NYCReview

photo credit: Kate Pauley

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8.3

Dinner Party

$$$$

86 South Portland Avenue, Brooklyn
Earn 3X Points

Dinner Party is a Nice Thing. You know, that elusive Nice Thing that we “can’t have.” Unless you live in a CBS sitcom, your apartment probably isn’t big enough to host your own elaborate get-together. But this prix-fixe, BYOB restaurant recreates the real thing down to a T. Dinner Party provides a warm, intimate experience with unpretentious cooking, a welcoming host, and good conversation with some friends and new faces. 

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This Fort Greene restaurant serves different menus for lunch, brunch, and dinner every week, and they post their new menus on Instagram every Monday. The cozy space is mostly filled with communal tables (with a limited number of tables for two), and dinner involves a leisurely four-course meal that takes place over three hours. Wine is poured into mismatched cups, guests are encouraged to socialize, and there are enough vintage pillows and taper candles for you to leave your apartment without leaving your apartment.

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Unlike your apartment, this is a real restaurant with a real restaurant kitchen—but don’t expect anything fancy. The no-frills food is made with ingredients you can count on one hand, and it tastes like it was made by your one friend who can actually cook (but won’t hold you hostage as the guinea pig for their scallop mousse experiment). Expect things like a cheesy crostini that tastes like the best part of French onion soup, a subtly sweet Meyer lemon tart, and a coq au vin that's based on a recipe from the chef's grandmother, because of course it is.

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There’s usually about half an hour in between courses, which gives you plenty of time to crack open a bottle of wine and get to know the people around you. Sure, you might wind up with the dreaded NFT Guy at your table instead of your new crush, but that’s part of the fun. Bring a friend you can exchange covert glances with when NFT Guy starts getting into how much his crypto wallet is worth.

There’s always going to be some buzzy restaurant downtown where the chef insists you try his uni-on-ice cream experiment and you can barely hear your friends over the crowd. But at Dinner Party, you can sustain a conversation with the other dinner guests for more than five minutes. You might find out there’s more to NFT Guy than being a living meme or have a delightful conversation with the host about the family recipe behind the meatballs on your plate—all in a restaurant that feels like the spacious, inviting Fort Greene apartment you've had saved on Zillow forever. Doesn’t that sound nice?

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Food Rundown

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Dinner

There’s only one dinner seating per night, which commences at 7:30pm and ends around 10pm and requires a reservation (via Resy). Wednesday through Saturday, dinner costs $48—but on Tuesdays, it's $40. The four-course menu changes every week and has included everything from fluke with roasted endive to avgolemono soup. This place is BYOB, so check out the menu beforehand on IG to find the perfect wine pairing before you go.

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Lunch

Lunch is walk-in only, and it costs $22. The food is lighter than what you find at dinner, but it’s still portioned generously enough for a filling four-course meal. A past pre-fixe menu featured eggplant parm, meatballs, roasted broccolini with pine nuts, and ricciarelli for dessert.

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