Food and Local Business Writer
Behold, dear Bushwick. Just in time for the Super Bowl, you have spoken on the finest chicken wings in this neighborhood!
Last week we asked our beloved Facebook followers and readers about their favorite wing spot in Bushwick.
After integrating your responses into a poll and nearly 4,500 votes later we present to you the winner. Drum roll, please … It’s Clara’s!
We were initially surprised to find that love for Clara’s buffalo wings accumulated nearly 50 percent of all votes after having only been open for only a few weeks (following the Eastland’s demise), but with just one bite it was obvious that Clara’s make some marvellous wings!
In addition to, of course, salt, Clara’s head chef John Klein adds thyme and garlic to his brine, adding an overnight to the process, the clincher secret to making Clara’s wings so damn perfect.
Then it’s straight in the oven for the chicken wings where Klein reveals that he cooks them on “really slow and low.”
Klein, who back in the day worked as a line cook and chef tournant at Momofuku Noodle Bar, and has worked at a handful of other fine dining Manhattan establishments such as Italian seafood eatery Marea and classic French restaurant Vaucluse, details exactly what happens during this key slow and low process.
“[I’m] rendering out a little bit of the fat, then tenderizing the connective tissue that turns to jelly, then I fry them at the highest possible temperature,” he explains.
In fact, the rendering out of the fat that Klein speaks of contributes to another factor that makes Klein’s wings the best in Bushwick.
“If you’ve had a wing that hasn’t been rendered like that and then you dress it in sauce, the skin turns into a globby, gloopy, flabby kind of fat,” Klein tells us.
The somewhat unsavory and hilariously described situation Klein points out has happened to probably anybody who has ever had a dressed chicken wing in their lifetime.
After having tried the wings with and without buffalo sauce, which is simply just butter and Frank’s, both proved delicious!
Pre-sauced, the wings showcased their lightly crisp skin and revealed meat underneath that was was melt in the mouth, to die for, and what chicken should taste like.
An order comes with either six or seven wings, depending on the size of the wings, and are priced reasonably at $7.
And then, of course, the chicken wings drenched in buffalo sauce are definitely what will attract Bushwick’s wing lovers.
Shit, they are good enough that having to take two trains just to plant yourself at Clara’s is well worth the hike.
As usual for buffalo wings, Clara’s are served with blue cheese sauce, though in Klein’s you can find actual chunks of blue cheese crumbles, which honestly isn’t as common.
Because you voted Clara’s wings as the best in Bushwick, you may be into Klein’s other offerings, some of which include vegan Brussels sprouts with candied pecans ($7), a classic chicken sandwich with pickle ($8), and a side order of black pepper and rosemary fries with regular ketchup ($3).
Be sure to stop by to Clara’s for the Super Bowl this Sunday, where they will be airing the game at a wall sized projector in the back room, as well as at their TV up front at the bar.
All photos by Cristin Noonan for Bushwick Daily.
Bar and restaurant offering no-frills bar fare and weekly events. Where Bushwick’s best wings live.
53 Wilson Avenue (between Melrose Street and Jefferson Street).
Monday through Friday: 4 p.m. – 4 a.m., Saturday: 12 p.m. – 4 a.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. – 12 am.
Follow Clara’s on Facebook and Instagram.