Dining Out: Sliders and wings carry the day

Ridgeites had the opportunity to take wing, quite literally, and feast – and all for a good cause — at the first annual Bay Ridge Restaurants BBQ at the St. Nicholas Home on Sunday, May 3.

A bevy of local eateries supplied the sliders and wings that were the unabashed stars at the event, which supported the St. Nicholas Renovation Fund, and those who attended had the opportunity to relax in the home’s garden, on Ovington Avenue between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, under soothingly clear blue skies, as they sampled some fairly spicy wings, including those from the Wicked Monk, Bean Post Pub and the Pearl Room.

The Wicked Monk’s grilled version sizzled thanks to a sultry Asian dry rub and a hot and sweet dipping sauce, while the Bayou wings that flew out of Bean Post’s offerings were Cajun-inspired, hot and sticky. Also on offer, Greenhouse Café’s wings were brightly flavored, and Yellow Hook’s were spicy and saucy – palate pleasers to be sure.

It was back to Asia again for the Pearl Room’s contribution, which got their heat from a combination of Sriracha and peperoncini. These wings were sly – teasingly sweet on the tongue at first bite, with the sparks coming later.

But, not every wing set the palate ablaze. Giacomo’s contribution highlighted the sweet meat on the bone – simple and savory.

The sliders on offer also ran the gamut. Bean Post served up dill-pickled topped cheeseburgers on tender rolls that went down nice and easy. In a similar vein, Greenhouse Café’s cheeseburgers were topped with crunchy slices of half-sour pickle and a dab of ketchup, all enthroned on a cushy brioche roll.

For those who wanted to walk on the wild side, think Old West wild, the Fort Hamilton Community Club featured a different sort of offering – flavorful bison burgers that sizzled on the grill before they were nestled in slices of flatbread.

There were also non-burger sliders. Guinness-braised short ribs, long-cooked and deeply flavored and nestled on plump round rolls, were provided by the Wicked Monk, artfully garnished by a crunchy gherkin. The Pearl Room also went the short ribs route, piling cushy little roles high with the succulent shredded beef.

“Today’s event for a good cause is also a day for us to come together and taste some of what Bay Ridge has to offer,” noted Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, a trained chef who was one of the originators of the extremely popular Taste of the Ridge. “There’s no question that Bay Ridge was the first food capital of Brooklyn and today we had a chance to taste some of the neighborhood’s best sliders and wings.”

The weather was perfect, added Ed Mafoud, the chairperson of the home’s board of directors. “The last several days, I’ve been sending up offerings and prayers for St. Nicholas, asking for good weather and a great crowd,” he remarked. “I can honestly say that he’s answered my prayers.”

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