Ox Cart Tavern takes pride in crafting almost every component of its creative comfort cuisine from scratch, from fresh grinding all meats in-house to handcrafting its own ketchup. Chef David Pitula’s contemporary spin on American classics start with appetite whetters such as chili-coated sweet-onion rings ($4) or roasted-garlic and goat-cheese spinach pies ($7) with zesty chipotle dip. A board of burger options present variations on a beefy 9-ounce theme, with selections as versatile as a hula burger ($12), which dances to its doom with a sweet-savory stack of grilled pineapple, Italian ham, and Swiss cheese, to the bacon, cheddar, and sautéed-mushroom-topped Good ol’ Boy ($12), which attempts to distract diners by singing all 37 verses of “American Pie.” A pastoral version of fish 'n' chips situates beer-battered white fish near a pyramid of pickled vegetables and a heap of hand cut fries ($13), and the Gelato sundae ($6) sweetly caps the meal with a tower of homemade fudge and bourbon caramel, crowned with maraschino cherries, fresh whipped cream, and praline.
PSbklyn's servers slide dishes from a menu resplendent with burgers and brick-oven pizzas down a polished crimson bar. The aromas of wood-fired pizzas such as the Joey G., which asserts a flavorful presence with grilled chicken, barbecue sauce, and avocado-ranch dressing ($12), twist with the warming scents of the Reuben sliders ($6) in a mouthwatering tangle like an Oompa Loompa's game of Twister. In the lively dining area, patrons dress beef, chicken, veggie, or turkey patties ($10) in one of nine different ensembles, such as The Luca's sartorial armor of avocado, smoked-tomato jam and portobello mushroom (an additional $5). Kids hone their future-foodie instincts without crafting Play-Doh sushi by selecting a foundation for their meal from options including gooey grilled cheeses and pigs in a blanket and pairing it with fries, steamed vegetables, or applesauce ($9).
Slabs of slate glisten in candlelight atop rustic wooden tables, where white slivers of artisanal cheeses or curlicues of charcuterie fill each stony plate. Nearby, One Stop Beer Shop's tap-pulls and bottle openers unleash foamy rivulets of imported and American beers from breweries such as Hofbrau, Leinenkugel, Rogue, Bellhaven, and Harpoon, whose names and compatible astrological signs are announced on a wall-mounted chalkboard menu. Lively happy hours pour discounted brews and spirited specialties, such as shots of whiskey or vodka chased by vials of pickle juice or borscht, and weekly special events, such as beer-pong and trivia night, test patrons' physical and mental dexterity. One Stop Beer Shop also preps growlers of popular brews for pickup and neighborhood delivery orders.
Dorian Gray, a literary-themed gastro pub bedecked with mahogany and distressed bricks, permits patrons to cozy up to beer and Irish-influenced fare. With one hand toting a pint of Dorian Gray Amber ($5) and the other a glass of Vinvita pinot grigio ($7), guests can use their mouth to graze on Irish cheddar mini burgers ($6) or signature, french-fried curry chips with four in the mornin’ sauce ($6). New Zealand lamb chops share a diner's attention with peas and mash ($14), and the doughy cradle of shepherd's pie bears beef, onions, carrots, and peas ($11).
Outfitted to resemble a one-room schoolhouse, with beer lists on blackboards and wooden pegs for hanging coats, Nolita House provides an education in simple, affordable, seasonal dining. Learn how far a crispy panko crust can elevate classic mac 'n' cheese ($12 for the large plate or $8 for the small) or study the intersection of the delicious and the porcine with babyback ribs ($9). Forge a guardian's signature and take your tongue on an international field trip with Nolita's shrimp tacos ($16) or miso-saki-glazed cod ($18). Small varietal wines from boutique vineyards pair nicely with an olive plate ($3), arguments over roller-derby statistics, or cheeses, especially at Nolita's Wine and Cheese Happy Hours, held every night between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. ($12 for two cheeses and a glass of wine).