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Dover: a Brooklyn Critical Darling Worthy of the Hype?

Daniel Krieger

In our era of gastro-tourism for everything from $1,000 tasting menus to the most inconsequential of edibles — "Did you fly to Los Angeles for that new whole-animal lasagna shop?"— Dover in Carroll Gardens, at its best, feels like a welcome throwback to what neighborhood restaurants do best, drawing in passers-by with affordable, accessible fare.

Cocktails are compelling enough to merit a visit on their own. Lamb tartare, laced with Sriracha and finished with whole leaves of mint, arrives with a side of fluffy pita that would easily command a $4 supplement elsewhere in our starch-stingy city. The heralded kitchen, with its Southern French inclinations, even deigns to serve brunch. And the outdoor garden lets guests watch the nighttime fireflies glow as a cool summer breeze blows through South Brooklyn. Perfect.

Then you're presented with a $95 tasting menu, which incorrectly sits atop the excellent a la carte menu. Order it and you might dispense with over three hours of your time and upwards of $325 after wine, tax, and tip for two.

Does the food merit the national attention? >>