July 3, 2009


Jennifer had been to Beast once before for drinks and dessert, and was impressed enough to try the full menu. She was nice enough to let me tag along for dinner one Sunday, and it was pleasantly uncrowded. The front is flanked by a large bar with small tables, a large back area has lots more seating, and when the weather is nice there are a few sidewalk tables as well.

The menu is tapas-style, but with heartier fare, largely American in style and includes seafood. The prices are on the upper end of moderate, with the starts/snacks running $3-18 and proper small plates running $7-14. You're going to need at least one and a half per person, get two or include a dessert if you're hungry like we were. The wine list has a nice variety, with quatrinos (1/3 bottles) and full bottles offered at reasonable prices.

Jennifer will talk about what she ordered, but I tried it and it was delicious. You should order it. I ordered the Sweet Onion and Ricotta Tart, which came with a pear salad (pictured above). The tart has a nice light texture and a pleasant taste, but wasn't overly memorable. The pears were nicely cooked and a good compliment. All-in-all a solid vegetarian dish, but nothing to write home about. We also shared a burger, which was a solid meaty dish, and one of the better bargains on the menu. We of course ordered dessert, which was a caramel-y rich bread pudding. Very sweet, but gooey and tasty.

Check out Beast if you're looking to splurge just a bit and have some drinks and share foods with friends. Like me, for instance. -Laurel

The first time I went to Beast was after a Target First Friday at the Brooklyn Museum. The lot of us were absolutely starving and looking for cheap drinks, and stumbled into Beast after an unsuccessful search down Vanderbilt for an empty bar. This place wasn't all that empty either, but reasonably less crowded, possibly because I assume most people are a little freaked by the outside. First of all, the place is called "Beast." Secondly, the front doors are large wooden doors you would see outside of a castle or fort. Not necessarily inviting. Surprisingly nice door man, though.

We waited around for a while for a table, and it was far too crowded for the bar, so three of us were standing by one of the exit doors that leads to a small amount of street seating, directly by the kitchen, which is open into the bar. The smells and sights of the food were making all of us absolutely famished. We finally got a table, to find out they had just stopped serving dinner. The staff was absolutely fantastic, however, and after sharing my obvious disappointment at the lack of food, brought a dessert menu.

Davis and Amanda chose a raspberry cheesecake, while I automatically ordered the Bread Pudding with a Pecan Praline in it. The person I was sharing it with was completely unsure about my choice. However, after the first bite, he was hooked. Everyone at the table then dug their spoon in, and the entire table was filled with "hmmmmm," a.k.a. pure happiness. The pudding melted in our mouths and the sticky pecan praline was a nice addition to the smoothness of the pudding. Definitely a must have.

As any good restaurant should do, Beast's menu changes every so often. So when Laurel and I ventured back to try a few things I had picked out from the menu last time we went, they were no longer on there. However, they were replaced by a multitude of other scrumptious sounding foods. And of course, I had to make her try that Bread Pudding, which I was glad was still on the dessert menu.

While Laurel stuck with her tart, I chose the roast with potatoes, corn and green beans. I made a joke that I would get 3 green beans, and then I did. However, it was absolutely delicious. Small, but delicious. The meat was tender and the perfect compliment to the mashed potatoes and corn in the middle. And the 3 green beans were nicely cooked as well.

Still hungry, of course, Laurel and I ordered the burgers. They were pretty standard and I devoured them quickly, still hungry. And then we moved on to the heavenly dessert. Not quite as heavenly as I remember, but still virtually perfect. I was in a food coma at that point and forgot to take a picture, so just close your eyes and picture bread pudding that has been stabbed in the heart with a pecan praline lightning bolt and covered in sugar.

A good place to go with a large group of ravenous, slightly well to do, companions who like to drink and watch movies Sci-Fi/Action movies on USA Network. Because that's what they show in there. - Jennifer

Address: 638 Bergen St at Vanderbilt (Brooklyn)

Payment: cash or credit

Delivery: no

Open Late: bar open until 3 AM on weekends

Large Group Friendly: yes

Bar/Happy Hour: full bar

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