An hour and thirty seven minutes after leaving my East Village apartment (a commute that included a subway, a bus and a friend's car), I finally made it to Red Hook. Although it's not much farther than Carroll Gardens, it's an infinitely more difficult commute, especially when the F train isn't running local stops. I'm glad I made it, because now I know what actually goes on here. You know how sometimes you have a preconceived notion of what a certain place looks or feels like before you've actually been there? Well, I always thought Red Hook was a crazy harborside amusement park and market. Beers! Boats! Fish! Art! That's not the case. There's one block with a couple restaurants, a dope bakery and a lobster pound. No rides. No water balloon horse racing. No fish market. There's a Fairway market (which is amazing), and there's Fort Defiance.
We'd heard a lot about Fort Defiance, and had a feeling going in this was a place that we would be very down with. Although they're known for their libations, this restaurant doesn't feel like one of those super-cool, pretentious cocktail dens that we all know too well. It has the promise of the perfect neighborhood spot that, if we lived in this hood, we'd frequent all the time. We thoroughly enjoyed both the food and drinks here, but it's the friendly, warm service that stuck with us the most. It seemed as if everyone working here thoroughly enjoys their job, which means good vibes for your Chronic Brunch. And that brunch is the main reason you should be heading for Fort Defiance. They do small plates and a couple entrees at dinner too, but a brunch full of Day Drinking is where it's at.
Yup, this thing is just as good as it sounds. A breakfast sandwich jammed with ham, jalapeño jam, and a fried egg. Order it.
If you want meat in the morning, this is the move. It's a huge portion of skirt steak along with eggs cooked to order.
One of the main attractions at Fort Defiance and, honestly, we were not that crazy about it. The combo of crème fraîche, apples, and maple syrup is nice, but for something that sounded so good, it missed the mark. The pastry was flaky and a bit dry, and overall the dish wasn't sweet enough to make us crave that next bite.
If you can handle a hefty brunch, this is where it's at. The cold fried chicken comes with bacon, oysters, and salsa. It's protein heavy, but really damn good and quite fulfilling.
It's always rotating but never a bad idea. Do it. Ours had spinach, onions, and peppers. Not a bad way to start your weekend.