Restaurant Review: Breukelen

LESLIE PARISEAU
Breukelen is a little earnest and a bit off the beaten path with a patchwork of Americana overlain in the details -- which is to say, a little like Brooklyn. On the brick walls, for instance, are Herculean-size tools once used to tighten the bolts on the Brooklyn Bridge. Occupying the sometime vacant Cafe on Clinton, Breukelen's freshly painted facade is a convenient oasis for stroller wielding neighborhood parents and longtime residents tired of Thai take away or reluctant to venture outside the familiar borders of Atlantic, Court and Hicks. One evening last week, it appeared that many locals shared these sentiments as they piled into small rustic tables or elbowed up to the bar. Crisp, spiced calamari with hearts of palm and avocado ($13) appeared almost everywhere, as did prosciutto and melon ($14) -- nothing terribly noteworthy, but acceptable for an empty fridge escape or too-full schedule. Pastas were the next step for many, especially rigatoni with sausage and crushed tomatoes ($16) or house made ricotta gnocchi with tomatoes, greens and basil ($15). Coho salmon with manila clam chowder ($26) was "running strong," as the bartender recommended. Roasted rock hen (similar to Cornish hen, $24) was lackluster, but the sweet corn beneath made up for it. Apple-plum pie ($8) with a bready crust was okay, but a nightcap on the bartender made up for that too. Breukelen's namesake is the Dutch spelling for our city's quirkier borough even though the resto isn't terribly quirky or particularly Dutch. However, it is what most Brooklynites love about their stake of land -- comfortable and growing, which is to say -- growing comfortable. 

Breukelen
268 Clinton St.
Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
(718) 855-8110

Photo by Jonas Oransky

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