2007_03_royals1.JPG“You want to sit at the bar?" said the waiter.
"Yes, please."
"Oh...no one has really ever done that before.”
We walked into Royal’s Downtown yesterday, partly out of curiosity. This gorgeously lit restaurant sits on the western edge of Carroll Gardens, and seems completely out of place. Unlike the cute little restaurants dotted around the area, it’s grand and pretentious, more like a Brooklyn Heights standby that is decorated well but prohibitively expensive. There is only one entree under $20.

But the main reason we showed up last night was that we heard there was a bar. So we donned our cocktail attire, and though we hardly had a twenty in our pocket, we stopped by and hoped we could afford a drink. The room is every bit as gorgeous as it looks from the street, with a roaring fireplace in the back. Along one wall is the dark wooded bar, rung with seats, that provides one of the more romantic cocktail settings in the area.

Unfortunately, it’s not much of a bar. They have a small wine list with scant wines by the glass, no cocktail menu, and only 5 bottled beers, which is probably why our waiter was so baffled we wanted to sit there. But they couldn't have been nicer, and poured huge drinks and charged us very little for them.

2007_03_royals2.JPGIt can be intimidating walking in. It's a place where everyone still dresses up and the tables are spread very far apart. The prices reflect that. But there is this bar with empty seats, in a stunning room, with great waiters, and pretty good drinks that aren't too expensive. We think people should go.

Has anyone else ventured in?

Royal's Downtown
215 Union Street
(718) 923-9866