ReALTO Giovanni’s Brooklyn Eats
ReALTO Commonwealth Bar Brooklyn
ReATLO Prospect Wine & Spirits
Let’s continue our journey in the heart of Brooklyn’s oft-forgotten neighborhood, the South Slope. Where to begin? How bout we start with some down to earth home-style Italian dining at the relatively new, but already very popular, Giovanni’s Brooklyn Eats. A small, cozy spot situated on a very quiet portion of 8th Avenue that offers diners an eating experience they haven’t had since they last sat down with their family around the dining room table ages ago.
First let me say – I was taken aback by the menu prices. It’s tough to reasonable prices in the Park Slope/South Slope neighborhood – and if by chance you do, it’s even tougher to find the food edible. I tried Giovanni’s on a Monday night and found myself in for a real treat – ½ price bottles of wine! (Not to mention that on Mondays from 10pm til close the whole menu goes ½ price… that’s what I call a steal!)
We decided to share an appetizer of the mussels in white wine. He went with the penne alla vodka with chicken. I decided to try their seafood special which consisted of a half lobster, mussels, clams, shrimp, and scallops over a bed of linguini in a fra diavolo sauce. For $19 I was more than satisfied with my choice, as was he. Needless to say we both stumbled out of Giovanni’s happily full (both stomachs and wallets) with the intention of visiting again soon. Perhaps for their incredible unlimited brunch deal? Sounds good to me!
Next up on our South Slope journey: Commonwealth Bar. A staple in the South Slope and in my opinion: the perfect corner bar. With an outdoor seating area, it’s an ideal spot on a cooler summer night, and the inside itself isn’t so bad. The aroma of fresh popcorn hits your nostrils the second you walk in and your eyes immediately adjust to the dim lighting (which of course everyone looks better in). As you enter, on your left you find comfy booths to snuggle up with someone special and to your right is a large enough bar to find someone special to snuggle up with. Beers & cocktails are listed on boards around the bar – including prices (beers avg $6, cocktails $7-8).
While I enjoyed the music, the attentiveness of the bartenders, and the general atmosphere that Commonwealth provided, the part that I absolutely dug the most was the vintage pinball machines (right next to the serve-yourself popcorn)! I dropped some solid cash on pinball and never came close to reaching a high score. Apparently the jukebox is what is all the rage about at Commonwealth, but since I have no taste when it comes to good music I avoided that entirely.
After we spent enough money on pinball, raspberry lemonades, and craft beer at Commonwealth we made our way down to Prospect Wines & Spirits, which opened recently. Upon entering I could smell just how new it was – the paint had barely dried! We sat down at the bar, looked up at the board, and settled on a few brews (Lake Placid Ubu Ale!) and a nice chat with the very handsome & very friendly Irish bartender. One thing I can tell you about this bar is this: it is BIG. I mean humongous. Perfect spot for a group happy hour or a large birthday bash. Ample seating, hefty bar, and plenty of floor space so that you never have to worry about having your beer spilt by some drunken slob. Oh, and a HUGE outdoor seating area!
By the the time we finished chatting with Ollie (the aforementioned handsome Irish bartender) we had worked up an appetite – despite all that delicious (and free) popcorn at Commonwealth. We decided to make one last stop on our crawl – the well known late night hang out - Freddy’s.
Freddy’s reminded me a lot of my suburban basement growing up. Freddy’s is what I like to dub a serious 80’s throwback, however the second we plopped ourselves down at the bar I knew I liked it. Matt, the bartender, was more than patient with us newcomers and helped us out with the ordering process (because we were incapable of reading the very simple instructions posted on the menu). See, at Freddy’s you don’t order food at the bar – you go directly to another room that houses the kitchen and give the chef your order directly. Simple, straightforward, and one less thing for the bartenders to have to worry about. We ordered up and chowed down on some pulled pork sliders & wings which we washed down with one last beer. Definitely a go-to spot for late night grub if you’re not in the mood for hiking back down to Daisy’s Diner.
Our trek home that night was long and arduous, but well worth it. The great thing about the South Slope is the abundance gems like Giovanni’s, Commonwealth, Prospect, & Freddy’s. In my opinion, we have barely penetrated the surface. I can’t wait to explore more… Guess I’ll just have to do more “research” and you’ll have to visit the blog at gorealto.com for part three of the South Slope Shuffle!
Check out some of Heather’s other posts!