We all know Brooklyn can deliver DIY-ish, hipster-tastic fare, but what if you don’t want to eat a meal you could have cobbled together yourself with five items or less from Whole Foods? What if you just want an unapologetically upscale meal that you definitely could not figure out how to make yourself? Or perhaps, you’re dying to wear a little black dress and heels to dinner for once, but such an outfit always feels too square for this borough.
From Aska to the new Westlight restaurant, Brooklyn has more classically upscale dining options than you might think–places that warrant an actual journey and a well-planned, non-Coachella-inspired outfit. Here are four in Williamsburg and Park Slope with a lot to offer in both ambiance and cuisine.
Aska | If you can’t make it across the ocean to sample the wonders of New Nordic cuisine, try to at least make it to Williamsburg. The neighborhood is home to Aska, a Scandinavian restaurant helmed by Chef Fredrik Berselius. Berselius had already earned Michelin-starred status for the previous iteration of this restaurant, and after reopening, Aska has scored yet another two stars on Michelin’s 2017 list. Why? The elaborate $200+ seasonal tasting menu that draws upon nature in quite literal and astonishingly beautiful ways is just one of the many reasons this restaurant has been praised as a worthy dining destination.
Al di la Trattoria | There really is no shortage of Italian restaurants in New York, but it’s important to know which ones will fill you with food-induced ecstasy, and which ones will fill you with empty carbs and regret. Al di la is one of the most consistently lauded restaurants in Brooklyn, delighting customers with upscale Venetian fare on the regular. A family-owned restaurant, al di la is known for its quality and welcoming atmosphere. It’s not formal in the sense that it isn’t stuffy, but it is upscale in the sense that it serves proper northern Italian food and is continuously a Michelin recommended spot.
West light | Also in Williamsburg is the new Westlight restaurant, perched on the rooftop floor of the The William Vale Hotel. Forget going into the city–at Westlight, you can sip on several original cocktails while looking at the breathtaking skyline, but not tripping over nearly as many tourists as you would if you were actually in the middle of that skyline. Oh, and Chef Andrew Carmellini of Locanda Verde fame, The Dutch fame, and frankly a ridiculous number of other successful culinary enterprises in New York, is in charge of Westlight’s menu.
Soigne | Fancy meals don’t always have to be exhorbitantly expensive. Sometimes all it takes to create that special dining moment is a white tablecloth, attentive service, fresh, well-made food and a general lack of screaming children. In Park Slope, that combination of features is no easy feat, which makes Soigne an indisputable neighborhood gem. This restaurant and wine bar is classy, intimate, and has an array of heart-warming dishes like Red Wine-Glazed Duck Breast and Wild Mushroom Risotto. Brunch, often an infuriating and unnecessarily expensive throwaway meal, is also quite delicious and very well-priced at Soigne (and blissfully calm compared to other options nearby).
– Naakai Addy