11/13/2012 09:15:00 AM

First Bite: Atlantic Co., “Not Doing Dinner” in Prospect Heights

At first glance, walking into Atlantic Co. in Prospect Heights last Friday night felt a bit chaotic. This impression grew when we sidled up to the packed bar to ask for a table, and the solo bartender quickly questioned if we knew what we were getting into.

“You want food? Because, we aren’t a place for dinner,” she said, with an attitude that made us question if we had strolled into the wrong place. After a few breaths and a glance at the large chalkboard behind her, which confirmed that they did have food, though not entrée portions, we decided yes, this is where we meant to eat and drink for at least a portion of our evening.

The bartender’s odd reaction to our request for a table stems from owner Sarah Peck’s decision to take her neighborhood pizza joint Ortine, and turn it in to Atlantic Co., a casual, beer, wine and small plates place. Apparently, the regulars hadn’t all gotten the memo and requests for full service and menus had caused confusion for all parties involved.

For us, that was perfectly fine. So, we grabbed a $40 bottle of Thirsty Owl Dry Riesling, a couple of glasses, and sat at one of the dark wooden tables in the small, empty back room to experience Peck’s new concept, which highlights beers, wine, and small plates all sourced from New York. First step, ordering at the bar.
Atlantic Co. offers seven rotating organic dishes, and on the night we went, that included cheeses from Conestoga Creamery and Misty Creek Goat Dairy, house-made pickles, and chili. We also tasted their tart, pickled scarlet turnips, the firm and cheesy gratin made with romanesco cauliflower, and the fluffy, non-fishy smoked trout mousse, which we slathered on seed-topped crackers.

Everything we ate paired well with our tart, green apple tinged wine, and would also go swimmingly with one of their beers like the Victory Prima Pilsner or the Wolaver Organic IPA. They offer 13 (soon to be 16) draft beers, one wine on tap, and six other wines by the glass and bottle, three of them sourced from the state including Fox Run Lemberger and Silver Thread Pinot Noir.

At a time where many people focus on locally sourced ingredients, Peck’s idea to repurpose her space and open Atlantic Co. comes at a good time. After just a couple weeks in business, it appears the locals like local, and the front of house spilled over with them. And, by the time we finished our bottle of Riesling, so did the back room.

The Details: 622 Washington Ave., Brooklyn, New York; 718-622-0026


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