before we ventured over to vinegar hill house, we had never been to vinegar hill the neighborhood and boy is that a treat. one of what feels like the few spots in new york that have been untouched (at least too much) from all the crazy development that has gone on over the last few years. although there are plenty of new buildings including this one and this one which dominate gold street, for the most part the cobble stoned streets seem quite isolated from the hustle and bustle of dumbo and the rest of gentrified brooklyn.
after our first surprise with the great neighborhood, we were less surprised with the super quaint and fetching look of vinegar hill house given the amount of amazing buzz (here, here and here just for starters) this little restaurant has gotten. it seems this mostly comes because the restaurant is the creation of two former employees of freeman’s (which is super trendy but i cannot say i have been impressed with the food the few times i’ve gone). vinegar hill house has a great low key, quaint feel, done in an all americana style (if that is even a word), with mismatched wood tables, some flag decor and homey plants and flowers and even a really lovely bathroom (that is always an added plus). there were of course the current necessary accessory du jour of bell jars for drinks and food.
now down to the food. for the most part, we were pleased and we will definitely go back and not just because the atmosphere was perfect. j particularly loved his red wattle country chop (pictured up top), a delicious pork cooked perfectly medium rare and served with fingerling potatoes, and i was equally happy with my appetizer portion of house made tagliatelle with pork, fava beans and olive oil as well as a small dollop of creme fraiche. our starters included zucchini ribbons with a poached egg and hot bacon vinaigrette which was good but too watery, and then the star was the chicken liver mousse served with vinegar onions and pistachios and especially toasty bread. service was on the slow side, and given that we had the kiddies with us and arrived bang on at 6 we would have thought they would have been a bit more attentive, but we were still waiting for dessert an hour and a half later. as we rushed out of there, we did take a piece of that amazing guinness cake with cream cheese icing to go, and at least for me that was totally worth it. they are also now serving brunch so we’re hoping to check that out soon. they do not take reservations for parties under six and my understanding is that things get crazy later on so be patient and lower those expectations. vinegar hill house, 72 hudson avenue between front and water streets, brooklyn, new york, 718.522.1018.