Just a little recommendation:
Had dinner Christmas Eve at Red Rose (Smith St. at Union) with my VERY picky family, and we really enjoyed it. It's not fancy or terribly "gourmet", in fact I advise most to stay away from specials that have too many ingredients, but it's a friendly, charming place, run by the nicest guy who gave me and my step-mother a little peck on the cheek when sending us on our way. So sweet.
I had ceasar salad, and very good mussels on linguine (white). I also recommend the shrimp and artichoke hearts on angel hair, and, if you have the appetite, the rigatoni alla vodka is amazing.
RR is such a nice, less expensive alternative to the rest of Smith Street, and it's nice to patronize a bit of "old" Carroll Gardens.