It’s time for our final installment of What to Order at Brooklyn’s Bib Gourmand-winning Restaurants. Because while the Manhattan-centric Michelin guide couldn’t bring themselves to award actual stars to more than two of our eateries, they’ve lavished reduced-priced love on a plethora of local spots (the Bib Gourmand highlights excellence on a budget, defined as two courses plus wine or dessert for $40 a head).
So without further ado, here’s how to best mete out your allotted bucks.
Prime Meats: 465 Court St., (718) 254-0327
Two Courses: If you’re looking for veggies, head to Frankie’s Spuntino and not this Central European-styled tavern, which excels at sausages like Bratwurst and Sauerkraut ($13). If you must have greens, the Chilled Iceberg with buttermilk dressing and bacon ($12) is as about virtuous as it gets.
Wine or Dessert: Surprisingly enough, a mere $12 buys a carafe of red off of the wide-ranging wine list, like the Zweigelt Schloss Gobelsburger from Kamptal, Austria.
Prospect: 773 Fulton St., (718) 596-6826
Two Courses: Although Prospect offers a high-end chefs tasting menu, its fun to slum it on “Bucket Mondays,” when you can get fried chicken, coleslaw, cornbread, and a tasty side like truffled mac and cheese for $17.95.
Wine or Dessert: The other delight of bucket Mondays is that you can spend your ample remainder on alcohol and dessert, like a pint of Sixpoint Sweet Action ($7), and a seasonal sweet such as Pumpkin Spice Cake with foie gras ($12).
Purple Yam: 1314 Cortelyou Rd., (718) 940-8188
Two Courses: We were thrilled to find this underrated Filipino restaurant on the Bib Gourmand list, one of the few true places where yes, you’ll have to work awfully hard to exceed 40 bucks. The heavily vinegared Chicken Adobo is a must try ($16), along with an order of Bagoong Fried Rice with Philippine fermented shrimp ($5).
Wine or Dessert: The desserts are wonderfully unique, like Halo Halo with sweet beans ($6) and Kalamansi Meringue Pie ($7.50). Or if you ask nicely, chef Romy Dorotan will make you an Abita root beer float, with purple yam, jackfruit or coconut sprout ice creams.
Roberta’s: 261 Moore St., (718) 417-1118
Two Courses: We don’t care if it’s redundant; we can’t eat at Roberta’s without ordering the brick oven bread ($5), followed by yes, the brick oven pizza, like the Barely Legal with pork sausage, broccoli rabe and horseradish ($16).
Wine or Dessert: Take a break from wheat and go for wine, or even better, an entire bottle of cider, like the Bellwether Liberty Spy ($20).
Runner & Stone: 285 3rd Ave., (718) 576-3360
Two Courses: It’s a crime not to carb-load at Runner and Stone, so start with the Grappa-Cured Striped Bass for $9 (it comes with the amazing house ciabatta), followed by pretty much any of the pastas, like Campanelle with artichoke hearts and duck confit ($16).
Wine or Dessert: Hello, we could spend $40 just on dessert. But we’ll contain ourselves and go with just one, like the Cherry Trifle with a pistachio financier ($8).
Seersucker: 329 Smith St., (718) 422-0444
Two Courses: While we could easily blow our entire budget on a plate of Lobster and Grits ($34), chef Rob Newton is a genius with that humble bottom feeder, Catfish ($23), which he fries in a crispy shell of benne (sesame seed) flour. And you’ll want to order a wheel of Skillet Cornbread ($7) alongside, to mop up the potlikker from the accompanying greens.
Wine or Dessert: What’s a Deep South-styled meal without a glass of sweet tea? Or better yet, The John Daley ($10), a Brooklyn Republic Vodka-spiked Arnold Palmer.
Speedy Romeo: 376 Classon Ave., (718) 230-0061
Two Courses: For some reason, the apps are largely more expensive than the pizzas, but you’ll still squeak in under budget even if you order the most costly items on the menu. Which we generally do, because we roll that way. Go with the tender Grilled Octopus with almond romesco ($16), and The Kind Brother (also $16), a white pie with wild mushrooms, smoked mozzarella, farm egg and sage.
Wine or Dessert: Try the proudly local Affogato ($7, made with Blue Marble ice cream and Kitten espresso); the perfect happy medium between an after-dinner coffee and dessert.
Tanoreen: 7523 3rd Ave., (718) 748-5600
Two Courses: The mains are lovely, but a meal at Tanoreen is best comprised from a bevy of amazing appetizers, like the baba ganouj-layered Eggplant Napoleon, ($10), the chicken and almond-topped flatbread, Musakhan ($12), and our personal obsession, the deep-fried Brussels Sprouts ($8), folded with tahini-yogurt-pomegranate sauce and strewn with a panko crunch.
Wine or Dessert: More appetizers! Hummus, Kibbe, Fatoush, Grape Leaves, Mujadara, Sambosek, Falafel, Labaneh and the incredible Cauliflower Salad are all under $10.
Traif: 229 S 4th St., (347) 844-9578
Two Courses: We’re just amazed that chef/owner Jason Marcus can whip up a Fricassee of Escargot with nudja toast ($10), and Duck Confit with green garlic ($23), in that fun-sized open kitchen.
Wine or Dessert: Cheeky name aside, Marcus generally avoids pan-Jewish kitsch on his menu. Except for the deviously delicious Bacon Doughnuts ($7) that is, served with dulce de leche and coffee ice cream.
Vinegar Hill House: 72 Hudson Ave., (718) 522-1018
Two Courses: If Manhattan’s favorite Brooklyn restaurant can’t make the actual Michelin list, who the heck can? They’re all just jelly that they can’t break a 50 on the other side of the bridge on dishes like this; Delicata Squash with miso and brown butter ($9), and Farrotta with squid and ground cherries ($17).
Wine or Dessert: VHH might look at you funny if you don’t order off the wine list, and besides, we’re suckers for a good Sauvignon Blanc ($12).
Xixa: 241 S 4th St., (718) 388-8860
Two Courses: Jason Marcus must have friends in high places to have made the Bib-Gourmand list twice. Not that this year-old Mexican small plates spot isn’t deserving (not to mention impressively affordable). It’s also an excellent excuse to go veg, as our favorite dishes (Thai Guacamole for $5, Carrot ‘Elote’ for $6, burrata-stuffed Chile Rellenos, also $6), owe nothing to animal flesh.
Wine or Dessert: Not that we’re actual vegetarians, especially not after a shot or two of Duck Fat Mezcal, accented with a slice of grapefruit and a chili-salt chaser.