2014-10-22 / Restaurant of the Week

BRIK BAR, LOUNGE & KITCHEN

Visit the brand spanking new BRIK Bar, Lounge & Kitchen on Steinway Street for a new twist on casual dining, drinking and relaxing. The concept at BRIK is simple: small plates and entrees made from fresh, healthy ingredients, all made from scratch, and beautifully presented on gleaming white plates for maximum pleasure sampling, sharing, and enjoying. Best of all, the prices are very affordable and encourage more visits with friends, coworkers, and family.

The family behind BRIK Bar, Lounge & Kitchen has over 35 years in the restaurant business and knows a thing or two about hospitality. Everything is so fresh here, they don’t even own a freezer. So if one of your favorite items, like the gorgonzola meatballs, runs out, it’s because everything is made by hand with the day’s ingredients. Fear not, there are so many delectable dishes on the menu, you’ll find another favorite. I’ll get back to those meatballs in a moment.

Once you see the handsome interior of BRIK Bar, Lounge & Kitchen, you’ll know where the name came from. The entire space was rebuilt and features warm, brick walls, wood floors, and a hefty, terrazzo topped bar softened by frosted, illuminated glass below. Indeed, BRIK is a relaxing place to come for a pleasant Happy Hour with its touch-screen jukebox to play all your favorite tunes (it even takes photos!), cellphone charging stations, and free WiFi. The service is fast, efficient and very unpretentious. BRIK is not a sports bar, though over a dozen computer screens on the walls do show a variety of muted programming, including sports, nightly specials, and cool, digital effects. BRIK Bar, Lounge & Kitchen is an ideal venue for a corporate, business, or organization event, as you can customize the screens and simply plug in a PowerPoint presentation for your group. It’s not too early to reserve for the holiday season.

Now, on to the food and those meatballs! Yes, tender morsels of perfectly seasoned beef are filled with a chunk of creamy gorgonzola cheese for a delicious, savory treat ($7.95). Classic BRIK meatballs with marinara sauce on the side with Pecorino Romano cheese are great too. With three to an order, they’re perfect for sharing, as is everything on the menu. Next came garlic shrimp and we were impressed by the size of these plump, tender shrimp, drizzled with a heady sauce with cilantro chili aioli ($9.95). Sticking with more seafood, I can’t say enough good things about the fried calamari rings. Sure, you can find these nearly everywhere, but at BRIK, the calamari is super tender and light, sprinkled with the lightest cloud of flour before a quick trip in the fryer. The same amount of praise goes to the codfish croquettes, full of sweet, flaky cod, and dusted with panko crumbs for a crisp coating that gives way to the tender croquette inside. The lemon-garlic dip isn’t even necessary as the codfish croquettes are so delicious on their own ($7.95). Share an order of fish tacos for a light and tasty dish or go whole hog with ancho chili pulled pork sliders on soft, fluffy buns.

If you prefer a meal-sized dish, there are over a dozen varieties of quesadillas, burgers, wraps, and big plate entrées to choose from, priced from just $8.50. Have a chipotle grilled chicken quesadilla all to yourself, filled with manchego and cheddar cheese, avocado, and jalapeño salsa, or be nice and share it. You can have one filled with grilled veggies too, or with that irresistible ancho chili pulled pork. The BRIK Burger is a two-handed affair with a Hellenic twist thanks to some feta cheese and the Greek cole slaw, which I must tell you about. If you’re a basic burger person, go for the classic cheddar burger with a dollop of house made BBQ sauce. By the way, these awesome burgers are available in small slider versions, which I also highly recommend for sharing and nibbling with a proper pint of Guinness. Wrap it up with a perfectly moist, grilled chicken wrap, or veggie wrap and don’t forget a salad.

Yes, even the salads at BRIK take on a new personality. There’s a classic Caesar and Greek salad, and the BRIK chopped salad, composed of ‘power greens’ with house vinaigrette. If you’re a non-mayonnaise cole slaw freak like me, then you simply must try BRIK’s Greek slaw, made from shredded cabbage tossed with tomatoes, olives, and capers, with a light, lemony dressing and sprigs of fragrant dill ($6). It’s a fresh, vibrant complement to any meal here. Other traditional side dishes include mac and cheese with manchego béchamel, and fresh cut French fries, which also accompany the bistro favorite: Steak frites.

BRIK Bar, Lounge & Kitchen is open seven days a week from 12 pm to 4 am. Come for the nightly Happy Hour where you’ll enjoy $5 Guinness and $6 Margaritas and mango daiquiris, amongst other cocktails. Brunch is coming soon, and you should plan your company event here. For a new twist on a night out, visit BRIK Bar, Lounge & Kitchen with its cool, relaxing ambience, extraordinary food, service, and great vibe too!

32-16 Steinway Street, Astoria
718.267.BRIK (2745)

www.brikbarlounge.com  @BrikBarLounge

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