Diners in Midwood

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At Moldova Restaurant, diners don?t just run into their Brooklyn neighbors, they make friends with visitors from Moldova, Romania, and other Eastern European countries as well. This is because owner Radu Panfil and his culinary team labor over centuries-old recipes, ensuring only authentic Moldavian ingredients grace the menu. Traditional plates of stuffed chicken breasts topped with cheese, lamb kabobs, and carp fried in cornmeal join house specials such as the mamaliga trapeza?cornmeal encircled by assorted meats, cheese, sour cream, and scrambled eggs. These entrees, as well as desserts, such as stuffed dried plums or crepes with sour cherries and cream, have earned the eatery attention abroad, including in a Romanian piece for Radio Europa Libera.

And the food is not the only Moldovan staple of the restaurant. Panfil and crew take great pains to replicate the country?s old-world charm with traditional folk art and paintings, banquet hall-style seating, Slavic-patterned ceilings, and tapestries from the homeland. They also host live music, inspiring patrons to join hands in a joyful circle dance. And to amp up the festiveness during the holidays, they light up the dining room by dangling folk dolls and other appropriate d?cor from the soft wooded beams that cross over the white and gray ceiling.

1827 Coney Island Ave
Brooklyn,
NY
US

Ensconced in fiery yellows and reds and enlivened with nostalgic élan, Dizzy's Diner is the brainchild of two devotees of down-home cooking with experience in Bobby Flay's kitchens and at the Culinary Institute of America. A menu of classic diner fare crams in comfort food such as Dad's Favorite Meatloaf, wrapped in smoked bacon with its feet up on davenport of garlic mashed potatoes, and the turkey club deluxe, which unites the classic tomato, bacon, and roast turkey of a club with fresh tossed greens and cranberry chutney. On a plate of steak frites, pan-seared hanger steak soaks in sauce au poivre in the steak frites, and a pair of portobello and garden burgers cure vegetarian cravings. Each of these meals is attended by a side such as grits, coleslaw, or chili-cheese fries, as a frosty brew refs a cage fight between salt and pepper shakers.

511 9th St
Brooklyn,
NY
US

Chef Cheryl Smith builds home-style meals that incorporate global flavors into rustic recipes using techniques she has shared on Food Network features including Melting Pot, Soul Kitchen, and Gordon Elliot's Doorknock Dinners. Market-fresh dishes blend seasonal and regionally sourced ingredients, astounding savor receptors with the latest tastes from farmers' market flavor runways. At lunch, baked goods and crisp salads share satiating duties with personified sandwiches including the Steve, made with cured bacon and vine-ripened tomatoes ($7.95). Dinner selections fuse agrarian fare standards with worldly accents such as Moroccan vegetable stew over rice pilaf ($15.00) or Korean marinated rib-eye steak and watercress salad ($22.00).

236 Underhill Ave
Brooklyn,
NY
US

Tom's has been around since 1936, and it shows in the best possible ways. Here, friendly service is still as in fashion as it was more than 70 years ago, starting with the complimentary coffee and cookies passed out to customers waiting in line. The decor is also a throwback to simpler times. An old-fashioned soda fountain serves almost-forgotten staples such as chocolate and vanilla egg creams, and the dining room contains an eclectic, almost cluttered collection of Christmas lights, newspaper clippings, and kitsch, making guests feel as though they're dining in the rec room of an eccentric family member or the workshop of Santa's least organized elf. But while the old-fashioned sensibility certainly sets Tom's apart, it's the food that led The New York Times to declare it "a Brooklyn institution". The shop's famous fluffy pancakes may be enjoyed topped with syrup and homemade flavored butters or in incarnations that update the recipe with lemon zest and ricotta cheese or sweet corn and cranberries. Those who don’t wish to brave the considerable brunch crowd need not fret, as breakfast is served all day, though the addition of later-in-the-day options such as tender beef brisket may make it hard to choose what to order.

782 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn,
NY
US

Bonnie's Grill: A User's Guide

Regional Flavors | Diner-Style Cuisine | Vegetarian Options | Retro Vibe

Sample Menu

  • Appetizer (for carnivores): buffalo chicken wings served mild, medium, hot, or hotter
  • Appetizer (for herbivores): vegetarian chili-cheese fries
  • Sandwich (for meat fans): locally raised, free-range turkey burger
  • Sandwich (for meat foes): grilled halloumi cheese with onion-and-olive spread

    When to Go: To experience the blue-collar spirit that makes Bonnie's great, swing by on Sunday to cheer for owner Mike Naber's hometown heroes, the Buffalo Bills.



    While You're Waiting

    • If you plan to order the veggie burger, do some deep-breathing exercises to calm your nerves first. Writer Jonathan Safran Foer called this sandwich "maddeningly good" in the Brooklyn Paper.
    • Ogle the retro decor, which includes red vinyl chairs, a hopping lunch counter, and posters of rock legends such as Elvis and The Who.

      Inside Tip: Since the diner specializes in Buffalo staples, such as beef on weck and chicken wings, go all-in and order a regional beer—perhaps a Genesee Cream Ale—to go with your meal.



      While You're in the Neighborhood
      Save the world: Stock up on capes and secret identities at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. (372 5th Avenue), a nonprofit storefront that benefits 826 NYC's creative-writing programs for kids.

      Save your tongue: Soothe a buffalo-sauce-scorched palate with frozen yogurt made from local milk at Culture (331 5th Avenue).

278 5th Ave
Brooklyn,
NY
US

As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm, or a hearty three-egg omelet or belgian waffle. At City Lights Diner, which boasts two locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, he can have it all. Breakfast brings classics such as silver-dollar pancakes or thick slices of challah french toast, sating sweet teeth willful enough to make it past glass encasements filled with sticky danishes and housemade cakes and pies. Monte cristo sandwiches help bridge the gap between mid-morning and mid-afternoon, making way for stacked pastrami or roast-beef sandwiches or jumbo burgers piled high with fried onions, ham, and cheddar, or a whole fried egg. Night owls can also find plenty to feast on—the Hell's Kitchen location stays open till 11 p.m.—whether they're in the mood for juicy, broiled New York sirloin or disco fries slathered in melted american cheese, brown gravy, and gold medallions.

515 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn,
NY
US