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Eat and Drink

Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, dining guide: Where to eat and drink in the neighborhood

Cobble Hill is a tiny (but vibrant) neighborhood located below Brooklyn Heights. What the latter offers in prestige and skyline views, Cobble Hill makes up for with a quaint, yet lively, feel.

There’s no shortage of brownstones and small parks, and the dining and drinking options are worth some serious note. Explore a variety of cuisines, from Ethiopian to Middle Eastern to Spanish, and finish your tour of this small hood with expertly mixed cocktails or deliciously sourced pours of wine.

Go ahead, ride the F or the G train on over.

Down home Japanese cooking at Hibino

The main draw at Hibino, a cozy corner
Photo Credit: Hibino

The main draw at Hibino, a cozy corner eatery tucked away just south of Atlantic Avenue, is the focus on Kyoto-style dining. Obanzai, simply prepared seasonal bites originating in Kyoto, are served daily and outlined on chalkboards brought over to the table. Options run the gamut from things like simmered lotus root to inventive takes on miso soup. Move on to a second course of house-made tofu before sampling the sushi and sashimi platters, or one of the entree offerings, like pork tonkatsu. (Hibino, 333 Henry St., Brooklyn, 718-260-8052, hibino-brooklyn.com)

A patty for every palate at Mooburger

Opened in 2011, Mooburger has quickly become a
Photo Credit: Mooburger

Opened in 2011, Mooburger has quickly become a landing spot for Cobble Hill's burger aficionados and those with hungry children (thanks to a substantial kids menu). Using organic meats and fresh vegetables, Mooburger offers a patty for every palate. A classic beef burger gets slathered with a signature sauce of blue cheese, chipotle and mayo, but further options abound. Lamb lovers should try The Greek (a lamb patty with pickled eggplant, olive tapenade, feta and tzatziki) and those looking for something with an Asian twist should try The Banh Mi (a chicken patty with pickled daikon, cilantro and sweet chili sauce). (Mooburger, 240 Court St., Brooklyn, 718-246-8259, mooburger.net)

Seasonal Brooklyn fare at Colonie

With a nod to the more historic aspects
Photo Credit: Colonie

With a nod to the more historic aspects of the surrounding area, Colonie serves a menu of seasonally focused new American fare. Chef Andrew Whitcomb draws inspiration from a New England childhood that was filled with local farms and family gardens, and today his food focuses on using the goods of local purveyors whenever possible.

Daily oyster specials are served with a cucumber mignonette sauce, but the more irresistible section of the menu outlines the pasta dishes, such as campanelle with pork sausage or the torchiette with Amish lamb and chard. Adventurous eaters should opt for the blistered duck egg (served with mushrooms and spelt) and be sure to check out the well curated wine and beer list, in addition to cocktails like the watermelon chili margarita. (Colonie, 127 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, 718-855-7500, colonienyc.com)

Yemeni cuisine at Yemen Café

The western end of Atlantic Avenue plays home
Photo Credit: Yemen Café

The western end of Atlantic Avenue plays home to many Middle Eastern shops and restaurants, and amid the hummus platters and spice bins is a spot that serves a little represented cuisine in the borough: Yemeni. Yemen Café got its start in 1986 and continues to draw people from far and wide, thanks to not only a menu of authentic dishes, but also its hospitality. What the space may lack in décor (expect folding chairs and a no-frills setting) it makes up for with a menu that showcases the unique influences of Yemeni cuisine, from Arabic to African.

Hummus and baba ghanoush are mainstays, but appetizers like kibdah (sautéed lamb liver) shouldn't be missed. There's an entire section devoted solely to lamb dishes, too. Try the saltah (a lamb and veggie stew, spiced with fenugreek) or the haneeth (slow-roasted lamb, served with veggies and basmati rice). Yemeni bread, made in a traditional clay pot, is served alongside everything. (Yemen Café, 176 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, 718-834-9533, yemencafe.com)

A new take on Spanish food at La Vara

After having started two successful Spanish restaurants in
Photo Credit: La Vara / Miguel Herrera

After having started two successful Spanish restaurants in Manhattan, husband-and-wife team Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero crossed the East River and have since been awarded a prized Michelin Star. The ethos behind the food at La Vara is to explore the influence of Moorish and Jewish cooking on Spanish cuisine. Classic regional dishes, like the Valencian fideuà (a noodle paella chockfull of seafood) or the cordero al ajo cabañil (lamb breast topped with a lemon-date confit) are irresistible. Look out for daily croquette specials and delve into adventurous salads, such as the pincho de cueta (a Gibraltar-style chicken heart salad in a lime dressing). (La Vara, 268 Clinton St., Brooklyn, 718-422-0065, lavarany.com)

Ethiopian eats at Awash

Awash is well known for having two Manhattan
Photo Credit: Awash

Awash is well known for having two Manhattan outposts and arrived in Brooklyn with the goal of offering an even more modern setting for a very unparalleled cuisine -- Ethiopian. The central tenet of Ethiopian cooking is that it is be shared communally, and foods are traditionally eaten without utensils, but rather by using injera (a sourdough bread made of teff flour) between your fingers.

Try one of the beef or chicken wats (stews) prepared with berbere (a traditional blend of spices) and pair with any number of sides, like gingery collard greens or spicy red lentils. And to wash it all down? Choose from one of the many imported Ethiopian beers. (Awash, 242 Court St., Brooklyn, 718-243-2151, awashbrooklyn.com)

Serious cocktails at Henry Public

Henry Public dubs itself an
Photo Credit: Henry Public

Henry Public dubs itself an "Old Time Brooklyn Saloon"-- and rightfully so. Cocktails are taken with utmost seriousness here. If you like something smoky, go for the Wide Awake (gin, lemon, ginger, Islay scotch) and if sweet and earthy is more your choice, sip on the Oddfellow (rum, citrus, maraschino liqueur, house-made bark and root syrup). Wines hail from New York State, and draught beers are in constant rotation. And if you all the drinking makes your stomach growl, go in for a turkey leg sandwich or marrow bones with toast. (Henry Public, 329 Henry St., Brooklyn, 718-852-8630, henrypublic.com)

A cozy atmosphere at Congress Bar

Everything a corner bar should be, Congress has
Photo Credit: Congress Bar

Everything a corner bar should be, Congress has a dimly lit intimate atmosphere that's easily conducive to unwinding (or starting your night out). Cocktails like the Rosemary's Stepdaughter, a mixture of honey gin, lemon and fresh rosemary, proffer an herbaceous sip. Other creations showcase the bar's inventive appeal, like the Oaxaca Old Fashioned (reposado tequila, mezcal, agave and mole bitters) or the High Tide (three different rums, pineapple, orgeat, mint). Snacks like Pop-Tarts and locally made jerkies add a dose of kitsch. It's easy to settle in here amid the wallpapered walls and spend the night. (Congress Bar, 208 Court St., Brooklyn, congressbarbk.com)

Another kind of wine list at June

June is a wine bar, but not your
Photo Credit: Junewinebk via Instagram

June is a wine bar, but not your run-of-the-mill spot serving red or white. Natural wines are the stars of the show here -- that is, wines made from independent producers with low intervention methods (no added sulfites, natural yeast fermentation, and often organic and biodynamic). By-the-glass offerings change to keep things interesting, but feature an enticing roster of Old World whites, reds and rosés, and also orange wines (yes, it's a thing). Venture out into bottle options and explore not oft imbibed regions like Czech Republic's Moravia or the Jura in France. Bites like the serrano ham board or fluke crudo keep things going, too. (June, 231 Court St., Brooklyn, 917-909-0434, junebk.com)

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