Cuisine: “American Nouveau”
Address: 127 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Colonie is a solid restaurant. It has a vertical garden on the wall, which is cool. It also has some of the better cocktails I’ve had at a trendy restaurant, which is saying a lot considering most all Brooklyn restaurants try to excel in the cocktail arena. It makes the list of Brooklyn’s 5 Best Dinner Spots to Hit Up With Your Parents and is a great date spot.
I have to mimic what most of the other existing reviews say about Colonie – they do a fantastic job on the small plates but the mains are nothing to write home about. It doesn’t mean you don’t want to get any mains, it just means you need to maintain a good ratio. Using my super scientific skills I’ve determined you should have about 3 sides for every main, and one main for every 3 people you are with. Roughly. I mean…it’s not an exact science, despite my super scientific skills. Obviously base it off of how much you personally eat and how much the people you are with need to be full.
Colonie has a strong focus on using local ingredients, and the chef, originally from Maine, experiments with heirloom vegetables in his home garden (nearly extinct varieties of veggies that our American ancestors used to eat) so always keep your eye out for heirloom produce on the menu! I didn’t see any when I was there, but perhaps you will be luckier than I.
Drinks: A-mazing. The Empire State Sour (american whiskey, canton ginger, fresh ny apple juice, lemon juice, egg white, simple syrup, baked apple bitters) is one of the best cocktails I’ve ever tasted. Also fun is the Rhubarb Ginger Daiquiri (but only if you like Rhubarb!) and the Cool Hand Cuke.
Major points for having an in-house sommelier! A sommelier is someone whose sole job is to know EVERYTHING about wine and then to help you pick the perfect wine to go with your meal. We had some wine that the somm said was one of his favorites and told us was going to taste like a farm – and it did. It tasted like cow manure but in a really, really good way. That’s some kind of magic my friends. Read more about what a Somm does here.
*Fun Fact: Colonie only serves artisanal small batch whiskey, much to the dismay of my boyfriend’s father who really just wanted Maker’s Mark. There’s something slightly entertaining about older people stewing over what “artisanal small batch” means and how the hell they’re supposed to choose one.
Food: As at many restaurants of this caliber, there aren’t many ways you can go wrong. As I said above, Colonie is better at the small dishes than the large mains. For a group of 4-6, split many of the starters along with maybe two mains.
The menu changes with the season but my recommendations, and to give you an idea of the menu are as follows:
Crostini: The Duck Rillette Crostini is an absolute must. I’ve tried my fair share of duck (and consistently decided I don’t really like it) but this one is fantastic. Also delicious, the Housemade Ricotta isn’t anything out of the ordinary but generally a table pleaser.
Veggies: This is seasonal. They’re all good. When in doubt ask your server.
Meat & Cheese: We had Pate. It was good, but not my favorite thing.
Pasta: Usually there is one pasta on the menu and it’s a safe bet it will be really good. The one we had was a family fave.
Mains: The weaker portion of the menu. Choose what you most feel like, it will be good but not mind blowing.