we went for the 1st time last night to wheated - on church avenue right off of coney island avenue. i was worried about the location - we live in midwood - so not the neighborhood - but that it's in the space that used to be ny icey and it's in front of a major bus stop. but the interior is really really lovely - all warm wood tables well spaced and the dining room is in the back section with a nice sized bar with seating in a few areas in the front. you disappear off of church avenue into the restaurant. met the owner immediately (can't remember his name, sorry). he seated us and was also behind the counter helping with the pizzas and finishing off the salads. our waitress couldn't have been nicer and the owner happy to talk to us about his bar specialty - 'brown liquors!" - and boy does he know his stuff. i had a wheated bourbon manhattan (they really specialize in cocktails but also have a nice beer and wine list - i really indulged and went for an omegang after my cocktail). my husband first had a wheated bourbon on the rocks (i think he named the place after his favorite bourbon) and then had his bacon-infused wheated bourbon on the rocks. if i had to critique, i'd say the only one i could find was that the shot was just enough - but he said he really loved it and simply wanted more!
the caesar salad was really big - plenty to generously share between 2 - and the croutons are clearly homemade. the only thing they forgot was to offer a grind of pepper which it needed.
we got 2 pizzas: they've named them after brooklyn neighborhoods - 1st up was the bensonhurst - perhaps the most traditional (which we felt would be the mark of how good they were) - and with mushrooms and faico (?) sausage. exactly what you want. it's pizza like motorinos or keste - easily as good as either place. a drop bigger than a plate - i think they said 12" - a personal pizza if you are a big eater and shareable if you are a light eater.
our 2nd was the red hook - working from memory here but i think it was mozz, very very thinly sliced potatoes, thyme, tiny bits of pistachio and really thinly sliced mortadella. i was worried - but, as the owner said to us - the description doesn't do it justice. this was really really really good. it all worked so well together. we said we'd go back just for that pizza.
even better, he has local kids (and not all guys) behind the counter actively making the pizzas and salads - and it's great. it was clear that everyone had great pride in this place and it showed. top-notch ingredients and great drinks. i'd go back in a minute. it also anchors a bit of church avenue that now includes wheated, am thai and lark - and the odd indian restaurant that we ate in but didn't love (and so i cannot remember the name).
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