Colonie is a restaurant on Atlantic Avenue, on the north side of the street...so it still counts as Brooklyn Heights. That's an important technicality, considering the restaurant is publicly declaring itself the beginning of a new restaurant era for the neighborhood.
See, before Colonie, Brooklyn Heights did not have its own Frankies 457, or Marlow and Sons, or Prime Meats. There wasn’t really a good Date Night spot or Chronic Brunch destination unless you walked nearly six blocks into Cobble Hill. And for Brooklyn, that just seems ridiculous.
So Colonie opened its doors, earned itself one star from the Times, and is now consistently packed for dinner every night. Much like those other staple Brooklyn neighborhood spots, it can be tough to get a table, and it's not a cheap meal. But also like those other spots, Colonie is really f*cking good. We love both dinner and brunch here, from the drinks all the way to the dessert. The restaurant is comfortable and interesting, the staff is cool, and we love sitting at the open kitchen counter, downing lambrusco and watching our food come to life. The key seems to be in smart ordering, so ask your waiter for some guidance, or use the Food Rundown within. We happened to sit directly in front of the chef on our last visit, and he wasn't afraid to tell us what we should and shouldn't order. Had we not had the inside info, we might have skipped that half chicken or the gnudi. Luckily, we didn't. Neither should you.
A delicious disc made up of the tastiest parts of two cute animals. The port wine sauce and takes this terrine from great to unbelievable.
Thank god the chef recommended this to us from the counter seats we occupied in front of him. These sweet little balls of ricotta are incredible. It's our second favorite gnudi behind the Spotted Pig's. It's also the only other one we know of.
This is curiously listed in the vegetable section, even though it's technically a pasta. These little ravioli-like cubes are filled with some fresh pea paste, and it's good, though a bit tiring after a while. Split it with someone and you'll be happy.
I like my octopus charred, so this wasn't my favorite. It's delicate, with a soft texture that I didn't love. But it seems to be insanely popular at Colonie, so maybe I'm alone on this one.
This chicken is a home run, mostly due to the pool of mustard BBQ sauce that it sits on. The chicken is cooked perfectly, and even the grilled scallions on the plate are tasty. A must order.
Yes, brussels sprouts are getting tired, but Colonie makes 'em hot by frying them and tossing in some cranberries.
A nice, standard plate of brunch goodness. And for the blue cheese averse, don't be scared of the gruyere - it's subtle.
An amazing shrimp and grits. The head on shrimp was a nice touch, and the grits were perfect. Get it.
One of the best desserts we've had in a restaurant. Seriously. Never had date cake? Fear not, this one is almost like a sticky toffee pudding. And the salted crème fraîche ice cream is ridiculous.
We kicked off our brunch at Colonie with this basket of assorted pastries. There was a donut in there on the afternoon we ordered it. So, yeah. It was good.