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DINING OUT: Kittery of Brooklyn

A slice of New England seaside life is cozily captured at the corner of Smith and Union Streets, at Carroll Garden’s highly-anticipated new restaurant, Kittery of Brooklyn. And yes, that is a reference to the popular seaside lobster/seafood haven, Kittery, Maine.

Brooklyn’s Kittery features a classic menu straight out of chef Josh Moulton’s childhood summers spent in Kittery. “We are trying to do it classic,” said the Boston-born Moulton of the lineup of crispy oysters, fish and chips, New England clam chowder, lobster rolls, and Stuffies – baked clams with sausage stuffing.

“It’s the same batter as done up there [and] the right kind of hot dog bun lightly buttered,” he noted, adding that for his clam chowder, he follows his paternal grandmother’s lead. “I’d be willing to bet her chowder is a lot like my chowder,” he chuckled. “The only difference [in the menu] is that we have more composed seafood and classic New York dishes, like the grilled swordfish and seared scallops. Not everything is fried and we have a lot more oysters [which] are very popular down here.”

Moulton is one part of a fantastic team that includes owners James Geritano and Jimmy Mamary, who also designed the space along with Madison Tarr. The result is a casual and family-friendly eatery with a full bar, seaside-themed murals, nautical decorations and an ambiance of “Northeast preppy with a little Yacht Club thrown in.”

The space is nautically decorated with seashell candles on each table, boat flags and a large mural of a fishing boat. Take a seat and be greeted with a small dish of goldfish crackers to stir up childhood memories while you peruse the list of starters, salads, chowders, rolls, clam shack classics, entrees and sides.

We recommend starting with the chowders: the Lobster Bisque ($11 for full, $5.50 for half order) was some of the best we have ever had, creamily elegant and savory, dotted with tarragon and chive, and full of huge chunks of lobster; the Classic New England Clam Chowder ($9 for full; $4.50 for half) had a surprisingly hearty flavor, with bacon, celery, onion and potato chunks.

The meat in a large bowl of Fisherman’s Mussels ($12) is easily pulled right out of its shells into the tomato broth of white wine, hot pepper and garlic. Surprisingly light, the dish included pieces of toasted bread, perfect for sopping up the zippy sauce. We could have easily used a straw to finish the last of the juices.

The Fish and Chips ($16) is two large strips of lightly battered local cod, paired with a tart slaw and perfectly crisped fries. The fish had just the right amount of batter and melted in your mouth. Even better: the leftovers tasted just as good when reheated a few hours later.

Then there is the signature Lobster Roll ($18) – a lightly buttered and toasted split-top bun stuffed with fresh chunks of lobster tossed with a touch of mayo. Between mouthfuls of sweet lobster, be sure to try the slaw, pickles and crunchy Old Bay potato stix.

Make sure you come with a friend to share the bounty and ensure room for dessert. The Apple Raspberry Crisp ($7) is a warm and comforting dish served with vanilla ice cream – perfect for a chilly Brooklyn winter evening. Other dessert options include Pumpkin Bread Pudding and Double Chocolate Pudding (both $7).

When the weather is warmer, patrons will have the option of taking their meal in the large patio seating area. The menu also offers a wide selection of wine and some signature cocktails, like The Hemingway ($9) made with Bacardi Silver, Maraschino Luxardo, fresh lime and grapefruit juice, or the Jack Collins ($10), consisting of Laird’s Apple Jack, fresh lemon juice, orange bitters and soda water.

At Kittery of Brooklyn, everything is to be soaked up and enjoyed. Anchors away!

Kittery of Brooklyn

305 Smith Street

917-568-1610

Monday through Saturday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Sundays, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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