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Brooklyn Heights may be the prettiest neighborhood in the borough, but you can count the good eateries among its blocks on one hand. With Jack the Horse Tavern, owners Tim Oltmans and his business manager-wife Micki Schubert hope to improve the nabe’s culinary reputation.

Open since June, the bar and eatery, says Oltmans, is "more than a standard pub." It’s not a surprising statement coming from a chef who hails from the kitchens of Gramercy Tavern, CT Restaurant and Tabla, three of New York’s most elite restaurants.

You won’t find Oltmans’s chicken liver "schmeer" on a toasted baguette served with rhubarb compote on just any pub’s menu, or an entree of slow-roasted pork breast with figs and braised Swiss chard (pictured) either.

But if a burger and fries is what you crave, you can have that, too. At Jack the Horse, the "Sakota" burger is served on ciabatta bread and comes topped with Asiago cheese and pickled onions.

As befitting a tavern, there are six pints on draft - two from Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Brewery - and 11 bottled varieties. None of the bottles on the international wine list tops $50, with several good selections by the glass.

Oltmans named the restaurant after Jack the Horse Lake in Northern Minnesota, a serene spot where he fished with his father and brothers. Keeping the "all in the family" theme going, the tavern’s upscale decor was designed by Schubert, who hung the work of Mitchell Hooks, an artist known for illustrating paperback book covers, and movie posters of the 1960s and ’70s, on the brick walls. Hooks happens to be Schubert’s father.

Jack the Horse Tavern (66 Hicks St. at Cranberry Street in Brooklyn Heights) accepts American Express, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $14-$21. The restaurant serves dinner Monday through Saturday. Closed Sundays. For reservations, call (718) 852-5084.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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