Non-Touristy Restaurants Under the Brooklyn Bridge

That was the Google search I did this past Friday when attending my friend’s dance show in Dumbo (the first town at the end of the Brooklyn Bridge). The only place I had ever been was Grimaldi’s which is the world famous pizza place that is the destination for all bridge walkers daily. Since I don’t venture to Brooklyn very much, I wanted to go to a place off the beaten path that got great reviews and obviously a Google search is the most informed way to start…

Gran Electrica was listed as number one on Zagat’s list of Best Non-Touristy Restaurants Under The Brooklyn Bridge and it was worth the recommendation! A few blocks away from the subway and literally right at the end of the bridge if you were to walk it over from Manhattan, this place has the cool Brooklyn vibe from the moment you walk in. The place is packed with darker candlelight and my friend Kristina and I got a spot in the back overlooking their back patio which is apparently the place to be when the weather gets warmer (I will definitely be back for that).

The drink menu was made up of some really exotic margaritas. My friend Kristina tried the spicy jalepeno margarita and I tested out the fresh cucumber margarita which were both delicious! The friendly waiter led us through his favorite options on the menu including a few secret options that of course we ordered like the cheese, mushroom and onion fondue and the fresh guacamole. We ended with the small mahi mahi tacos which were a perfect way to cap off the amazing meal.  The service was excellent, the vibe was relaxed and cool and the food was absolutely delicious. I cannot wait to return again!

Colonia Verde wins us over with gorgeous space and delicious food

Ariel writes the bi-weekly Gilt City column for am New York’s Eat & Drink section.

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I don’t go to Brooklyn a lot, but when I do, it’s for really good food or a cute hipster. For both, I recently found myself at a quaint little spot called Colonia Verde.

Straight from husband-and-wife team Felipe Donnelly and Tamy Rofe (the duo behind Cómodo), Colonia Verde offers Latin American-inspired dishes designed for sharing—perfect on a date or with a group of friends. The items are as tasty as they sound: Brussels sprout Caesar salad with a mustard-avocado Parmesan dressing; juicy duck confit tacos with pickled onions; grilled baby eggplant with red rice, crispy chickpeas and smoky pecans.

On a recent visit, I found the dishes rich and comforting, from the cauliflower gratin with cheese bubbling and burnt against a cast-iron pan to the split-open langoustine charred over a wood fire with cilantro chimichurri. The menu changes often, though the Sunday pig roast is a happy constant.

For such a tiny open kitchen, it is a wonder the chefs keep up with the orders. Colonia Verde is primed for a massive crowd, with seating at the bar, a number of cozy two-tops and a gorgeous enclosed greenhouse with a cool brick floor and glass ceiling. The candlelit, romantic space will be open and heated throughout the winter. While the weather is still mild, you can also grab a spot on the outdoor patio, which has plenty of wooden seats padded with pillows and blankets, should you and your skinny hipster date get chilly.