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NYC

Review

On the east side of Prospect Park, there are plenty of good restaurants, but not a ton of great date spots. Sure, if you’re in one of those relationships where all you need is each other’s company, then you can pat yourself on the back and share some takeout on the couch before falling asleep during the first half of a critically acclaimed documentary. But for the rest of us, there’s Glou.

This one-room wine bar in Prospect Lefferts Gardens is a good option for nearly all early-in-the-game date situations. If you’re just looking for a place to get a drink with that labradoodle enthusiast from your Yoga to the People class, grab a couple seats at the bar and ask the bartender/owner for suggestions from the short, mostly-natural wine list. You probably won’t find yourself taking photos of anything to show the clerk at your local wine store, but it’s hard to complain about drinking quality French wines for $9-$12 per glass, and the pours are large.

If you’re confident there won’t be any mentions of ESP or past lives as Genghis Khan, and you’re fine with more of a commitment than just drinks, then sit at one of the small tables and get some food. Everything on the small-plates menu here is made behind the bar, and while no particular dish is worth a trip on its own, everything is both shareable and pretty reasonably priced (it’s all under $16). Start with the roasted broccoli over almond pesto or the $8 escargots, and then get the octopus with crispy potatoes and smoky eggplant dip. By the end of the meal, at the very least, you’ll probably know if this is someone you could fall asleep watching documentaries with in the future.

Food Rundown

Escargots

We almost always enjoy escargots, especially when they’re only $8, as they are here - but we also usually think the best part is dipping some crusty bread in the leftover garlicky butter. At Glou, though, the pan is so shallow that there’s no way to actually sop up anything, so this is basically just six escargots and a couple pieces of thin, grilled bread. Still, the escargots themselves are good.

Roasted Broccoli

Roasted broccoli may not sound like a particularly hearty dish, but this is actually one of the most filling things here. The big portion of charred broccoli is served over toasted farro soaked in almond pesto, which gives the dish extra richness and crunch. This should be on your table if you’re looking for something to share.

Octopus

This has a solid amount of octopus, especially for $14, although the dominant part of the dish is the charred eggplant (which tastes like baba ghanoush). The octopus itself is a bit too chewy, but when that and the crispy potatoes are covered in the eggplant spread, it’s all pretty enjoyable.

Meatballs

This is really more of a tomato bisque. It’s a deep bowl of marinara sauce, burrata, and some beef and pork meatballs, with some crunchy bread on the side for dipping. The sauce and the meatballs themselves don’t have enough salt or spice, and the whole thing is pretty bland, so we’d skip this in favor of something else.

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