Great things are happening on the block of Troutman Street between Wyckoff and St. Nicholas!
Not only is the block home to amazing street art curated by our beloved Joe Ficalora and to the recently opened AP Café; it’s now also home to The Rookery, a British-West Indian gastropub. Owned by wife-husband duo Jamie Schmitz and Shana Bellot, The Rookery is a spacious converted warehouse perfect for date nights as well as merry catch-up dinners with friends.
The Rookery has been under construction for the past few months, unintentionally making passers-by (including yours truly) very impatient for its opening night. When it finally opened two weeks ago for an “abbreviated opening night” –- with a grand opening to come within the next couple of weeks—we rushed over, and and we were pretty pleased with what we found. The relaxed-but-slick pub combines traditional British interior design with contemporary Brooklyn style, adding a couple of impeccable details like the three perfect rows of lighting hanging from the ceiling.
Seating capacity is a little more than 50, and seating options include a pleasant front yard, several booths, tables for smaller groups or couples and a majestic 16-foot horseshoe bar.
This past Sunday night The Rookery was quieter than usual, so we made use of the peace to chat with Jamie Schmitz and to try their very appetizing food and drink menu. The hybrid British and West Indian menu is full of tasty surprises. We tried the Samosa Veggie Burger for $8, which comes with sweet and spicy mango chutney spread on the bun. The patty is juicy and flavorful, which we really appreciate in a veggie burger. My companion and the brave editor of our video above, my husband Ken, tried the Oxtail Sloppy Joe ($8). When I demanded a detailed description of the dish in the name of journalism, I only got long and happy “hmmmmmmm,” so I assume that the Oxtail is pretty delicious as well. The only thing lacking was a side of greens to make our burgers less lonesome and more healthy.
The beer selection is nice and clearly says ‘autumn.’ We tried a Goose Island IPA for $6, and we were pretty happy about our selection. We looked for a cheap canned beer for $4, a popular fixture in other Bushwick establishments, to no avail; the beer menu is classy, but a Tecate can sometimes come in handy, especially on a night towards the end of a month that’s been less than robust cash flow-wise. The wine and cocktail list looks classy as well, from the $7 glass of Malbec to the $12 whiskey cocktail, The Highland Boy.
“The Rookery is a grownup bar,” we overheard someone saying, and we would have to agree. But hey, if candlelight, pleasant company and delicious food and drink are grownup, there’s nothing wrong with that in our book!