Brook Vin–An Act of Fado
After eight hours in the basement office where I spend 16 hours a week, with nobody to talk to but myself (via my MacBook’s PhotoBooth app) Fado–the Portuguese word for fate or destiny–had a lot more to do with my activities than I originally planned this past Monday. Fado lead me up 7th Avenue in Park Slope toward the train. Fado found me staring at the neon chalkboard outside Brook Vin (not getting on the train), and Fado is what kept me there for several hours on Monday night.
The vibe was distinctly Brooklyn (read: men with bangs and mock-neck sweaters, which almost hid the flannel plaid shirts underneath), and totally friendly. The mood lighting got steadily darker as the night progressed, gradually obscuring the venue’s gorgeous pressed ceiling, and distorting the images hung in sharp black frames down the length of the bar.
I know I said it was fado that had me in Brook Vin on Monday, but I think the $5 Happy Hour deal played a supporting role worth an Oscar nomination. The spot offers a $5 red and white pour, as well as $5 tartines (open-faced toasts piled with goodies along the lines of smoked trout, garlic confit, and tomato jam).
Fado didn’t stop at my stool, but doubled as the name of the Portuguese red I guzzled artfully sipped at Brook Vin (as the $5 red option) and I was more than satisfied for the price. Regularly $8, this medium-bodied blend had strong cherry flavor (think all-natural cherry fruit snacks), and was pleasing but nothing fantastic. Though, after a few sips I understand the winemaker’s choice of name–closing my eyes with this bad boy in my mouth, images of a dimly lit Fado club, in Porto’spicturesque Ribeira neighborhood seem perfect, especially if we add in a cloud of cigar smoke wafting between my corner table and the stage.
At Brook Vin, however, I think the smoke would be a detriment–I wouldn’t want to be hacking up a lung and missing out of the decor of the intimate bar, or the girls next to me chatting on (and on, and on) about their failed NYC romances.
Luckily, the jazzy instrumental beats coming from an inconspicuous iPod drowned out the dirtier details of that conversation so I could focus on the menu, which (in true BKLYN style) features local produce whenever possible.
Whether you’re stuck in a windowless basement (Ahem, me) or are just looking for a cozy spot for alcholic nectar and light fare, let fado lead you to Brook Vin.
Brook Vin Uncorked
Laura Loves: Happy Hour (DUH)–the specials were a great deal, and lasted all night (read: perfect).
Short, to the point wine descriptions, and a great selection of wines by the bottle and half-bottle.
This sweet spot has wine classes too–definitely on my list of things to try.
Fun Facts: In case you’re still unclear about what Fado really is:
Know before you go: This is another tiny spot–the staff were great, but I still had to beat people away from my 2 barstools with my menu…luckily I look pretty scary when brandishing a clipboard.
Non-Happy Hour prices are less than stellar. (read: typical Park Slope.)