (718) 383-8833
When your bar boasts 360-degree, 22 story-high views of the East River panorama, you could pretty much phone it in on the food front. But by commissioning Andrew Carmellini to oversee all hotel comestibles, you’re really stacking the deck with some primo late night snacks, like teeny duck carnitas tacos, beetroot puffs packed with pecans and goat cheese, and kurobuta baby back ribs, dusted with toasted peanuts and cumin.
111 N 12th St, (718) 307-7100
Can’t imagine committing to a 15-course, $215 tasting menu of chamomile-singed shrimp and blood and cherry pancakes at the recently revived Aska? You can still take advantage of the no reservations-required, rec room-style cellar bar and gravel-paved garden—which offers a comparatively casual array of cocktails, beer and small plates, such as onion cups cradling cultured cream and flower petals, and a (hemoglobin free) Swedish pancake dotted with salted beef and dill.
47 S 5th St, (929) 337-6792
With an esoteric wine list that fetishizes Georgian amber wines and Loire chenin blanc, and a concise menu of perfect (but palm-sized) plates, Freek’s Mill is an ideal place to either begin or end your evening. Although you might want to consider going solo, for fear of having to wrangle over fat oysters or rectangles of kohlrabi, roasted to submission over wood, or gobs of stretchy straciatella, teamed with charred radicchio and candied walnuts.
285 Nevins St, (718) 852-3000
Since it actually has an entirely unique menu, there’s no hindrance in being sequestered in Olmsted’s edible backyard as you wait (and wait, and wait) for a table—pass the time painlessly with crawfish boil crackers, oysters clamato and watermelon sushi, matchsticks of fruit swaddled with confit lemon circlets and tissues of Long Island fluke.
659 Vanderbilt Ave, (718) 552-2610
As much of a pre or post-show spot for National Sawdust attendees as it is a traditional dining destination, Rider serves squares of schmaltz-soaked focaccia well into the night, alongside crispy fried oysters, duck confit and swiss chard “spring rolls,” and bowls of hollow-bodied gougeres.
80 N 6th St, (718) 210-3152