139 Montegue Street
(b/t Clinton & Henry)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
THE BEST PART of waking up in a Comfort Inn is making your own Belgian waffles in the lobby. I think. Anyway, I got a kick out of it--I've never had the pleasure. It was certainly a plus to be able to drag them back to the hotel room with a couple cups of coffee and sit on the balcony looking out over the ocean. Not a bad send-off.
The flight back was unremarkable, same for the taxi (yet apparently I've decided to remark on them... curious), and I spent most of the afternoon unpacking all the goodies I happily lugged back: a new flask (from my mother), a huge Eduardo Chillida art book, and lots of glasses (also from my mother) that remarkably survived the flights crew's best efforts to destroy them in my luggage. Those, and several other things.
Unpacked, I headed down to Brooklyn Heights to meet Mint for dinner. The snow and ice was an unpleasant reminder of reality after a few days at my brother's place in sunny North Carolina, and so was slipping on the stairs outside Mint's store and nearly destroying my arm. Welcome home.
We went, as we always seem to do, to La Traviata. It's absolutely nothing special, and I certainly wouldn't recommend you make a trip out to Brooklyn Heights just to hit it up, but if you're in the neighborhood it's not a bad option. Reasonably priced, well-prepared Italian food with service that tends to be, well, not. I guess the plus to this is that you won't be rushed.
I've had lots of stuff over a few visits and found that the pastas tossed with seafood tend to be the best bet for your money, only slightly-more expensive than their pasta-only options and twice as good. The salmon and peas in vodka sauce and the linguine with shrimp, calamari, and mussels with plum tomato sauce are two of my favorites.
It's nothing you'll run home raving about, but if you order a few glasses of wine and sit back to watch the waitresses struggling to keep up with their tables, you'll have a fine time indeed.
MIKE EATS NEXT TIME: He's in Brooklyn Heights.