1048 Bedford Ave. (between Lafayette Ave. & Clifton Pl.), Bed-Stuy
What it is: Northwest Bed Stuy’s first legit gastropub, Black Swan manages to impress with its decadent design, but follows through on the comfort factor with its friendly neighborhood-bar mentality.
Why we love it: Impressive in appearance, but never hoity-toity – the bartenders will remember your name, while sipping your artisan beer at the copper bar. Flat-screen TVs are speckled throughout, so it’s an ideal spot to catch a game, and the back houses intimate booths and communal dining tables – giving you the option of making nice with your neighbors or holing up in a corner. A quaint, fenced-in outdoor space flanks the backyard – perfect for savoring the warm weather.
Who to bring: All your wussy pals who still think Bed Stuy’s appeal can be summarized in the lyrics of a Biggie track (the 90’s called – they want their closed-minded generalizations back!). You’ll convert your crew faster than they can say, “If ya don’t know, now ya know!” Bonus: the ambience make this an ideal date spot. And Black Swan is stumbling distance from the Bedford-Nostrand G train. Just sayin’…
What to order: The full weekday lunch and dinner menu, a weekend brunch offering, a late-night pub menu and 16 premium craft beers on draft, supplemented by a standing Tolstoy-length wine and spirits list, makes it hard to choose: We recommend the all-you-can-eat mussels on Tuesdays ($12, from 6-8pm). The beers are largely local (Six Point, Captain Lawrence) with a few delicious European interlopers.
Black Swan fun fact: Owner Ornella Pather and her husband Sureshan live around the corner on Clifton Pl. and are perma-friendly faces at the bar. Whether you reside in Bed Stuy or are just cruising through, you’ll surely sample a bit of local flair alongside your beverage of choice. In fact, Black Swan celebrates its one-year anniversary on April 22 – drink specials and giveaways will be offered all day. A perfect excuse to visit the ‘nabe, if you ask us.