The Gr-Eat Outdoors

by Julie Besonen, 06/05/2013

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  • Vinegar Hill House
    72 Hudson Ave., 718-522-1018, DUMBO, Brooklyn
    The enchantment begins before you even walk in the door of Vinegar Hill House, thanks to the sweet Brooklyn block on which it's cocooned. A table in the back garden further beguiles, framed by trees, verdant vines and a wood fence. Should you have to sit inside, you will not be shortchanged. Design touches include a copper-topped bar, stained glass, vintage wallpaper and wainscoting, conveying a cross between an old-timey saloon and Catherine Sloper's parlor in The Heiress. This is the ultimate date place and also where to take your parents to celebrate your engagement. What a boon that chef Brian Leth's farm-to-table food is delicious. Dependent on available ingredients, the menu changes frequently. If you have an inclination toward chicken livers, the pistachio-topped mousse whipped up here is dreamy. Pastas are fortified with long-cooked ragùs, and meats and fish are fired in the wood-burning oven.

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