It’s not quite a liquid brunch, but almost because so much of what we are enjoying is beers “exclusive small batch” and cocktails. As the clock strikes noon at The Federal Bar on Metropolitan Ave, last Sunday, we start with “Beermosas” and a “Bitter Bitch” (Campari, gin pamplemousse, and lemon) and an iced coffee with bourbon, dusted with cocoa (inventions bearing morning-after names): “Was It Good For You?”
Well, yeah, we had fun, a group of gals, fresh from swimming at the Met Pool. We were regaled with hair-of-the-dog refreshments followed by several inventive dishes, including a couple served in cast-iron skillets. A sour cream-based (Mama D’s) coffee cake for starters (based on the Denver-born Chef Brandon Doyle’s mom’s recipe) followed by several types of entrees, including a velvet-smooth corn bread baked in the skillet with a pork and maple topping, and dirty fried rice with sausage steeped in duck liver pate reduction. Each topped with an over-easy egg.
To survive in the ‘hood it seems to require opening a bar with excellent food. The Federal Bar which opened late this summer is a venture of the iconic NYC downtown music club that moved to Williamsburg in 2009—The Knitting Factory (Knit Media). They’re right next door to each other, and there’s a synergy between the concert venue and the restaurant; one can order and have food delivered during performances, and there are discounts for music goers.
The interior of the early 20th century carriage house was designed by Hecho Inc. The decor is a studied Americana, with allusions to the Revolutionary War including drawings of maps and eagles on the walls; there are also vintage surprises that fit cleverly in with the schema: salvaged floor boards from a school gymnasium with the insignia of the school scattered so it’s just a colorful design. A giant light blue globe hangs from the ceiling, scored from a tile store (World of Tile) in New Jersey.
A little bit about the Chef: Brendon Doyle worked as a chef at Dale Talde’s well known bar and eatery Pork Slope. He went on to develop his own company, Guerrilla Condiment Company, and to work as a chef in the private sector; he also worked with Chef Andrew Gerson at Brooklyn Brewery.
About his new bar, Chef Doyle says: “We think it’s a little different and appropriate to the neighborhood, rebellious as it may seem elsewhere. On the other hand, there’s a certain whimsy to the way I create dishes, and I work to try and create dishes that are not part of a typical culinary combination. It’s a fun way to approach something that too many people take too seriously.”
Check out the Federal Bar full menu here.
(Brunch Menu offered from 12pm-5pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
The Federal Bar
367 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211