I don’t get tired of repeating how much New York surprises me. One of the many things that make me love to live here is to know that there is always something new to do. Almost every weekend, me and Thiago do something different: eating in a restaurant that we don’t know yet or explore a region that was unknown to us. Red Hook neighborhood, located in Brooklyn, was already on my list for some time – and a few weeks ago, we spent a delightful Sunday there. No doubt, it is a great option to put on the itinerary if you are looking for different or no obvious things to do.
To the southwest of Carroll Gardens, beyond the BQE, the formerly rough-and-tumble industrial locale of Red Hook remains a secluded neighborhood, thanks to the lack of subway stops, which makes it perfect for a day out exploring. It is not a touristica explored area, which is a pity, because there are a lot of things to do. The area is home to smaller, artisanal businesses and factories. Its time-warp charm is still evident, and its decaying piers make a moody backdrop for massive cranes, empty warehouses and trucks clattering over cobblestone streets. If you never heard about it, it is where Ikea is located – but there is more than furniture shopping at Red Hook! The quiet streets with cobblestones make you feel in a small country town. Rich in gastronomy, the area has restaurants and factories perfect for a day of tasting many delights.
Because of the lack of nearby subway stations, the most convenient and fast way to get to Red Hook is using Water Taxi. The boat leaves from Pier 11 and the ticket costs $5. The best news is that on Saturdays and Sundays the boat is free. It is 16 minutes ride – first, Water Taxi stops at Ikea,. You can check the schedule here. You can also use NYC Ferry, $2,75 each way. Remember that only the ride itself is very worthwhile as it provides incredible views of the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge and even the Statue of Liberty. Leaving Red Hook Dock – which itself already has a vibe and wonderful view – you can explore many places walking. We have been at many places when we were there and now I highlight two of them: The Red Hook Winery and Hometown Bar-B-Que.
The Red Hook Winery – I don’t know if you know, but New York state has many vineyards and wineries, especially in the Long Island region. What I did not know was that it was not necessary to go so far as to visit a winery. The Red Hook Winery is a winery that is in Red Hook. Located on the banks of the river, its focus is on viticulture in the state of New York. That is, the grapes used for the production of wines are all of the state itself origin, from 15 different producers in the regions of North Fork, Long Island and Finger Lake. One of the differentials of The Red Hook Winery is that they have three winemakers – Robert Foley, Abe Schoener, and Christopher Nicolson – and each one uses its know-how to produce the wine, resulting in many variations.
The place has a social area, rustic decor, where you can taste wines from a selection of 70 types. You can order a glass or a bottle or else try the tasting. You choose 4 wines to taste and pay $ 15. The menu also has a selection of cheese and chips. The atmosphere is very nice, the staff are super attentive and the wines are a delight. I loved the experience! The Red Hook Winery offers free tours every Saturday and Sunday 1pm – valid for those who consume something there. We had the opportunity to do the tour and check the winery facilities and know a little more about the process of making wine. It was very interesting!
Address: 175 Van Dyke St.
Hometown Bar-B-Que – after having wine and some appetizers, it was time for lunch! We chose Hometown Bar-B-Que, which has 4 stars on Yelp and rate 9.4 on Foursquare, ie very well recommended. In Foursquare, users rip praise the place and some even say it is the best place to eat authentic barbecue in New York. The Bar-B-Que Hometown opened in 2013 and specializes in smoked meats prepared with a common technique from US south. That is, the best Texas style. The meats include lamb, pork, chicken and turkey. Undoubtedly, one of the place’s best-selling and best option is the rib. The meat is soft! Everything is prepared only with salt – and then you can spice up your dish with the classic barbecue sauce. The price of meat varies from $ 11 to $ 30. The ribs are sold by weight – $ 26 a pound – which is quite enough for two people. Worth every penny. No doubt, it was one of the best steaks I have tasted here in New York. The menu also includes sandwiches – burgers style – $ 12 on average. Side dishes include the classic mac’n cheese, potato salad and even tacos – all in the range $ 4 to $ 12. You can click here and check out the full menu. It’s a walk-up service to counter on a first-come, first-served basis.
Address: 454 Van Brunt St
Do you like it? Red Hook has a lot more to offer – and the highlight is the restaurants. If you enjoy seafood, you need to visit Brooklyn Crab and Red Hook Lobster Pound. On this link, you can check more information about these and other recommended restaurants in the neighborhood. And next week I will publish another post about Red Hook!
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.