Scott-Goodman’s book is part cookbook, part neighborhood guide and takes readers on a bars and bites tour of Brooklyn. Bushwick, Prospect Heights, and Williamsburg are some of the neighborhoods represented; a few introductory sentences describe each neighborhood’s vibe. The seven neighborhood chapters highlight several establishments and include recipes for its signature dishes and cocktails. The dishes are not your run-of-the-mill bar appetizers–no nachos or buffalo wings. Think ground pork rice bowls, smoked bluefish pâté (one of the simpler recipes), and beef marrow spread. Home cooks will find several recipes they can execute with minimal need for trips to the specialty food store. Casual home bartenders, on the other hand, may need to visit several spirits shops to find ingredients, especially if using the brands in the recipes. This makes for an uneven experience: food that seems achievable, cocktails that seem less so. Thankfully, for both the food and drink recipes, instructions are clear and special equipment is rarely required. An index is included. A map of Brooklyn neighborhoods would have been a nice addition. Color photographs throughout show mixologists and culinary creations and offer a preview of the atmosphere of each bar. Scott-Goodman succeeds at showcasing Brooklyn’s bar culture.
Reviewed By: Africa Hands