Peter Yi, owner of Brooklyn Cider House, didn’t want there to be forks and knives on tables for guests sitting down to one of their Basque-style meals, modeled after a sagardotegi. He didn’t even want plates. They’re there on the tables in the expansive space at 1100 Flushing Avenue in Bushwick because he compromised, and you’ll feel comfortable because of it, but you might not even use them. Between the basket of Napoli Bakery bread and between-course cider-catching loosening you up, you might just eat it all up with your hands, as Yi intended.
What will you be eating? Five well-portioned courses served family-style, over two and a half hours, that are either omnivorous ($37) or vegetarian ($32). For an additional $15, you get the mid-course cider tastings straight from the barrels with expert explanations; at the end, you choose your favorite from among the differently aged selections. The cider complements all the food, from vegetable dumplings to tortilla de bacalao to steaks of either ribeye or cauliflower, both keeping you in balance. Manchego, quince paste and walnuts round out each menu.
All the ciders are made from a mix of apples grown up at Yi’s Twin Star Orchard in New Paltz, New York, which he bought two years ago after working at Inwood’s PJ Wine (as wine buyer and co-owner), and others. The Bushwick outpost is a massive 12,000 square feet, with sprawling murals on the walls to take in while either sitting at the front bar space (which has a separate food menu) or in the back restaurant.
Cider has been poised for wide popularity for some time: We’ve seen the success of Wassail on the Lower East Side, as well as the recent opening of a Bad Seed Tap Room in Crown Heights. What Brooklyn Cider House provides is an experience that will allow you to leave a more informed cider drinker—probably one who goes home to check prices on flights to Spain.
Reservations are recommended for dinner, so gather a group and get cider-catching.