Brooklyn – Red Hook
365 Van Brunt St at Dikeman St
While toiling away in the food-magazine world and at venerable bars like Pegu Club, St. John Frizell dreamed of opening his own place. He chose the budding Red Hook enclave to plant roots, naming his café-bar for a Revolutionary War fort that was nearby, whose cannons helped George Washington's troops escape a British onslaught. (Now Red Hook is more known for Ikea and Fairway.) Strong coffee is from Counter Culture, each cup individually filtered, and at night Frizell crafts classic cocktails. At the moment, the menu mainly consists of well-constructed sandwiches, oysters and salad. It's an easygoing hangout, with locals nonchalantly strolling in and lingering in sturdy, leather-bound chairs that came from the old Playboy Club in St. Louis.