Brooklyn hipsters roll up their tight plaid shirts, unbutton their skinny jeans to take one giant bite of a twist on the Southern classic, hot meatloaf sandwich. Brooklyn Star in Williamsburg has attracted crowds for years, keeping up its reputation as a neighborhood hotspot. Their specialty is Southern comfort with a modern twist, without taking away all of the buttery fried goodness that distinguishes this cuisine.
It’s no surprise that Joaquin Baca, David Chang’s chef-turned-partner at Momofuku is the brains behind the operation. The brand specializes in transforming traditional comfort cuisine into something completely different, while still maintaining the dignity of the product.
Like most spots in Brooklyn, the crowd is young, full of energy and anxious to grub. The restaurant is divided in two, with a bar area and tall tables in the front, and long tables with wooden benches and booths filling the back. It’s an open space, kept dark in order to give off an even “cooler” vibe.
You know Brooklyn’s ascension is clear, when my best friend in town from Los Angeles opts to celebrate her birthday at a restaurant in Williamsburg. To outsiders; Manhattan is out, Brooklyn is in. A large group of us piled into one of the long tables. The place is loud and rowdy, keeping the demographic to those in their twenties and thirties.
The menu offers a ridiculous variety of Southern comfort food, ranging from fried pig tails to duck fat poached sea bass to smoked marrow bones. Brookyln Star somehow manages to turn high-end ingredients into finger foods, without ruining the integrity of the product. Classics with a twist, a really ridiculously awesome twist.
Without a question, everyone simultaneously agreed Bacon-Jalapeno Cornbread was a must, with three sizzling skillets arriving at the table.
I mean… everything amazing about Southern Food begins with cornbread. Add bacon and jalapeno to the mix and the cornbread is infused with a spicy-smoky flavor. The corn bread is fluffy, sweetened by the creamy butter. Served in a cast iron skillet, the cornbread remains warm and crispy on both the top insides.
My weakness for duck comes in all forms, so when I saw Spicy Fried Duck Wings appear on Brooklyn Star’s menu, I was immediately sold.
Sticky, sweet, spicy and absolutely ridiculous. Duck wings are slightly bigger then chicken wings, with the fat rendered out leaving a tender meat and crispy skin. The sauce coats each wing, almost giving a caramelized texture. It’s the definition of finger-lickin’ good.
A vegetable needed to cross our table, in the form of fried Brussels Sprouts. I never said the veggie needed to be healthy.
Crispy Brussels Spouts are coated in an acidic sauce made with apple cider vinegar. The flavor is enhanced by the smoky ham and burnt onions. Each sprout is crispy and tender, full of flavor from the mix of ingredients. It’s not the prettiest looking bowl of Brussels Sprouts, but it’s definitely one of the tastiest.
Brooklyn Star was kind enough to let us bring our own cake, without a cutting fee. They even kept the cake in the back, adding candles to top off a wonderful birthday celebration.
We sang and cheered to celebrating an amazing friend in Brooklyn for just a short weekend.
Brooklyn Star celebrates Southern comfort food in a way that feels more sophisticated. Their incredible rendition of corn bread could prompt a return, alone. Making the already savory bread something much more special. The staff creates a fun atmosphere, allowing everyone to feel equally comfortable. The next time you feel like being a little bit gluttonous, where it’s totally worth it, Brooklyn Star is your spot.
Brooklyn Star – 593 Lorimer Street – Brooklyn, NY
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Perfect For: Big Groups, Casual Meal, Take Out, Chronic Brunch, Drinks
Reservations: Available for parties of 8 or more via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Favorite Dishes: Spicy Duck Wings, Bacon-Jalapeno Cornbread, Brussels Sprouts, Hot Meatloaf Sandwich, Mac & Cheese