Brooklyn served as my home for the first half of my life. The borough still boasts some of my favorite eateries that I can’t help but flock to whenever I’m in town. Here are just a few local places on the south side of Brooklyn that locals and visitors should have on their list.
With the warm weather making its way to the northeast, Brighton Beach is the place to go. Take a seat on the boardwalk at Tatiana Restaurant and Nightclub located at 3152 Brighton 6th Street. Do some people watching while enjoying the ocean breezes. Besides the water view, you can indulge in the tasty Russian cuisine. The menu reads in both English and Russian and the wait staff speaks enough English to explain and make suggestions. It can be a somewhat of a heavy fare for day or night, but the Russian culture is a truly indulgent one and the chef at Tatiana has adapted and created some dishes with a lighter touch. One of my favorites: the pan fried potatoes with shiitake mushrooms.
Don’t be fooled by Grotta Azzurra Pizza located in Bensonhurst, a beloved, yet ever- changing neighborhood. While the pizza lives up to its billing, other dishes, including the shrimp parmigiana, are terrific. I have been visiting this family-owned bistro since I was twelve and the food and service has remained the same. I’m always greeted with a wink and a smile, almost like a sweet nod to years gone by. Grotta Azzurra is located at 8505 21st Avenue in Brooklyn, steps away from the D train. The Mr. Softie ice cream truck makes it’s rounds during the summer months, just in case you were craving a throwback to childhood.
The final stop on my best eats of Brooklyn tour is at Ginza Sushi, a small off the beaten path establishment that makes delectable specialty rolls and boasts amazingly fresh fish all day long. Ginza is well known for half price rolls, sushi and sashimi during all kinds of hours. Their spicy tuna roll is a nice treat, since they mince the fish and treat it just right to make the perfectly sized, mouthwatering roll. Don’t forget to throw in a steamed shumai appetizer, because it’s just that good. Ginza is located a bit south of the Midwood section of Brooklyn and caters to the locals in the area. Simply GPS 2809 Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn and allow yourself to become part of the local fiber. The owners of Ginza will definitely make you feel right at home.