Summer is about three things: long days, balmy nights, and drinking outdoors. This week’s Brooklyn Paper features out complete summer guide, starting on page 7, but kick off the season in style with our official outdoor dining guide:
Flatbush Farm: You won’t be knocking back your pint of Pinkus Organic Hefe amongst the haystacks and piggies at this farm, but in modern-day Brooklyn, any place with a 1,500-square-foot outdoor patio feels positively pastoral. The menu reads like a who’s who of favorite local suppliers, featuring seasonal Satur Farms veggies, grass-fed Fleischer’s Meats, and vegetarian-diet Nester Tello eggs from Red Hook.
Flatbush Farm [76 St. Marks Ave. near Sixth Avenue in Prospect Heights, (718) 622-3276].
Habana Outpost: Like a crocus signals spring, the opening of this chilled-out tropical respite means the boozy days of summer are just around the bend. The eco-conscious can feel righteous about partaking in a margarita (or two or three) blended into frosty submission by a bicycle-powered mixer. The grilled corn with cotija cheese, mayo, chile and lime puts the street fair stuff to shame.
Habana Outpost [757 Fulton St. at S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 858-9500].
Vela Tapas: This elegant, small-plates addition to Bay Ridge’s burgeoning dining scene has a happy secret; a secluded backyard patio perfect for sipping sangrias, caipirinhas, or generous glasses of Spanish red. Sharable bites — like patatas bravas with paprika aioli or dates with bacon and manchego cheese — are just the thing for diminished summer appetites.
Vela Tapas [8305 Third Ave. between 83rd and 84th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 680-0800].
Gowanus Yacht Club: The vacant lot by the entrance to the F and G trains on Smith Street undergoes a magical transformation when the weather turns warm — into a makeshift “beer garden” not unlike the one you and your college roommates cobbled together in the overgrown backyard of your dilapidated rental. Cheap suds, grilled meat, and questionable characters complete the picture. Ah, the good old days!
Gowanus Yacht Club (323 Smith St. at President Street in Carroll Gardens, no phone).
Fette Sau: This temple of pig is plenty popular even in the dead of winter, so just try to snag an outdoor picnic table on a beautiful summers day. It’s worth the wait; there’s no better place to chow down on smoked meat, burnt-end baked beans, or key lime pie, followed by gallons (yes, we said gallons) of delicious craft beer.
Fette Sau [354 Metropolitan Ave. at Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, (718) 963-3404].
Strong Place: This cozy Cobble Hill bistro relies heavily on seafood, and in our book, that’s a great thing. Offerings include crispy brook trout with grapefruit and fennel, diver scallops with lemon and English peas, and Mayan shrimp cocktail with chipotle cocktail sauce — and the back patio is a great place to relax with a plate of East Coast oysters with a zippy mignonette.
Strong Place [270 Court St. between Kane and Degraw Streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 855-2105].
Clemente’s Maryland Crab House: We can’t claim that these crabs are what you’d find in Maryland, but when the sun is high in Brooklyn, who the heck cares? We’ll take all-you-can-eat crustaceans of any origin, as long as we can hit them with a hammer and follow them up with a bucket of Coronas. A bayside tiki bar and outdoor lounge overlook the Venice marina — Chesapeake Bay it ain’t, but any place with a waterfront view gets a major pass.
Clemente’s Maryland Crabhouse [3939 Emmons Ave. off Shore Parkway in Sheepshead Bay, (718) 646-7373].