Published on May 26th, 2013 | by Celina0
Cozying Up At Jack The Horse Tavern
The neighborhood tavern is a noble American tradition. Taverns were essential for colonial Americans, offering a place for colonists to exchange bits of news, arrange trades and discuss business opportunities. Now, in a busier world, we have lost touch with this quieter atmosphere to exchange thoughts. But in a cozy nook in Brooklyn, you can still pretend to hear the sound of the horses clop by.
Born from husband and wife team, Tim and Micki, Jack the Horse Tavern is a hidden gem within Brooklyn’s up and coming neighborhood Dumbo. Originally a mechanical engineer, Tim’s life-long love of cooking guided him to New York. When coupled with Micki’s extensive experience of design and business management, the idea for this unique tavern was born.
The big windowed interior is flooded with light during the day and at night, allows the moonshine in for a subtle glow. A collection of antique clocks speckles the exposed brick walls. The benches are lined with bright pillows, reminding one of a cozy neighborhood coffee shop.
We sampled two offerings from the cocktail menu, including the Behind The Knees and the Buffalo Rifle. The Behind the Knees ($10) was a delicious muddled mix of gin, white grapefruit juice, lime and elderflower. Topped with just a splash of cava, the drink was just fruity enough but not overly sweet. The Buffalo Rifle ($12) was a bit strong for my tastes but was a hefty dose of rye, bourbon, cynar, sherry and bitters in a tumbler. It made for a great aperitif but perhaps a bit heavy-handed to start off our dinner.
We ordered the Red and Golden Beet Salad ($10) and were impressed by the fresh produce. The varied beets were drizzled in a Cabernet vinegar and walnut oil marinade and topped with shaved radish, goat cheese and crunchy pistachios. The Green and Red Baby Lettuce Salad ($9) was a bit less intriguing but very tasty as well. A bed of crispy lettuce was heaped with manchego cheese, marinated pears and rosemary croutons. Drizzled sparingly with a homemade Riesling vinaigrette, this salad was just the right start to a heavier entree.
The Big Bowl Of The Best PEI Mussels ($18) caught our eye immediately. Cooked in white wine, ginger and shallots, the mussels were exquisitely tasty and we soaked up every drop of the sauce with the fresh herb french fries. Our waiter suggested pairing the mussels with a Solena Pinot Grigio and we were pleasantly surprised by how well the items complemented each other. We also ordered off the prix fixe multi-course menu for a satisfying $29.95. The Roasted Boneless Pork Loin with roasted parsnips and broccoli rabe was very good- the pork was tender and very well prepared but a bit salty, while the parsnips fell apart deliciously in your mouth.
The perfect end to our meal lay in the dessert. We enjoyed the Olive Oil Cake ($8) from the tasting menu, loving the way the lemon curd and orange flavored creme fraiche played delicately off of the simple cake. But we wished the cake had been a bit less dense. However, we cast aside all complaints when we met Jack the Horse Tavern’s Banana Hazelnut Bread Pudding ($8). Perfectly toasted in the oven, the bananas melted in your mouth, with the graham cracker crumbs adding texture. Topped with a generous helping of maple-toasted, smoke-infused marshmallow, the whole dessert was exquisite and we’ve been craving it ever since. It’s worth stopping by for it alone!
Open Monday through Saturday from 5:30pm to 10:30pm. Sunday brunch is available starting at 11am and the restaurant ends their dinner service at 9pm. The restaurant was quite busy when we stopped by mid-week for dinner, so make a reservation with them online or by phone! Located on the corner of Hicks and Cranberry streets in historic Brooklyn Heights, their address is 66 Hicks St, Brooklyn 11201.