Even in the NBA, you really only have to be good at one thing. Kyle Korver, for example, just shoots three-pointers, and James Harden is the Thomas Edison of pretending to get fouled. And you can think of restaurants in a similar way. When a place focuses on one item and does it very well, they’re pretty much guaranteed a crowd. The Fly, a place in Bed-Stuy that’s equal parts restaurant and wine bar, happens to be very good at chicken and wine.
The Fly is a walk-in only spot (reservations available for parties of 8-20) from the people behind Cervo’s and Hart’s, and it’s an attractive space with plain white walls and the lighting scheme of a movie in which people are constantly writing letters by candlelight. There are eight tables in the back and a couple of booths to the side (all of which you’ll probably have to wait for), but our favorite area is the bar up front. It’s big and U-shaped with plenty of stools, and it’s the perfect place to loiter with a glass of wine and stare out a window while looking refined, mysterious, and well-adjusted. You can also eat a full dinner there, or just grab some drinks and a snack with a date.
photo credit: Teddy Wolff
Just be sure to do your homework and make sure that this date likes chicken. The menu at The Fly consists exclusively of a whole chicken, a half chicken, a chicken sandwich, a veggie sandwich, and a few different sides like a salad and a basket of fries. Like most fries, these ones will improve your life - but if you’re going the potato route, get the roasted ones in a pool of chicken jus. The chicken sandwich covered in crunchy slaw is similarly excellent.
But don’t get distracted and forget about the rotisserie chicken. It’s the reason why you eat here, and a whole one will feed two hungry people for $32. The skin is crispy, the meat is perfectly cooked, and it’ll come carved up on a big metal plate, so you won’t have to roll up your sleeves and start performing surgery.
photo credit: Teddy Wolff
Wine is the other big reason you come to The Fly - and if you only ever drank here, we’d be a little disappointed, but ultimately we’d understand. The wine here is all natural, and when you stop by, you might find a chilled red from the Canary Islands, a few different orange wines from South America, and other options that are excellent with or without chicken. And if you’d rather have a beer or a cocktail, there’s a good selection of those as well. Stop by on a warm day, sit near the big open doors, and slowly work your way through the drink list. That’s one way to feel complete, or at least extremely comfortable and kind of buzzed.
Make this your new neighborhood spot when you want to drink somewhere significantly nicer than the place where you order Miller High Life and shout at a pinball machine. Or make a trip out on a weekend night when you and a couple of friends want to eat a great dinner that can easily cost less than $40 per person. This dinner will mostly consist of wine and chicken - but when a place is as good as both of those things as LeBron is at getting buckets and alienating teammates, you don’t need anything else.
This chicken is incredibly juicy with skin so crispy you’ll wish it was in vacuum-sealed bags at your local bodega. Split a whole one with one other person, or sit at the bar and eat a half chicken by yourself like you’re a weary traveler in a 17th-century tavern (full of people who say “glou glou”). Also, don’t forget to order the $2 side of sour-cream based white sauce.
This sandwich comes on a crunchy bun with a pile of pulled chicken and a crispy slaw to brighten things up - and it should be a part of your life. It’ll most likely get all over your face while you eat it, but you’ve probably done much more embarrassing things that were a lot less rewarding.
If you like your fries well-done, you’ll love these. And if you don’t like your fries well-done, you’ll probably say something like, “These are a little over-cooked,” while you continue to put them in your mouth. Order them for the table.
Elegantly described as “potatoes” on the menu, these might seem a little boring at first. But they’re surprisingly flavorful, and they come in a pool of rich chicken jus. You want at least one bowl in front of you, and preferably more than one if you’re with a group.
If you don’t eat some fresh leafy vegetables, are you going to spend all night pacing around your room, feeling as if you’ve made a grave mistake? If so, order this perfectly good salad. If not, go for the greens and the potatoes.