By:Â Nicole Lewis
For part three of the Little Known Bed-Stuy Eats series, I wanted to focus on a category of restaurant that I think deserves a little recognition in the food blogosphere: date spots. There is so much more to great food and great restaurants than the details we typically focus on. Artisanal foods and Ethnic eats are just one part of the equation of a thriving food scene. Being able to eat a great meal with the person you love in your neighborhood is one of the surest signs you're in a dynamic food zone.
Yet, great date spots are hard to find in this city as New Yorker's appreciation for tasty food and lack of kitchen space means we eat out regularly. Packed restaurants, long waits, and a noise level, which even makes it difficult to hear the sound of your own chewing does not make a good date.
In Bed-Stuy, you can take a break from the hustle of the busy city streets and enjoy a fine meal with your sweetie. While any of the establishments in Parts I and II would be great to order take out from and head home for a special evening, dining out provides an added element of romance.
Do or Dine
1108 Bedford Avenue Brooklyn, NY
This tiny spot is the latest addition to the Bed-Stuy block. It is the baby of two former fine dining employees who figured they should venture out on their own. At Do or Dine you will find fine dining with an irreverent twist. I mean irreverent in the best possible way as not sticking to the rules often makes for an uncommon, but amazing mash-up.
If you are looking for a date to get dressed up for, look no further. Though Do or Dine is a casual restaurant the food is properly dressed and adorned-why not follow suit.Â For a sharing-focused date try a combination of small plates paired with signature cocktails. The lamb with cumin and lime is perfectly crusted and fatty. "Et Tu Brute," Do or Dine's take on the Cesar salad (get it?), is deconstructed with mackerel stacked atop several leaves of grilled romaine and stabbed with a knife. Do or Dine's fun menu and laid-back vibe makes it a perfect spot to let flirtation run its course.
1102 Bedford Ave,Â Brooklyn, NY 11216
I am not sure if it's the ambiance or the way I leave Sud feeling so satisfied that makes me think it's the ultimate date spot in Bed Stuy. Enter this dimly-lit Italian eatery and you will be instantly relaxed. The exposed brick walls and candlelight creates an incredibly inviting space. A warm interior seems fitting for indulging in comfortingly simplistic Southern Italian fare.
Here you will find classic Italian dishes, a well-curated list of Southern Italian wines, and a small and friendly staff. The menu reflects the best of the season with new creations added monthly as the seasons change. This month try the rabbit ragu or the gnocchi in a Gorgonzola cream sauce. Yum!Â If you like red wines try the Primitivo; this dark red and bold wine is full of fruit and spice and perfect for the cold winter months.Â Oh, and don't skip dessert; the panna cotta is smooth and delicious.
Sud is already taking reservations for Valentines Day! Romance awaits.
305 Franklin Ave Brooklyn, NY
Dough is not your typical date spot, but this hole-in-the-wall doughnut shop is a go-to for a first date. Maybe it's more of a go-to for a date that went so well it lasted until the next morning kind of date or for a just grabbing something sweet after a delicious meal kind of date. Actually, Dough is just a daily go-to; date or not. Taking someone to Dough conveys good taste and an appreciation for simple pleasures in life. It's like saying to your date, "Hey, I'm not complicated and I know how to appreciate good things." The only foreseeable problem with a date at Dough is that you won't have any place to sit, but no worries, just take a stroll to nearby Ft. Greene Park. How romantic!
So, on to the main attraction. Dough features the most wonderfully light and fluffy doughnuts I have ever had. Ever! The uncommon glazes and fillings like hibiscus, passion fruit, blood orange, and lemon meringues are a reflection of sheer pastry genius. All are made fresh right on the premises-daily. At Dough a doughnut and French press coffee will run you about $5. Your date won't even mind that you didn't spend a lot of money. Trust me, it's that good! If you don't believe me, then watch this video below.