The booming, feel-good music of the Shins and the Foundations may make your fellow barfly or diner’s witty comments nearly impossible to discern, but it’s safe to assume that he or she is referring to either the ceiling’s suspended blue bikes or the oversized diagram of a turtle’s insides.
Brinkley’s, with its polished approximation of T.G.I. Friday’s-inspired flair and impressive selection of New York-based wines and beers, emulates the liveliness of a noisy dive bar while maintaining its tacit SoHo sophistication. The British gastropub’s floor is tiled in an old-school black-and-white check and the seating arranged for patrons to pick their poison—bar stools in the front or more accommodating wood tables toward the back.
The menu options, like the bangers and mash, burger, and hot dog, may seem like run-of-the-mill bar food, but the inclusion of grass-fed meats and veggie accompaniments set this sustainable fare apart.
Entree meats—the juicy grass-fed burger, sweet soy-addled ribs, and spicy sauerkraut-topped hot dog —come sans greens, so it’s best to choose a vegetable plate or salad as a healthy addition. Sugar snap peas offer a pleasingly audible crunch, their sweetness offset by lightly bitter red onion but enhanced by a cool tomato dip.
As for salads, the spinach and goat cheese option is perfectly dressed in a tangy honey vinaigrette, though beware: the cheese arrives as a dangerously delectable fried sphere. Also noteworthy are the meatballs, their alleged fame validated by the robust, chunky tomato sauce, pillowy interiors, and tasty sprinkling of parmesan and parsley.
Brinkley’s provides solid proof that scarfing sustainable, organic grub and late-night drinking needn’t be mutually exclusive practices.
406 Broome St. (at Centre St.)
Mon–Fri: 11 a.m.–2 a.m.
Sat–Sun: 10 a.m.–2 a.m.
Nutrition/best practices: Ashley Spivak
Food critic: Allix Geneslaw
Clean Plates reviews are the only restaurant reviews that combine the expertise of a nutritional consultant and a food writer/critic. In addition to each restaurant being visited, Clean Plates employs a rigorous multistep assessment process including thorough research into ingredient sourcing; quality of cooking oils; preparation techniques; eco-friendly, sustainable practices; and ability to accommodate specific dietary needs.
Visit www.cleanplates.com to get healthy, clean eating tips and recipes—plus, dish with the chefs and pioneers leading the sustainable charge to a table near you.