Seems like all the cool kids are hanging out in Bushwick and Ridgewood (and, I predict, Glendale soon enough) these days. It’s almost more than your South Brooklyn correspondent can handle. Luckily, I am an intrepid and dedicated reporter.
The Bad Old Days (whose name I must confess I don’t really care for (better than Good Old Days, I guess; glamorizing crime and grime isn’t really my thing)) is a solid new entry to the bar scene. Located just a couple blocks from Myrtle-Wyckoff’s junction of the L and M trains, it’s got a cozy living room atmosphere (with entertaining bathroom wallpaper for the urban-history-inclined of us), reasonable prices and, most importantly, damn tasty drinks.
I especially liked the Winter Vixen, with its mix of rosemary-infused gin, cranberry, and Lillet. It struck just the right note of holiday cheer while remaining light and refreshing, appropriate for our apocalyptically hot December. I also enjoyed the Manhattan Special. Its mixture of rye and maple reminded me of the day I really got into cocktails in the first place, dragging my then-pretty-new boyfriend on a mad trek across Williamsburg and Greenpoint to Dutch Kills after reading about a similar concoction in a magazine. Four years later, we are cocktail experts, while rye and maple (and a coffee ice cube!) remain as winning a combination as ever.
Not so far away from Bad Old Days, in a very different sort of atmosphere, is the tasty Amaranto (recently acclaimed by the New York Times). Though I was drawn in by the tamale mentioned by Ms. Mishan, what really won me over was the tostada, a perfect mix of textures with crab, avocado, fennel, radish, and tortilla crunch. The stuffed avocado was less beautiful to behold but just as tasty. My elote and mezcal cocktail, garnished with a corncob, was an enjoyable foray into savory drinks; while the blackberry flan we had for dessert was creamy and delicious. I look forward to more trips back up to the Brooklyn/Queens border.
The Bad Old Days, 1684 Woodbine Street, Ridgewood
Amaranto, 887 Hart Street, Bushwick