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The Brooklyn Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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12123123112008_10_hasmaps.jpegDoes Brooklyn have its own unique culinary identity apart from Manhattan? Are all the young, ambitious chefs and restaurateurs opening in Brooklyn these days? And are any Brooklyn restaurants worth the train/cab/boat/helicopter ride from the Upper East Side? These are all questions that can be debated, endlessly. But one thing's for certain: There are a lot of terrific new restaurants in Brooklyn right now. Here they are in map form.

Some of these restaurants serve fancy tasting menus, while others offer great comfort food. All of them are less than a year old. Take a peek at Eater's first-ever Brooklyn Heatmap:

For a guide to Manhattan's restaurants-of-the-moment, check out the Manhattan Heatmap.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Gwynnett Street

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Chef Justin Hilbert serves highly inventive, but completely accessible American fare at this critically acclaimed Williamsburg restaurant. The dining room is cool and comfortable, and the bar is a fine place to catch a drink, even if you're not staying for dinner. The restaurant offers an $85 per person tasting menu, but you can also order a la carte.

Blanca is one of the biggest dining surprises of the year. After garnering acclaim for his tasting menus at Roberta's, chef Carlo Mirarchi decided to bring the operation to whole new restaurant next door. The meal includes about 25 small courses, including pasta, fish, meat, and vegetable dishes. Reservations for the $180 dinner are only available by phone on the first of the month. (Photo)

The Pines

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The Pines is the new restaurant from Aaron Lefkove and Andy Curtin of Littleneck, and chef Angelo Romano, formerly of Roberta's and dearly departed Williamsburg restaurant Masten Lake. Romano coaxes a lot of flavor out of simple proteins and fresh market vegetables, and his pastas are incredible. The dining room has a nice, worn-in feel.

Battersby

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At Battersby, chefs Joseph Ogrodnek and Walker Stern do wonderful things with vegetables and freshly made pastas. The menu changes nightly, but you'll always find 12-15 carefully plated dishes full of brights, clean flavors. The restaurant has drawn raves from some of the city's top critics, and Andrew Knowlton placed it on his Top 10 Best New Restaurants list for Bon Appetit.

Governor

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The third restaurant from the Colonie team offers a menu of modern farm-to-table cuisine from Per Se vet Brad McDonald. The space has a living plant wall, a chef's counter, a bar, and plenty of natural light. Governor is a great date night spot.

La Vara

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At La Vara, chefs Alex Raij and Eder Montero are serving a style of Spanish cuisine that has Moorish and Jewish influences. The food coming out of the kitchen here is unique for New York, but it's also very easy to enjoy. Make sure to order the fideúa and the chicken hearts.

Dassara

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The big draw at this new Carroll Gardens restaurant is the "deli ramen" made with matzo balls and smoked meat from Mile End. But so far, early diners also love the more traditional noodle soups, and the small plates like pork buns and mackarel tartare. To drink, Dassara offers several sake and shochu-based cocktails developed by Alchemy Consulting.

Allswell

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Chef Nate Smith knows how to cook burgers and pastas — both of which are always great at Allswell — but he also has a knack for cooking vegetable and seafood dishes. The best thing to do here is to order several (or all) of the middle course dishes and share them in a group.
(Photo )

Reynard

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Reynard is the new all-day restaurant in the Wythe Hotel from Williamsburg dream team Andrew Tarlow and Sean Rembold, of Marlow & Sons and Diner. The space is airy and bright, and the menu features the same style of slyly inventive American cooking that made Marlow and Diner such big hits. Order any of the grilled or baked dishes, and make sure to try one of the super-smooth house cocktails.

Pork Slope

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Pork Slope is the new bar and restaurant from Dale Talde, Dave Massoni, and John Bush, who opened the wildly popular restaurant Talde earlier this year. The bar serves cheap beer as well as fancy craft ales, and the food menu includes Talde's version of Southern comfort foods like fried chicken, pulled pork, chili, and a fried shrimp sandwich. This restaurant offers strong value — most of the entrees are under $14, and the burger is just $6.50.

Pok Pok Ny

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Pok Pok NY is Portland phenom Andy Ricker's first sit-down restaurant in NYC. Ricker is dedicated to recreating the flavors and textures of traditional Thai cuisine, and the food is very reasonably priced. There's usually a wait for a table in the tiny restaurant, but thankfully, you can hang out and have a beer in the restaurant's covered outdoor space while you wait.

Hillside

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Head to this cozy Vinegar Hill House spinoff for oysters, wine, and meaty shareable plates like homemade pâté and bone marrow with bottarga. The space has a laid-back, vaguely Southern Californian feel.

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Gwynnett Street

Chef Justin Hilbert serves highly inventive, but completely accessible American fare at this critically acclaimed Williamsburg restaurant. The dining room is cool and comfortable, and the bar is a fine place to catch a drink, even if you're not staying for dinner. The restaurant offers an $85 per person tasting menu, but you can also order a la carte.

Blanca

Blanca is one of the biggest dining surprises of the year. After garnering acclaim for his tasting menus at Roberta's, chef Carlo Mirarchi decided to bring the operation to whole new restaurant next door. The meal includes about 25 small courses, including pasta, fish, meat, and vegetable dishes. Reservations for the $180 dinner are only available by phone on the first of the month. (Photo)

The Pines

The Pines is the new restaurant from Aaron Lefkove and Andy Curtin of Littleneck, and chef Angelo Romano, formerly of Roberta's and dearly departed Williamsburg restaurant Masten Lake. Romano coaxes a lot of flavor out of simple proteins and fresh market vegetables, and his pastas are incredible. The dining room has a nice, worn-in feel.

Battersby

At Battersby, chefs Joseph Ogrodnek and Walker Stern do wonderful things with vegetables and freshly made pastas. The menu changes nightly, but you'll always find 12-15 carefully plated dishes full of brights, clean flavors. The restaurant has drawn raves from some of the city's top critics, and Andrew Knowlton placed it on his Top 10 Best New Restaurants list for Bon Appetit.

Governor

The third restaurant from the Colonie team offers a menu of modern farm-to-table cuisine from Per Se vet Brad McDonald. The space has a living plant wall, a chef's counter, a bar, and plenty of natural light. Governor is a great date night spot.

La Vara

At La Vara, chefs Alex Raij and Eder Montero are serving a style of Spanish cuisine that has Moorish and Jewish influences. The food coming out of the kitchen here is unique for New York, but it's also very easy to enjoy. Make sure to order the fideúa and the chicken hearts.

Dassara

The big draw at this new Carroll Gardens restaurant is the "deli ramen" made with matzo balls and smoked meat from Mile End. But so far, early diners also love the more traditional noodle soups, and the small plates like pork buns and mackarel tartare. To drink, Dassara offers several sake and shochu-based cocktails developed by Alchemy Consulting.

Allswell

Chef Nate Smith knows how to cook burgers and pastas — both of which are always great at Allswell — but he also has a knack for cooking vegetable and seafood dishes. The best thing to do here is to order several (or all) of the middle course dishes and share them in a group.
(Photo )

Reynard

Reynard is the new all-day restaurant in the Wythe Hotel from Williamsburg dream team Andrew Tarlow and Sean Rembold, of Marlow & Sons and Diner. The space is airy and bright, and the menu features the same style of slyly inventive American cooking that made Marlow and Diner such big hits. Order any of the grilled or baked dishes, and make sure to try one of the super-smooth house cocktails.

Pork Slope

Pork Slope is the new bar and restaurant from Dale Talde, Dave Massoni, and John Bush, who opened the wildly popular restaurant Talde earlier this year. The bar serves cheap beer as well as fancy craft ales, and the food menu includes Talde's version of Southern comfort foods like fried chicken, pulled pork, chili, and a fried shrimp sandwich. This restaurant offers strong value — most of the entrees are under $14, and the burger is just $6.50.

Pok Pok Ny

Pok Pok NY is Portland phenom Andy Ricker's first sit-down restaurant in NYC. Ricker is dedicated to recreating the flavors and textures of traditional Thai cuisine, and the food is very reasonably priced. There's usually a wait for a table in the tiny restaurant, but thankfully, you can hang out and have a beer in the restaurant's covered outdoor space while you wait.

Hillside

Head to this cozy Vinegar Hill House spinoff for oysters, wine, and meaty shareable plates like homemade pâté and bone marrow with bottarga. The space has a laid-back, vaguely Southern Californian feel.

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