Everyone wants to have a "place where everybody knows your name" in their nabe. I'm lucky enough to claim Jack the Horse Tavern as mine. A rustic, decidedly not-hip restaurant in North Brooklyn Heights, JtH offers a comfortable attitude, solid -- sometimes seriously inspired -- fare, and a bar program that makes the cocktail nerd in me smile.
Evidence of the latter is pictured above: a riff on the New Orleans classic known as the Pimm's Cup, except this one includes a bit of marmalade and a generous topping of Prosecco.
Speaking of New Orleans, head bartender Matt is formerly of Commander's Palace. Steve, the other mixologist behind the bar, was trained at James Beard Award-nominated Maison Premiere, the NOLA-influenced absinthe bar where Maxwell Britten mans the cocktail program. And, what could be more appropriate than that? Loyal readers may recall that I gave Britten his first media spotlight way back when -- when he was behind the bar at Jack the Horse Tavern himself.
And, now a moment for the food.
First off, a special shout out to Chef Tim Oltmans for his genius Macaroni & Cheese, served only as an appetizer, because it is too rich to possibly serve in larger portions without a cardiac specialist nearby. Other standbys that I adore? His gorgeously juicy Roasted Free-Range Half Chicken with Garlic Chive Potato Puree and Roasted Cauliflower, and the Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop with Mustard Spaetzle, Braised Red Cabbage and Roasted Apples.
Should I even mention brunch? Think not. Would prefer to keep that to myself (and the crowds that line up for JtH's Big Brioche French Toast, Shrimp & Grits, Eggs Orleans, and a side of Bacon, Bacon, Bacon!!!)
I must also send out special kudos to JtH front-of-the-house manager Ryan, who keeps everything moving so beautifully that there is nary a hiccup in sight. Besides, if a hiccup did present itself, he'd know just the potent drink or two to order you from the bar to set things to right.
So, what makes a "Go-To" even better in my book? A bit of careful expansion. Word is that JtH will be opening up a wee annex next door with -- drumroll please -- a raw bar. I for one look forward to sidling up to that bar. And, until then, sidle I will at JtH proper.