Dining out Brooklyn bound: From left, Brooklyn Bowl's fried chicken dinner; potato and onion knishes; French bread pizza; chocolate egg cream
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Flavor to spare With New York confidence, Brooklyn Bowl mixes nostalgic fare with homegrown originals B y D e bb i e L e e
emoaning the absence of good (insert regional specialty here) is a familiar pastime for overly proud native New Yorkers like me. For instance, I’ve stopped paying mind to any sign that advertises “New York-style” pizza; the vicious emotional roller coaster of high hopes and big letdowns is a ride I can no longer endure. A fresh-baked bialy with my Sunday morning paper? Those dreams were
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shot to hell the first time I bit into those floury ring-shaped things that some locals mistakenly call bagels. And for all the food trucks to flood our city, who do I have to pay to open a halal street meat cart? I weep at the thought that a tin foil plate of lamb and day-glo orange rice — the fuel of countless New York City businessmen, college students, and late night drunks — is a pleasure that some of you may never know.
I know what you’re thinking, and why, yes, I could use some cheese with this whine. (Unfortunately, the fresh “moozah-rell” that I love from home is hard to find out here.) But with the arrival of Brooklyn Bowl, the mouthy New Yorker in me is momentarily silenced. The hybrid bowling alley/live music venue/ restaurant, located at The Linq, is the first big project on the Strip to capitalize on the concept of modern-day Brooklyn (which is essentially, and ironically, a throwback to old-timey Brooklyn). The design is inspired by Coney Island in its freakshow-friendly, pre-war heyday, and a menu designed by Blue Ribbon’s Bruce and Eric Bromberg is an equally nostalgic match. For starters, there’s a smoked fish spread with capers, dill and dainty triangles of rye toast. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing: precious on the plate, but a salty and smoky flavor bomb on the tongue. It also satisfies my homesickness for whitefish salad on pumpernickel. If you’ve never had a knish (a kind of giant mashed potato dumpling), the potato and onion version at Blue Ribbon might be a misleading introduction. One of the more common versions sold at Jewish delis and hot dog stands is square-shaped with a dense filling and leathery crust. These are far more refined, made with almost frothy potatoes and tissue-thin pastry. The requisite dollop of deli mustard
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