Bay Ridge’s Third Avenue can rightfully lay claim to the title of Restaurant Row.
Along its length are so many good eateries, with so many different kinds of cuisine represented, that area residents can eat out frequently without feeling in the least bored.
Here are some of our favorites, right in time for the strip’s biggest weekend, with the Ragamuffin Parade taking place on Saturday, October 1, and the Third Avenue Festival the following day, Sunday, October 2.
Tanoreen (7523 Third Avenue) is one of our go-to spots for Middle Eastern food. Indeed, we dream at night of the magnificent cold appetizer platter (not on the menu, but ask for it) – where we can indulge in our passion for the restaurant’s Brussels sprouts, as well as for its exceptional Hummus, Mhammara and Babaganoush. We’re also partial to the Fattoush, whose tart, fresh flavors sing on the palate.
Also spectacular is Samia’s (7809 Third Avenue), which opened as a sit-down restaurant just a few months ago but which has already made its mark with its exceptionally prepared Middle Eastern classics. The eatery’s baklava is the best I’ve ever had; working my way through the appetizers and entrees to get to it, however, presents a challenge – with everything so good, from the Zatar bread to the meat pies to the Labaneh, how do I save room for dessert?
For Italian fare, Giacomo’s (7902 Third Avenue) is a star. The cozy corner restaurant serves up luscious brick-oven pizza, inventive pasta dishes such as the Linguine Estate studded with fresh shrimp, cherry tomato and arugula, and hearty main courses such as Chicken Balsamico, sautéed with garlic, Portobello mushrooms, balsamic vinegar and sundried tomatoes.
Lobo Loco (8530 Third Avenue) brings fun and family-friendly South of the Border fare to southwest Brooklyn. Another recent arrival along the strip, Lobo Loco is that easy-going restaurant where the food and drinks are plentiful and flavorful, and kids can feel as much at home as their parents. We enjoyed the guac, the empanaditas and the fajitas on our visit – but, there’s lots more to try!
Riffing on traditional Mexican dishes in a date-night-worthy atmosphere, Blue Agave (7215B Third Avenue) offers up fare that is both sophisticated and earthy at the same time. The margaritas were fabulous; equally so were the Agave Mango Ceviche, the Enchiladas Suizas and, of course, the guac.
Cebu (8801 Third Avenue) offers a sidewalk café in nice weather, and a bistro atmosphere year-round. It’s also got great food, from the fried calamari to the Caesar Salad to the Grilled Flat Iron Steak to the Burrata Caprese.
For burgers and wings, there’s few places we’d rather go than Kettle Black (8622 Third Avenue). The Third Avenue mainstay specializes in comfort food/pub food dished up in hearty portions, bringing its own special zing to Mac and Cheese, Philly Cheese Steaks and the like. If you’re hungry, don’t miss the Hacksaw Sandwich in which Buffalo chicken is smothered with melted mozzarella. Yum!
Xin (8320 Third Avenue) is a bit of a culinary anomaly – a Chinese restaurant that’s as elegant as its food is flavorful. Anchored by a chef, waiters and bartender who all were fixtures at longtime Bay Ridge restaurant Lai Yuen, the restaurant has made its name providing the meals and service that Lai Yuen aficionados missed when that eatery closed down. Yes, the Grand Marnier Shrimp is on the menu, which has a broad selection of delights, from Steak Kew to dim sum.
For sensational Pan-Latin tapas, Salud (7204 Third Avenue) is the place to go. The restaurant’s selection of small plates typical of the culinary style allows diners the opportunity to graze to their hearts’ content, and content they will be, after sampling such specialties as El Tequilaso, tequila-spiked sautéed shrimp on a bed of pureed sweet plantains, and Chupachups de Chorizo, crispy-on-the-outside “lollipops” whose centers were chunks of iberico sausage and Spanish tetilla cheese.