588 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Sometimes you're in the mood for a wine bar. But the thing is, you aren't necessarily in the mood for wine. This means it's time to get on the train and head over to Williamsburg's Huckleberry Bar, a cocktail lounge that feels like a wine bar. Or maybe it's a wine bar that serves high end cocktails? Either way.
The interior of Huckleberry Bar is dark and dim and moody. They do a fantastic job of walking the fine line between cool masculine and romantic. As a result, I felt right at home at the bar here with Bro a few months back and was equally fine on a recent night there with Elbie. Like many Brooklyn restaurants and bars, there's an outdoor patio in the rear and that's where we chose to sit. It was a gorgeous night. Word to the wise though, if you don't like cigarette smoke, stay inside. Most everyone on the patio was smoking and Huckleberry doesn't object. They'll even give you ashtrays.
Huckleberry Bar has less of a restaurant menu than it has a small plates menu. Cheese plates, appetizers, and sandwiches dominate the way they would in a wine bar. After a round of spicy jalapeno infused cocktails were ordered, our first dish, the Bacon Wrapped Dates, arrived. It's hard for me to imagine anyone not loving bacon wrapped dates and these didn't change my mind. In fact, we ordered another round of them when the table was being cleared. The next dish was the Rabbit Terrine, a rabbit pate with toast, pickled carrots, pickled green beans, and mustard. The picked vegetables were very good, but the rabbit itself was about as physically tasteless as anything could possibly be. If the dates were little explosive bites of flavor, then this was its polar opposite. We also ordered the Cured Salmon. In my mind, I conjured up some variant of lox. Instead, we were served what appeared to be salmon salad like you might get at Ess-a-Bagel. It didn't really do anything for us.
On the plus side, Elbie and I split a sandwich, the Braised Short Rib and Fontina Sandwich and it was very good. Fontina cheese, short ribs, onion and peppers, with a little side salad that might have been there for color but that I ate anyway. Our one complaint was that the fillings were very thin and you wind up with a sandwich that's more bread than anything else. Nonetheless, we gave it a hearty thumbs up.
With a long train ride home ahead of us and with the couple making out at the table behind us, we didn't stick around for dessert. We ultimately had a very good time at Huckleberry Bar and I'm sure to return. The atmosphere was spot on and the drinks were great.
Sandwiches average $10 each, small plates average $8 each, and cocktails average $11 each. You can have a nice evening here for not a lot of money.
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