There are a lot of different ways to spend three hours. You could Wikipedia Mount Vesuvius and go down an Internet rabbit hole that somehow ends at a biography of Rihanna. Or you could read the first nine pages of a classic Irish novel, then take a two-and-a-half hour nap.
You could also have dinner at Brooklyn Cider House. Most restaurants where a meal lasts this long tend to be white-tablecloth spots where people dress like Mr. Andrews in the dining room on the Titanic. But Brooklyn Cider House is the opposite: a fun place to spend a few hours drinking and eating with a group.
Brooklyn Cider House is a bar, brewery, and prix-fixe restaurant in a converted warehouse in Bushwick. The bar’s up front, the industrial dining room is at the back, and in between is where the cider lives - in barrels the size of your mom’s old Grand Caravan. You’ll head to this tasting room after each course in order to “catch” your cider as it streams out of the giant vats.
If your only experience with cider is Angry Orchard and a severe morning need for Advil and blue Gatorade, know that the cider here doesn’t have any added sugar and is more funky than sweet. This is particularly important considering you can catch as much of it as you want between each of the Basque-inspired food courses.
This place has a lot going on, so you might expect the food to be an afterthought. But the four-course prix-fixe dinner here can stand on its own. The dishes are all served family-style, and the highlight is the ribeye. For a charred, juicy bone-in steak like this, we’d expect to pay a slightly uncomfortable amount of money and be happy if they didn’t skimp on the side of roasted potatoes. But at Brooklyn Cider House, you get this, along with three other courses and unlimited cider for $49 (plus tax and tip).
Somewhere around the second round of cider catching, as the cider sommelier talks about how they built a custom shipping container big enough to transport these barrels from Spain, you’ll probably decide that this was a far better use of your time than falling down another Wikipedia rabbit hole. During the fourth tasting, you may decide that you could use a nap. Fortunately, you still have that Irish novel lying around somewhere.
Like all the dishes here, this is a big portion. We like the charred vegetables, especially the mushrooms, but don’t fully understand the chorizo nuggets on top.
This is a traditional Basque dish that’s basically a cod omelette. If you usually like your eggs somewhere between minimally fishy and not-at-all fishy, then this will probably be too fishy for you.
This is a seriously good steak. They say each person gets about nine ounces of this bone-in ribeye, and while we never whipped out a scale, we’re pretty sure it’s more like 15 ounces. We’re not complaining.
We rarely have a problem ending our meal with a cheese plate, but this is our least favorite thing here. A few small pieces of manchego with some quince jelly, and whole walnuts that are a pain to crack and eat.
If you don’t want to commit to the three-hour prix-fixe in the dining room, you can sit in the bar area and order cider and a la carte food there. Make sure to get these chicken wings.
Another option only on the bar menu. The fries are forgettable, but this is a solid burger with some crunchy onions on a very good brioche bun.
You may not be hungry after your three-hour meal and you also may not be eager to consume more things made from apples. Ignore those feelings and order this as an add-on to the prix-fixe. The apple cider syrup on top is ridiculous.