Brooklyn Crab is the new indoor/outdoor seafood restaurant in Red Hook from the team behind Alma. It boasts a huge patio with views of the Brooklyn waterfront, a few full-service bars, and a mini golf course in the back. The restaurant also offers free shuttle service from the Carroll Street train station. The menu includes all sorts of raw bar and cooked seafood items, as well as fried chicken and steaks.
It sounds like Brooklyn Crab has the potential to be a hit, but so far the early diners are distracted and frustrated by the service. Here's a roundup of what people are saying about the two-week-old restaurant:
The No-nonsense Review: From an Eater commenter: "Brooklyn Crab is a certifiable shitshow. They really needed to do a soft open or something." [Eater Comments]
The Great Concept, Poorly Executed News: The only Menupages review says that while the idea is good, the place fails to deliver: "A great concept isn't enough to keep me coming back. You need to have people who know how to run the place effectively. Brooklyn Crab looks great on paper: a crab shack in the Red Hook neighborhood. The concept is great food with views of the harbor. Too bad the management can't seem to pull it all together. The wait for a table is upwards of two hours. Tack on another two hours for food. Service is nil and management seems absent. No one offered us a round of drinks after a half hour order never arrived. The menu is good but absurdly overpriced. The building is beautiful. Sad there is an amateur feel to how it's run. Hopefully they'll figure it out." [Menupages]
The Bad News: An Eater commenter shares an account of a recent meal: "I eat all over the city and have worked in the industry, and price aside, this place was awful. Shame because it is such a cool space! There was a ton of staff wondering around doing nothing, yet there is a "serve yourself" water station? Pretty sure they could handle it...It took about 15 minutes to get our drinks. I ordered a bloody mary that was to be served with an oyster. Then I was told they were out of oysters. Then someone else brought me an oyster and was confused that someone told me they were out of them. What? They were out of two of the appetizers we ordered, fried oysters and ipswich clams. Really? Then we never got the appetizers we ordered that they did have. Our crabs came to the table, after a really long wait, and when we told the food runner we didn't get our apps yet, he said "oh, do you still want them?" WTF. The best part was when one of the wondering staff stopped at our table, and instead of clearing our empty glasses, cleared a full glass of water off the table that I had poured myself at the "water station." First time, last time. Stick to City Island for crabs." [Eater Comments]
The Bad Service and Expensive News Some diners took to Facebook to comment on their time at Brooklyn Crab: "Worst single restaurant experience I've had in the last 15 years in NYC. Very sympathetic to bumps in the road on early days, but this was over the top. They completely screwed the order, it never ended up coming after 2 hours, and they kept asking me "what I wanted to do about it." Pathetic. And would have been expensive too (steam pot with 3 crab legs, 1 potato, and 1/2 corn for $46)! Too many good restaurants in NYC to deal with these amateurs." [Facebook]
The Good News: One Yelper comes to the defense of the new establishment: "I think everyone needs to relax and give this place a chance. I live in Carroll Gardens and love Red Hook so I've been very excited about this place opening. I think their business model is off but give them a few weeks and I think they will get the hang of it. The view is great, drinks are good (slightly overpriced), music was good and it has a nice New England feel. I will be going back." [Yelp]
More Good News: One of the positive Yelp reviews notes the tasty food and drinks: "I am always a pushover for eating near the waterfront and I love Red Hook, so a visit to Brooklyn Crab was in order. Went there this afternoon soon after they opened for business. Lovely late afternoon sun on the 2nd floor patio. We order a dozen Barcat oysters and the fried oyster and fried whole belly clam sandwiches, plus a glass of rose wine and a limeade with rosemary vodka cocktail. It was early and the staff was attentive. The oysters were plump and tasty. Sandwiches were good and the french fries were well prepared and nicely salty. Undersalted french fries are a pet peeve for me. The space is casual. I passed by on fri night and could see that it was a mob scene and that the staff was overwhelmed. If you are smart go to Brooklyn Crab earlier in the afternoon. I agree that the prices could be more reasonable. It is a good location and has potential." [Yelp]
The Really Bad News: An Eater reader writes about a less than pleasant experience: "I went there last night. It was the worst service I have ever had! Total mismanagement. Terrible food, cocktails are a joke. $170 for 2. Left hungry. They are ruining a great space." [Eater Comments]
The Unapologetically Bad News: From another Yelper: "I can count on one finger the number of times in my life I have left at $0.00 tip. That one finger is my middle finger, Brooklyn Crab.No need to run through the litany of horrors; I experienced all of the indignities that my fellow yelpers have mentioned and more. I give them one star because there's no zero-star option, and because I did have one happy moment at Brooklyn Crab: as my husband and I were leaving, we stopped to offer the owner/manager our advice, because truly, I would love to see this place succeed but there is just so, so very much to fix! A line began to form behind us as we talked to her. Perhaps the 3 hours with no food and one lukewarm Pacifico had made me delirious, but it reminded me of the scene in Airplane when the passengers start lining up in the aisle to "calm down" the hysterical woman, waiting patiently with their clubs, baseball bats, tire irons... so that made me giggle. Otherwise there was absolutely nothing redeeming about the evening. Time subtracted from my life never to be regained." [Yelp]
· All Coverage of Brooklyn Crab [~ENY~]
— Sarah Rose.