644 Driggs Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Cuisine: Small plates, meat & cheese plates
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Cards: All Major
Hours: Daily 6PM–3AM, Kithcen open until 2am
Subway: L to Bedford Avenue, G, L at Metropolitan Ave.-Lorimer St.
Booze: Full bar
Happy Hour: No
The Custom American Wine Bar already has quite the reputation. Surly neighbors tried prevent its opening with claims of certain binge drinkers and gang violence. One glance at this laidback wine bar and the community’s fears seem for naught—unless The Bloods and The Crips like to brawl over a robust Cabernet from Washington State. The list of vino highlights small American vineyards, you won’t find any foreign offerings on the menu. It’s a casual environment: Exposed brick walls create a homey feel, and the wine is stored on wooden shelves behind the bar. They also offer a few grub options that highlight regional favorites—think Philly cheesesteak and southern nibbles like fried green tomatoes. The only gang here consists of wine geeks. If you get into a fight, subdue them with a citrusy Pinot.
NY Mag says:
While it comes from the team behind Bar Carrera and Bar Veloce (who offer Italian and Spanish wines, respectively), Custom ignores Europe altogether and presents strictly American wines – and good ones at that. This place is small, relaxed, and candlelit; a perfect date destination. Romantic endeavors are helped along by a menu that would make any novice sound knowledgeable: wines are listed by region with simple tasting notes and most are available by the glass, so you can jump easily from California to Oregon to Washington State. Even beer gets the sophisticated treatment with a short list of local craft brews helpfully arranged from light to full-bodied. The tapas-sized bar food goes way beyond charcuterie: on hand are fried green tomatoes, Philly cheesesteaks, and the Elvis, a PB, banana and bacon fried sandwich that pretty much pairs well with anything.