A friend of mine told me about a perfect little “Cracks In Sidewalks” spot in Brooklyn. It’s a jazz bar/ restaurant called “Annabelles.” She told me it was in Red Hook and I had to go with her and check it out, so this Monday night I finally did. Actually it was a bit of an adventure because I have to say I had never been to Red Hook before.
Red Hook is getting a lot of attention these days. The big European furniture store IKEA opened up its first New York City store earlier this year and it is located on the water in Red Hook.
They actually set up a free ferry from Pier 11 in Manhattan to lure those of us who don’t own cars, which is the majority of the population, to their store. Our plan was to take advantage of the ferry to get to Annabelle’s and then have a friend from Brooklyn with a car bring us back into the city. Annabelle’s is conveniently located only about two blocks from where the ferry drops you off at IKEA.
Annabelle’s is this great bar/restaurant whose character you can start to sense as you approach its entrance. There is a vibe you get and if you’re like me, you know you’re going to like it. When I walked through the door, I was immediately charmed by the at home feeling of the place. It felt worn, in a good way. With its old mahogany bar and friendly bartender it projected a neighborly vibe, a place that I could frequent often with friends or feel comfortable entering solo. I’m not certain how old the building is in which it is housed, but by the tiling on the floor I would have to say fairly old. I liked the quality and character of the place, and if I wore a hat I could see hanging it there.
Monday night is a jazz jam night and it started off with a hired trio as the core band, keyboards, upright bass, and drums. Later other horn players sat in and a woman on keyboards who was quite good. Actually they were all good players. Not having eaten dinner we decided to order some food. When I got the menu it was much nicer then I had expected, not your typical bar food. That’s when I learned that they share their kitchen with well-known Brooklyn chef Neil Ganic of “Petite Crevette” fame. He actually owns the restaurant that is connected by way of kitchen to “Annabelle’s.” His new restaurant is called “La Bouillabaisse.”
We ordered several things to share. First came Oysters on the Half Shell, next a Beet salad with Goat Cheese, and after that, Mussels in White Wine Garlic Sauce. It was more then plenty for two people as the portions were quite large and before taxes and tip it came to only about $34 total. In New York I consider that a bargain, especially given the quality of the food and its terrific taste. I also discovered a wonderful back garden area with a little pond that must be great in summer.
So if you’re looking for some place new to go, some place fun to discover, I suggest taking a trip to Red Hook and discovering Annabelle’s for yourself. If you live in the city and don’t have a car, try timing it so you can take the ferry over and then a car service home. The ferry gives you some spectacular views on the way over. And if you have access to a car and live anywhere close by, make the field trip and enjoy not only a great meal and drink, but maybe some good music too. I also hear that they are hosting a Halloween Costume Party tonight, so if you don’t have any plans, perhaps tonight is the night to make the trip?
For more information about Annabelle’s below is a link to their website and also their address and phone number.
44 Beard St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231