BedStuy’s Do or Dine hit my radar the minute I heard “foie gras doughnut” and I took the opportunity to check out the resto with my friends Tamara and Tony last week. In the food blog world most everyone has heard of the controversy surrounding the liver filled dough delights and I couldn’t resist checking it out for myself. I think PETA should focus their efforts more on factory farming but they did one thing right… they focused attention on what is quite possibly the best restaurant I have been to in the past few months.
It’s a blink and you’ll miss it place… under the awning of its predecessor, a West Indian restaurant/bakery, Do or Dine comes from out of nowhere. There are roughly forty to fifty seats inside and on the patio in this joint. We sat down at a communal table outside surrounded by colorful graffiti filled walls and a string of lights above us. I dare you to find a better outdoor place to dine, the feel of the place is just magical. We kept staring at the sky amazed at how much of it we could see and how beautiful the night was.
Do or Dine is currently BYOB, but could change literally at any moment (they are waiting for final approval on license). Tony left Tamara and I to chat while he went and nearly cleared out the neighboring liquor store coming back with four bottles of wine, Ketel One, and Hendricks gin. We don’t mess around! Our tablemates stared with wide eyes as they saw the bar we had assembled and nearly everyone couldn’t believe how much we had bought for just three people (for the record we shared our alcohol with anyone who wanted it).
*bringing the booze*
This is dining done right… a menu full of comfort food served in a playful and unique way in an exciting environment where they use high-end ingredients creating whimsical concoctions. The menu humors you with names such as “Et tu Brute” (a caesar salad), “District 9,” (a nod to the movie District 9), and “Escargot to Hell” (fried snails).
Every single dish we ate was spectacular and I sat in disbelief…. eight dishes later I could go for more! The “foie gras doughnut” is heavenly (but definitely a novelty… three of us shared one and I could barely get past two or three bites), the “heart attack” jalapeno pepper with salmon and chevre is a can’t miss, the lamb breast with cumin and lime melts in your mouth, the “Duck Breast with Sansho” is hands down the best dish on the menu and for under $20 is an absolute steal given its portion size, and the “District Dine” with cherry tomatoes and clam broth is unbelievably amazing.
The four owners come from varied backgrounds in the industry and are all hands on deck at Do or Dine providing excellent service, great conversation (we chatted and drank with them for a while), and gave us great explanations of the menu items because the menu may say one thing… but nothing is ever what it seems at this place.
From the minute you walk in the door you know this place has a good vibe. The BYOB certainly adds to its greatness (and lowers the cost of the check) and the music (Girl Talk, Lupe Fiasco, and Outkast blasted through the speakers), out of this world food and the casual/fun atmosphere will bring me back again and again (it is only a ten minute bike ride away).
Do or Dine is freaking amazing, and proves that fantastic Brooklyn dining doesn’t have to come with pretension. The hype surrounding this place is not only well deserved… it’s a fact! Get there as fast as you can….before it becomes the next Momofuku or Roberta’s with its New York Times review and the line goes out the door!
Do or Dine
1108 Bedford Avenue (between Lexington Avenue and Quincy Street) *Bed Stuy