From the team that brought you Battersby, meet Dover, an upscale restaurant in Carroll Gardens, which is apparently not an oxymoron anymore. At least that’s what the owners of this place and Bergen Hill across the street would have you believe. We actually caught some social media flak from the Bergen Hill team when we suggested that their restaurant was too expensive, and some of their argument referenced this place as a counterpoint. It's true that Dover is also an expensive restaurant - more expensive than Bergen Hill. But that doesn't change the fact that both of these places are a bit of an experiment. Regardless of how you structure your menu, $100 per person is a lot in this 'hood.
In reality though, none of that probably matters to you. Tasting menus and high dollar ingredients are nothing new to anyone who eats out regularly in New York City, regardless of the restaurant's location. What you really want to know is whether or not the place is worth your hard-earned coin. In Dover's case, the answer is "maybe." This restaurant is operating on a very high level, and the food is incredibly well thought out. But we found it to be a bit hit or miss. We had a few dishes that were excellent, and a few that definitely weren't. The service was also a bit too overbearing, to the point that they would try to remove any plate from the table the second someone wasn't eating directly from it. We appreciate the attention, but yes, I am planning on finishing the rest of that lobster that you just put in front of me four minutes ago.
Ultimately, we probably won't come back to Carroll Gardens just to eat at Dover. We'd go across the street to Bergen Hill again instead, where the food is much more memorable and unique enough that we can't find the exact same thing somewhere in Manhattan. If you live in Brooklyn, put Dover on your radar for the next time you're looking to drop some dough on a fancy meal. Or just go to Battersby instead.
Food RundownBroiled Oyster
A broiled oyster with a Béarnaise-type sauce on top. It's a tasty bite, and a pretty good way to start a meal here.Carrots
Carrots braised in orange juice and butter. You want these, obviously.Cauliflower
Along with the lobster, this was a strong contender for best dish at Dover. The little bites of cauliflower are mixed in with some raisins and pistachios, which makes for a nice sweet/crunchy situation. Order it.Octopus
This was one of the highlights. Chunks of soft, tender octopus in a white bean stew with chorizo and piquillo peppers. It hit on nothing but high notes for us.Lobster
A very simple and very delicious lobster tail. This thing has been cooked perfectly under some dry heat, and the flavor is incredible. We were surprised at how much we liked this.Lamb Ribs
These sounded great on paper, but they were really fatty and not all that good. Spare yourself the gristle and order something else.Chicken for Two
This is a Green Circle chicken, which we should discuss if you aren't yet familiar. Basically, Green Circle chickens have a better life than you do. They roam freely on a large farm in Pennsylvania, are fed a strict diet of scraps from Gramercy Tavern and Daniel, and take a barre class every Tuesday and Thursday. The idea is that they will taste better as a result of being ridiculously pampered, which, no sh*t. Anyway, Dover serves these chickens, and for $65, you and a friend can eat one two ways. The first preparation is a truffled chicken salad, which you are served before the second course - the roasted chicken meat with trimmings. We loved the chicken salad portion of this, but the bird itself just didn't taste as opulent as we had hoped it might. You're probably better off just eating a rich person.