Monday, August 6, 2007

Black Mountain Wine Bar :: Guest Contributor:: Fellow Brooklynite and All Around Good Guy, Jim D.

(Brunch Anytime's very first contributor- yay!!!)

*** R E V I E W ***

BLACK MOUNTAIN WINE BAR – So I journeyed over to the corner of Hoyt and Union to see if I could find another day of the week in which to put money in the pocket of Alan Harding, Brooklyn’s restaurant magnate and part time TV celeb. Just like all of Alan’s places it had a definite theme – a BK version of a Vienna wine bar – the kind of place you would go after seeing an opera on the Gowanus. The rough hewn Adirondack chairs and tables out front seem to be an homage to either the Alps or the Catskills, but are probably the most oddball thing about the place – inside it's a bit restrained and actually un-kitschy – subdued colors, wainscoting, couple of benches, tiny café tables, and a corner fireplace. It was packed on a Thursday night and the beautiful people factor was high. And - like all of his places, Alan was ubiquitous behind the open air kitchen, except that we were informed that he was just stopping by to help his friend, the real owner, come up with some daily specials – this was one new Brooklyn restaurant that Alan Harding doesn’t own. Who knew.

This place has a great wine list –and a wait staff who really know their stuff and are full of opinions and suggestions. The menu is small – not the place to come for a full blown meal – think late night snacks, or first date grazing – cheese plates, charcuterie, a couple (literally) sandwiches and salads. The specials were unique and from looking around the room, the most popular options. There is a reason for this. While the house pressed sandwich was and salads were great, the cheese plates and charcuterie were so small, my dining companion remarked that they were "caviar portions." While the cheese list was great, each order (I got three) consisted of two small slices, accompanied by a few slices of bread and a really good fig chutney. In a neighborhood where you can get really great cheese or meat plates at Sample or Robin De Bois, it was really a ridiculous misstep. I mean, go to Fairway or join the Park Slope Co-Op if your wholesale cheese prices are that bad.

That said, the ambiance was great. The wine list is really the star, and while the beer list is small, it's considered. This is not a neighborhood watering hole – yet. It needs to get its groove, and frankly needs to let its hair down a little. But, it’s full of beautiful people, and really is there any other reason to go out in Brooklyn?

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