Good meat, well-aged ambience
- Cuisine: Northern European
- Vibe: Victorian barroom
- Occasion: Neighborhood dining; bar bites; meat cravings.
- Don’t Miss: Daily punch, herb and Gruyere spaetzle, Vesper Brett, Prime Meats burger.
- Price: Appetizers, $9; entrees, $13; dessert, $5.
- Reservations: No reservations accepted. Cash only.
- Phone: (718) 254-0327
- Location: 465 Court St., at Luquer St., Brooklyn
Remember when Sam the butcher used to make house calls to the Bradys?
The Brady-era butcher shops were different from earlier ones. Through the end of the 19th century, most New York
butcher shops were owned by Central European immigrants. They didn’t
just sell ground meat, tenderloins and pork chops. They also sold
sausages, spaetzle and sauerkraut.
Prime Meats, a new restaurant in Carroll Gardens, honors the tradition. In fact, the restaurant was inspired by a German butcher-shop sign from the 1880s that hung on Flatbush
Ave. The weathered sign now hangs behind a handsome wood bar at Prime
Meats, which also belongs to another era. The barkeeps, with
suspenders, vests and curled mustaches, serve period cocktails like
daiquiris, Manhattans and Applejack Sazeracs. They really get into
character, according to owners Frank Falcinelli, Frank Castronovo and Greg Fanslau.
The only thing that really gives away our era is the Grateful Dead
music playing in the background. The long, narrow barroom is outfitted
with a creamy tin ceiling, dark wood booths and romantic lighting.
There’s also an outdoor dining area with potted baby basil plants on
the tables and backyard lights overhead. Upstairs is a butcher
department where the chefs cure their own meats and make their own
outstanding pickles and sauerkraut.
The menu revolves around
Northern European dishes, like spaetzle, braised cabbage and bratwurst.
The best way to sample the charcuterie is to order the Vesper Brett,
a generous spread of bacon, “gourmet bologna” and a terrific farmer’s
sausage that has a pâté-like texture. They also bake their breads
in-house, including a soft Bavarian pretzel served with the weisswurst
– an unusually tender white sausage made with pork, veal and parsley.