Restaurant Review: The Commodore


It was inevitable:  Black Betty, Williamsburg's beloved Mediterranean-inspired hangout, long past its music-fueled prime, needed to say goodbye. In its new incarnation, as dive bar-resto The Commodore, hipsters are once again at ease here, perching on puffy banquettes and proudly sipping kitschy pink cocktails. A pina colada might be the house specialty, but on a hazy summer evening, camped out on the bare deck, it's the effervescent Sloe Gin Fizz that particularly quenches. Out of the kitchen plate after plate of crispy, glistening chicken thighs and biscuits ($10) make their way to tables.  Fowl is the meat of choice here -- on another recent evening a couple was spotted springing for a second order -- given chef Stephen Tanner's past as co-founder of local favorite, Pies-n-Thighs. Yet getting to said chicken inThe Commodore is not a simple endeavor. This joint is sans table service, so to order dinner, the hungry must plow their way through the throng of Schlitz-sippers at the packed bar, and risk being ignored by the frenzied staff. It's worth the effort as the small selection of food -- nary a dessert is served -- is simple and deliciously sloppy. A tempting pork du jour ($8), which in our case turned out to be a duo of hot dog buns stuffed with tender strands of Carolina pulled pork topped with a mess of baked beans, leaves one yearning for a weekend in the South, as does the spicy hot sauce-slicked catfish sandwich ($8).  Potato salad ($5) -- smoky and slightly overdressed -- hits the spot, yet it's the green chile hominy ($6), and its aromatic broth teeming with chicken, that assures we have a reason to return come winter.

The Commodore,
366 Metropolitan Ave., 
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 218-7632

Photo via: The L Magazine

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