Snag a seat at the bar, order one dozen oysters during happy hour, and select one of the highly curated cocktails, perhaps the Fog Upon the Light of Day – a twist on a vodka martini with smoked salt and manzanilla sherry. Or maybe you’re in the mood for Quicksilver Dreams featuring three different uses of pineapple (rum, gum, and shrub). Or maybe you’d just like to leave it to chance. You’re in good hands if Kev is behind the bar.
On one particular Saturday afternoon, I was in the mood for gin. It was a chilly day, and dreams of being beach-side ran rampant. A Jingle Bird was the cure to those mid-October blues, a play on the dry Jungle Bird; utilizing gin instead of rum mixed with Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice and simple syrup. My off-menu cocktail ended up being so attractive, the woman posted up next to me pulled a “I’ll have what she’s having.”
The delight of Grand Army, a bar meets seafood restaurant located on the cusp between Boerum Hill and Downtown Brooklyn is cool without trying to be. The food is exceptional – and cocktails worth the $15 price point.
If you are able to make happy hour (5-7 on weekdays, 2-4 on weekends), snag one dozen dollar oysters and experiment with the various sauces cleverly served in eyedroppers. I love the blood orange one, and the neon-blue coconut variety that makes your oyster look like it’s been pulled from a toxic waste site, in the best way possible. Beet, taco and other wild seasonings create a unique experience.
My weakness for deviled eggs knows no bounds, and if you add king crab and salty capers to the mix, I’m (ironically) in heaven.
The steak tartare is fantastic, a bright dish topped with a sous-vided egg yolk and cucumbers strewn throughout. Served with warm, fresh out of the oven bread, the dish proves this place does raw dishes well. During a recent visit, we were eyeing the equally lovely arctic char next to us, as the people exchanged glances at our dish, laughing at the restaurant’s ability to “do tartare right.”
Grand Army is a great place to get lost for a few hours, forget the chill of outside, and disappear into a world of cocktails and crustaceans.
Grand Army • 336 State St • Brooklyn, NY