Magazine article The New Yorker

Brooklyn Crab

Magazine article The New Yorker

Brooklyn Crab

Article excerpt

The haters came on early and strong for this venturesome tri-level seafood shack in Red Hook. Almost immediately upon Brooklyn Crab's opening, in June, Yelp reviews collectively deemed it one of the worst restaurants in Brooklyn, mostly owing to poor service, high prices, and epic waits. It was as if New Yorkers had been hoping for so long for such a place--sure, there are lobster rolls on every corner, but what about a proper crab boil and seafood galore somewhere near the water?--that nothing could possibly live up to their fantasies. But, if you listen to the disgruntled Yelpers, you might be deterred from a rare experience: mini-golf and beer as a prelude to fresh cold oysters and perfectly steamed lobster, eaten in the open, relatively salty air, with a killer view of New York Harbor.

The owners, Jamie Vipond and Matthew Bohner--who also run the rooftop Mexican restaurant Alma--double as woodworkers, and, according to a server, built the place. The structure, reminiscent of a D.I.Y. Cape Hatteras stilt house, is impressively grand in spite of all the raw wood and cement. On the ground floor, there's that eighteen-hole mini-golf course, a beanbag toss, and a pool table next to a porpoise-and-orca mural airbrushed onto corrugated steel. The charming salty-dog second-floor bar works overtime to appease the waiting hordes, who gaze longingly at the lucky ones already seated. The food, served in metal trays and plastic baskets on picnic tables, is simple and fresh, sourced from the Eastern seaboard. …

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