61 Wythe Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(Bowling Alley with food by Blue Ribbon)
Our Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ Great
Cards: All Major
Price: entress $14-$18
Hours: Monday – Friday- 6:00 PM; Saturday and Sunday – FAMILY BOWL from NOON – 6:00 PM (ALL AGES!), After 6:00 PM 21+
Booze: Full Bar
Subway: L to Bedford
NY Mag says:
To a neighborhood already jammed with hybrid entertainment ventures—think McCarren Park Pool’s music and dodgeball and Slip ’n Slide or Barcade’s drinking and video games—add the bowling-dining-music combo Brooklyn Bowl. It’s set in a renovated Williamsburg iron foundry and is the city’s first LEED-certified green bowl-o-drome. Sixteen lanes are joined by a restaurant and cocktail bar, bowlers’ lounge, and music stage. Traditional rock shows are on the docket, along with monthly open-jam sessions. The food is a draw in itself: It’s Blue Ribbon Brasserie, which plans dressed-up bowling fare and French-bread pizzas.
The New Yorker says:
We suggest that you eat with your non-bowling hand,” a note on the menu at Brooklyn Bowl states, in a nod, presumably, to both aim and hygiene, if not to the traditional carelessness of ten-frame dining. This converted warehouse at the northern edge of Williamsburg does triple duty as a bowling alley, a music hall, and a grub house. Its kingpin, Peter Shapiro, the former owner of the bygone jam-bandy club Wetlands, has dreamed up an emporium that combines hedonistic excess (deep-end leather couches, spiked milkshakes, brisket, live music) with eco-consciousness (reclaimed-cork floors, no bottled beer, live music). For the eats, he brought in the Bromberg brothers, the creators of Blue Ribbon, to draw up a rebuke to every limpid water dog and fossilized onion ring you’ve ever downed, then regretted, at Wherever Lanes. They tinkered with comfort-food classics, secure in the knowledge that no bowler will ever crave endive. It’s a menu that begs over-ordering, as well as this remark from your waiter, regarding the procedure for delivering the food: “You guys want it as it fits?” “Fits where?” is one reply; the table is bigger than the stomach.
Still, all you have to do, while stuffed, is take a few steps forward and drop a twelve-pound ball on the floor, so there’s no sin in downing the carefully considered greaseballs the Blue Ribbon boys sling your way. Their fried chicken, dipped in matzoh batter, seasoned with Cajun spices, and accompanied by white bread and honey, has Earl Anthony game. The calamari, commingled with fried jalapeño, is the Dick Weber of fried squid. The San Gennaro, loaded with finely ground Italian sausage, is the Johnny Petraglia of French-bread pizzas: crisp outside, fluffy inside, it has all of the virtue, and none of the vice, of Stouffer’s. There are a few gutter balls; some might find the mac and cheese too creamy and the “Really” Sloppy Joe really actually too sweet. But the score sheet shows more X’s than —’s.
On a recent evening, the lanes were busy but not loud; the pins hang on strings, which helps muffle the din. Giant video screens showed montages from raunchy old B-movies like “The Student Nurses” and “Caged Heat.” Around eleven, the Roots took the stage, the dance floor filled up, and a waiter came by with Nutella-bourbon shakes, a convergence that felt like nailing a spare on a four-ten split. (Open weekdays for dinner and weekends for lunch and dinner. Entrées $9-$19.)