Has anyone else noticed that the best eating west of the Gowanus is now on a short stretch at the south end of Court?
Caputo's has long been brilliant. The only place in the hood that's managed to make the transition from old Italian ladies to gentrifying foodies. Their (fior di latte) mozzarella is as good as what you get in Italy, their grilled artichokes and cippolini are great, and not only do they have a fine selection of goods, they focus on keeping *great* prices. The imported lentils cost almost half of what they do at Ottomanelli's about ten blocks north.
Next door Nine-D serves up the best thai food in south Brooklyn *by far* and the best I've had in the city in a place that's not really trying that hard, if you know what I mean. For best results, eat in, and if you don't, make sure you check your order--multiple disasters. (Go to dish: Pad Ki Mao. But I dig their whole fish offerings.)
There's Frankies obviously, which more than enough has been written about already.
Buttermilk Channel is the restaurant I've been waiting for, a cross between Smith St Grocery (too chi chi to chill out in) and Chestnut (not good enough food): casual, tasty, and not killing you in the wallet. Excellent beers on tap. Superb herb-crusted hake. Pickles are nice. Cheese plate solid. Not worth crossing bridges for, but what you want nearby.
Finally there's Luna Rossa. It may not be my favorite pizza in the city, but it is the most authentic Neapolitan place in the city, east village included. The food to price ratio is outstanding. Just don't order anything but pizza...