Brooklyn Beats Manhattan, Not Just for “Bohemians” Anymore


In news that surprises nobody except Julian Niccolini, co-owner of Manhattan’s The Four Seasons where crab cakes cost $55, Brooklyn restaurants are kicking Manhattan restaurants’ collective ass. At least they are according to Bon Appétit‘s list of America’s 50 Best Restaurants. Two Brooklyn restaurants made the Top 10 (Blanca at #2 and Battersby at #3), while the two Manhattan restaurants on the list languish somewhere further down in the Top 50.

Where? We don’t know. We didn’t look.

Because that information is not available online, so it’s like it doesn’t exist yet.

The New York Post brought this list to our attention in an article amusingly titled “Brook-win!” and our immediate response, well, right after we experienced a quick, toe-curling flash of borough pride, was to wonder, “What do some stick-up-their-butts Manhattan restauranteurs have to say about this?”

Plenty! And they say it all with about as much condescension as we can bear.

For example, Niccolini tells the Post, “Believe it or not, I have actually visited a couple of restaurants in Brooklyn. Of course it’s very bohemian, for people who live in Brooklyn it’s fine, but I’m sorry, I don’t think it’s a destination yet, I don’t think I’m willing to spend $25 to go to Brooklyn to have lunch or dinner. This is only for Brooklyn people, end of story.”

Of course, it is very bohemian. But $25 to go out to Brooklyn? What subway are you taking, Mr. Niccolini? And if you’re taking a cab from Midtown and it ONLY costs $25? What cab are you taking?

The Post also talks to restaurant critic Gael Greene about dining in Brooklyn. She simply said, ““I refuse to go.”

Any explanation?

“Many Brooklyn restaurants don’t take reservations and I refuse to drive 45 minutes to wait half an hour or more,” Greene continued on to say.

Which is valid, for sure, but not exclusive to Brooklyn and not the policy of every Brooklyn restaurant. A lot of it does come down to traveling, of course. And it does make sense that all the people who have chosen to remain in Manhattan don’t want to trek out to Brooklyn for amazing food. There are still plenty of good eats in that borough.

But it also makes sense that with so many people in the media, food and otherwise, living in Brooklyn, that it’s the Brooklyn restaurants who are getting their time in the sun.

As one restaurant publicist told the Post with a sigh, “Everybody loves Brooklyn.”

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

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