Much like Moses coming down Mt. Sinai with the 10 Commandments, restaurant guru Tim Zagat handed down his new “Best of Brooklyn” guide on Dec. 5. The slim volume features 216 restaurants, 141 bars and clubs, 213 gourmet entertaining resources and a whole lot more. And while GO Brooklyn normally prefers the sage wisdom of Tina Barry, even we have to admit that Zagat knows his stuff. The guide gives raves to institutions like Peter Luger and Di Fara, but knows that newcomers like Po and Lucali are great, too. You can pick up a copy at Barnes and Noble (106 Court St. at State Street in Downtown Brooklyn).
If the dining hall food isn’t doing the trick for Pratt Students, beginning Dec. 10, they’ll have a new spot to fuel up at. Autour du Monde (860 Fulton St. at Clinton Avenue in Fort Greene) will be serving French fare and mixing cocktails for neighborhood sophisticates and thirsty students alike.
Meanwhile up the street, tannin titan Amy Bennett is branching out. We hear that Bennett and Jason Richelson, who founded the Greene Grape, will be opening a gourmet grocery store at the corner of Fulton Street and South Portland Avenue in January. The shop, in the former South Portland Antiques location, will stock high-end groceries and will give the neighborhood a much-needed fishmonger and butcher as well as gourmet baked goods.
Now if those hungry Fort Greene residents want to learn what to do with all of those sundries, they should head over to the Brooklyn Public Library’s central branch on Grand Army Plaza on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 4 pm to see Arthur “The Food Maven” Schwartz discuss his favorite holiday foods. And if you can’t make that, stop by the Salt Marsh Nature Center (3302 Ave. U at East 33rd Street in Sheepshead Bay) on Dec. 16 for a roundtable discussion about the eateries that have made our borough a famous dining hotspot.
One of the dishes that has contributed to Brooklyn’s culinary fame is unquestionably pizza. And with the opening of Bella Marzenka’s (168 Driggs Ave. at Diamond Street in Greenpoint), the tradition of a great Brooklyn slice lives on. Although the “brick oven” that the awning promises looks suspiciously like a plain old hotbox to us, the pizza and specialties — like the already legendary sausage roll with peppers — are still mighty fine. Not into pizza? Marzenka’s has an entire counter dedicated to Polish fare.
Finally, a hearty welcome to the rehabbed menu, now featuring an Indian buffet, at the former D Space location at the corner of Jay and Front streets in DUMBO, which is rumored to now be called Marrakesh Express …but wouldn’t that be Moroccan? No matter, for $6 you can fill a takeout carton and have more than enough for lunch.
Got a hot dining tip? Drop us a line at BreakingChews@BrooklynPaper.com.