For full-on Brooklyn-esque style, you can't beat Alice's Arbor in Fort Greene which runs to multi-ethnicity (both staff and guests) and a look that celebrates recycled and/or repurposed materials with exposed brick walls, a few skylights , chalk boards and vintage lighting. Even the loo entrance, a sliding wooden door that must have seen service elsewhere, keeps to the super-casual spirit..
Service at Alice's Arbor is very helpful, friendly and on the money as I learned when my waiter did a mini-double take when asked to substitute vodka for gin in the Nuegroni, AA's version of the Negroni. (I should have taken the hint and let well enough alone.)
The place is very popular with groups, dates and families including those with wee ones. If the babes are old enough, order them the mac & cheese but hold additions like pulled pork, lobster, truffle oil and the like although these may be just what you're looking for. Alice's works in close cooperation with several New York State farms and tries to source as much as possible from these, all ID'd on the menu. It's very locavore and laid-back with genuine effort going into the food and drink that features organic wines and spirits as well as lots of beers.
The kale salad is savory, sparked with a pear vinaigrette and laden with sliced almonds, avocado and what turned out to be gooseberries (that strongly resemble small, orange, cherry tomatoes in looks though not in taste.) Scallops mixed with oyster mushrooms were topped with romesco sauce and bedded on white beans that would have benefitted from just a bit more cooking. The scallops themselves were perfectly tender if a trifle overly salted. My dinner companion raved about the trout, fresh from Sullivan County NY, that arrived split open for easier eating along with fingerling potatoes, and green beans in a good brown butter reduction with almonds. Next to us, a couple were enjoying the rib eye steak served with fries, identified as a house favorite as was the trout.
Brunch is a big deal here when crab hash with a poached egg, French toast decked out with a berry compote, a hot Cubano sandwich, cold pressed juices and various salads get devoured. Late nights bring drinks including red, white and sparkling wines, aps like honey chipotle walnuts, oysters and spicy cowboy fries. Also the ever-popular pickles and fries, a perfect end-of-the-eve combo.
Alice's is open Monday through Thursday from 9 AM for breakfast (teas, coffees, juices, baked goods, eggs) until 11 at night; on Fridays; until midnight; on Saturdays from 10 am until midnight and on Sundays from 10 am until 11 pm. There is delivery, takeout and some outdoor seating, weather permitting.
Helmed by General Manager Eric and Dimitri Vlahakis, formerly of Esperanto (Vlahakis is also among those behind Motorino Pizza and Bowery Diner), AA has plenty going for it including the deserved loyalty of its patrons.