I don't go to Brooklyn a lot, but when I do, it's for really good food or a cute hipster. For both, I recently found myself at a quaint little spot called Colonia Verde (219 Dekalb Ave., Fort Greene, 347-689-4287).
Straight from husband-and-wife team Felipe Donnelly and Tamy Rofe (the duo behind Cómodo), Colonia Verde offers Latin American-inspired dishes designed for sharing -- perfect on a date or with a group of friends. The items are as tasty as they sound: Brussels sprout Caesar salad with a mustard-avocado Parmesan dressing; juicy duck confit tacos with pickled onions; grilled baby eggplant with red rice, crispy chickpeas and smoky pecans.
On a recent visit, I found the dishes rich and comforting, from the cauliflower gratin with cheese bubbling and burnt against a cast-iron pan to the split-open langoustine charred over a wood fire with cilantro chimichurri. The menu changes often, though the Sunday pig roast is a happy constant.
For such a tiny open kitchen, it is a wonder the chefs keep up with the orders. Colonia Verde is primed for a massive crowd, with seating at the bar, a number of cozy two-tops and a gorgeous enclosed greenhouse with a cool brick floor and glass ceiling. The candlelit, romantic space will be open and heated throughout the winter. While the weather is still mild, you can also grab a spot on the outdoor patio, which has plenty of wooden seats padded with pillows and blankets, should you and your skinny hipster date get chilly.
Ariel Kanter is an editor at Gilt City.