The Village Voice might put it best when they call Gowanus restaurant The Pines “a destination for food nerds.” With an eclectic menu of New American cooking that changes daily, chef Angelo Romano (of Roberta’s fame) dreams up different brunch, dinner, and drinks on the regular. The offerings change daily, but if our recent meal—from a killer brioche served with mind-blowingly light foie gras to octopus with sour cherries—is any indication, you can’t really go wrong. Drinks too, like one with tequila, sea buckthorn (a tart, nutritious berry), and ginger, delight the palate with inspired combinations and obscure ingredients.
But the best part of The Pines might be the backyard, home to a recently opened outdoor kitchen. Only open Thursday through Sunday, its own original menu includes grilled clams and a half lobster with their creamy lardo and a heavenly vanilla butter. Combing a wildly creative approach to cuisine with the only-in-Brooklyn vibe of laid-back al fresco dining, the restaurant is the latest signal that Gowanus is on the rise. Make a perfect date night of it by getting dinner after the sunset Mr. Sunday dance parties to see for yourself.