Friday, March 5, 2010
Vanderbilt Av in Prospect Heights is continuing to raise it's culinary game. For years well known neighborhood eats like "The Usual", "Soda" (which makes great burgers in addition to serving brews and spirits) Zaytoons and long term faves like Bob Law's Seafood Cafe have been the block standard. But with the onslaught of "The Beast" and even more recent "The Vanderbilt" (which with it's elegant yet modest decor, looks quite the fancy, though I've yet to indulge) there seems to be an ever higher lever of dining to be had.
I love the new biz on Vanderbilt. It almost makes up for the difficulty the avenue has promoting socializing due to it's width, unlike cozier thin strips like Court Street or Bleeker Street can.
Not to be undone I guess is the new pub I found last week "Woodwork"(pictured below). It's new to me at least, and that means I'm either the first or the last to write about it.
In short "Woodwork" located on the corner of Dean Street and Vanderbilt (follow the bike paths!) is not a restaurant but a bar. And of all things a soccer (excuse, Football) bar. With wide plasma screens of World Football playing in stereo vision, and a long list of beers and pub spirits.
That the tables and bar itself are made from thick slabs of oak rescued from the past (they have a leaflet explaining the history, but I used mine for a coaster, I deferred to the wood so much) adds even more to the cozy feeling of being shipboard with a good gang of soaked mates. The also have a little history of their inspirations written on that leaflet which I found goofily charming (they reference the New York Cosmos N.A.S.L soccer team that Pelé slummed with in the 70's) It's definitely an atmospheric joint.
It's a long way from the days in the late 80's when the Dean Street Cafe (Corner Underhill and Dean) debuted leading people in the neighborhood to openly questioned the logic of starting new businesses in the area, especially a restaurant.
Plus I always say yes to $3 Red Stripes.
That there were crowds fogging up the windows with their human crush surprised me, maybe I am the last to know. Have a look see.