Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 11/06/2013
Photo: Colin Clark
521 Hicks St., 718-534-5498, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
Brooklyn parents are grateful for Vekslers, a tavern that soothes frayed nerves (think good strong drinks and elevated comfort food) and makes them feel less guilty for allowing their children french fries and cheddar cheese "whiz" since the melted topping is homemade. Other than a bar and a row of booths, the space is unadorned; it was formerly a hydroponics shop called Brooklyn Farms. The same proprietor, Rob Veksler, is behind it; his chef is Joseph Bayley, a Chopped winner and vet of Manhattan's Boqueria. At dinner, fried brussels sprouts dressed with queso fresco, tat soi salad with toasted peanuts and shaved fennel, and braised short ribs with grilled peaches and cauliflower puree are all completely satisfying. And who can't get behind a quarter pounder with cheese, its brisket sourced from Pat LaFrieda? Brunch is also recommended—the time for short-rib hash, sloppy joes and Bloody Marys.