Archive | June, 2010

Shopping Brooklyn Heights: Wine Edition

30 Jun

Every neighborhood needs a good wine shop. Luckily for me, Brooklyn Heights has several, but with all the choices, it can be difficult to decide where you can get the best bottle for your buck. Don’t worry, I’ve done the wine shop hopping for you– and I’m here to give you the low down on my pick for best neighborhood wine store.

Upon going to Brooklyn Heights, you will hear a lot of Heights visitors mention Montague Wines and Spirits. While you can certainly find something that will fit your needs, it may take you a while to discover the perfect bottle for your occasion. I found this shop to be disorganized, with no region labels in sight. If you care about where your wine comes from, this spot is impossible.

On the outskirts of the neighborhood sits Heights Chateau. The store is beautiful with a large selection, but if you are on a budget, the beauty seems to fade quickly. The cheapest bottles are around $16– and when you can get the same quality for half the price– it’s not worth it.

You might also stop by Michael Towne Wines & Spirits on Henry Street. While this shop is the closest to me, making it convenient for a last minute wine trip, the store lacks charm. Sure, you don’t need to be overwhelmed with charm when you spend five minutes making your purchase, but it’s all about the shopping experience, right? Either way, I’d take this store over the first two, as the prices for quality European wines are much lower.

So what’s the best wine shop in the neighborhood? Maybe it’s over the Cobble Hill border, but I vote Brooklyn Wine Exchange, on Court Street, right next to the Brooklyn Trader Joe’s (another bonus!). The shop offers in store tasting, wine classes, and a giant selection of fabulous bottles for under $12. The store also delivers locally (for the lazy wine days) and discounts on cases (for those that like to buy Costco-style). The Brooklyn Wine Exchange offers an entire wine experience, with a helpful staff that can answer every tough wine question.

Sound good? Visit the store and check out some of the upcoming events, like on Wednesday July 7th– when you can enjoy some of the best offerings from Sonoma County in California, or on July 17th, when you can taste a selection of 10-15 wines from the $12 and under table. Stop by this weekend for their in store tastings, happening every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

No longer a Park Slope Virgin

27 Jun

(picture via Brooklyn The Borough)

Brooklynites are always raving about Park Slope. They describe the neighborhood as if it’s an old friend with fond memories attached. They long to visit the restaurants, the coffee shops, the nearby park, and eventually reside there full time, with a fairytale ending. “You’ve NEVER been to Park Slope?!” they say. “You have to go!” After New York Magazine agreed with the commentators, naming it the “most livable neighborhood in New York,” I decided. I did have to go.

We took the train to Bergen Street, and stopped for brunch at a little Israeli spot, Miriam on 79 5th Ave. After perfectly cooked eggs and a bottomless cup of coffee, we headed for Prospect Park. Walking through the stroller and puppy filled streets, I realized Park Slope’s appeal. It’s greener and quieter than most city neighborhoods, but also has a trendy selection of restaurants, bars, and shops. It’s comfortable, and it’s right next to the park.

Prospect Park is similar to Central Park in that it’s large with lots of sitting space, but it’s far more spread out and with less tourists. Another benefit? The farmer’s market. Spread along the entrance sits tents filled with fresh veggies, locally made cheeses, potted plants, and mountains of baked goods.

Keep on raving, Park Slope-philes. I’m listening.

Farmers' Market at Prospect Park

Must Go: Stinkfest 2010

26 Jun

Do you enjoy live music, street fairs, and stinky cheese? Head to Carroll Gardens this Sunday, June 27th for Stinkfest 2010. Listen to local bands like Audra Rocks, The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn, and The Woes, with an intermission for the Fourth Annual Cheese Eating Contest at 2pm. Think you can gobble down pungent chunks of cheese faster than anyone this side of the East River? Sign up today by calling 718-522-7425.

Stinkfest will kick off at 11 am at cheese shop Stinky Bklyn located at 261 Smith Street between Douglass and Degraw. If you can’t make it to the fest, at least stop by and try some aged gouda, fontina, brie, or other cheese selections from all over the world.

Under the Bridge

25 Jun

(Picture credit Paul W. Fusco)

Brooklyn Shake Shack in the Works?

24 Jun

Frozen custard from the Shake Shack

Rumors are flying that the beloved Shake Shack, famous for their juicy burgers and creamy frozen custard may be expanding to Brooklyn. The restaurant chain is suspected to be moving into a business development in Boerum Hill called Atlantic Gardens. While the Union Square Hospitality Group did not confirm the rumors, they did not deny them either. I’m still dying to try the frozen custard, so let’s hope Danny Meyer takes his restaurant to a new borough.

Wear This City

23 Jun

Who needs a cliche “I ❤ NY” tee when you can sport a much more fabulous Brooklyn tee from Brooklyn Industries? Check out some of my graphic shirt picks for both men and women, available in stores and online!

GIANT Crumbs Cupcake

22 Jun

This giant Crumbs Cupcake was spotted on the promenade in Brooklyn Heights. Perhaps a preview to the Crumbs bakery soon to open on Montague Street?

Brewfest Success

21 Jun

I already told you about NY Brewfest, which took place yesterday, but I haven’t told you about how awesome it was and how you missed out. Yes, it was crowded. But– if you got there early and left early, it was worth the time and money. Besides drinking the extensive beer selection, I munched on Potato Pizza from Sullivan Street Bakery and listened to some fabulous local bands. Check out some of my pictures below. If you didn’t get tickets in time– this is a MUST GO for next year.

Brooklyn Farmacy NOW OPEN!

19 Jun

Cool off this weekend with a milkshake, egg cream, or ice cream sundae at the newly opened Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain in Carroll Gardens. After a soft opening, the old school soda parlor also boasts a selection of fresh produce, locally made pickles, freshly brewed coffee, and old fashioned candy.

Despite the unattractive name “egg cream,” the shop’s specialty doesn’t actually contain eggs or cream. The sweet treat is a concoction of chocolate syrup, milk, and seltzer. Check out Broklyn Farmacy’s tutorial video on how to make your own egg cream, and stop by the robin’s egg blue shop at 513 Henry Street.

Brooklyn Farmacy Egg Cream from Heather Quinlan on Vimeo.

Help Haiti at Brooklyn Flea

17 Jun

Clothing by Nennan155 (picture via Brooklyn Flea)

Another reason to visit the Brooklyn Flea! Haitian brothers Lionel and Constant, known as Nenenn155, created a line of dresses, sandals, and other accessories now on sale at both Flea locations. The brothers just returned from a trip to Haiti where they did a show called “Fashion Quake.” All pieces are made by hand AND without electricity!

The purpose of their fashion line is to create jobs in their hometown Port-au-Prince after the devastating earthquake. Want to add some new items to your wardrobe and help a good cause? Stop by Brooklyn Flea at either One Hanson Place in Williamsburg or at 176 Lafayette Street in Fort Greene.