You can stop hunting for your next favorite outdoor garden in Brooklyn and just head over to the Gowanus Canal. That's where you'll find the colorfully, if not exactly appetizingly, named Lavender Lake—a charming new addition that isn't nearly as twee as the Times fashion blog might make it sound. Ample space, good eats and a friendly vibe go a long way.
Located in a former stable right next to the Gowanus drawbridge on Carroll Street, the bar (named after a colorful old nickname for the neighboring superfund site) is airy with lots of wood and lots of light. And not a single television to be seen (a joyful thing which can take a few minutes to sink in). But while the bar itself is nice, the real charmer in a summer like this is the big patio out back which can pack in far more people than you'd expect.
And it isn't just affordable drinks and open space they've got going for them. Lavender Lake, which also serves the requisite cocktails along with beer in every form from buckets to pints, also boasts a full kitchen pushing out solid fare outside most boozehall's comfort range. After a brief stint at Demi Monde, chef Steve Lohse seems to be enjoying putting out affordable but filling dishes like Fried Brussels Sprouts with lemon aioli ($6), a clearly popular burger ($10), steak tartare ($10) and a delicious seared Red Snapper ($18). You can check out the current menu below.
Having opened last month, Lavender Lake is definitely still a baby—there are some service kinks clearly getting worked out—but don't be shocked to see it on a lot of outdoor bar lists as the summer wrap ups.
383 Carroll Street // 347-799-2154
Radishes and apples with bread and butter 4
Housemade Potato Chips with sweet celery seasoning 4
Assortment of Housemade Pickles 5
Potato-Leek Soup (served hot or cold) 6
Fried Brussels Sprouts with lemon aioli 6
Heirloom Tomatoes with tarragon and feta 7
Seasonal Lettuces with pistachios, avocado, mint, lime 8
Grilled Bread Salad with peas arugula,and anchovy vinaigrette 8
Angus Steak Tartare with cornichon and egg 10
Pan seared Red Snapper with roasted cauliflower, tomato, peas 18
Walnut-Ricotta Ravioli with roasted red peppers 16
Grilled Pork Loin with pickles, radishes, and mustard 17
LL Burger brioche bun, lettuce, tomato, secret sauce 10
(Add cheese, bacon, or a fried egg for a dollar each.)
Bistro Steak with wilted greens and crispy baby potatoes 18
Lemon-brined Chicken Breast, with grilled vegetables and pan jus 18
FYI: Undercooked items increase the risk of food-borne illness, in case you didn’t know that already.