Repeats with a Twist - Brooklyn's, Stillwater, OK

Brooklyn's Restaurant opened a couple years ago in downtown Stillwater in a prime corner location.  We were all so happy to have a new and unique restaurant to frequent in town, and the fact that it's owned by OSU grads is just a plus. 

There's a covered outdoor patio that wraps around 2 sides of the building.  The bar upstairs only seats about 15 people around the bar, and there's really no other socializing room.  So it's a great thing they have a basement that they transformed into the "wine cellar".  It's an awesome happy hour spot, with another bar area, as well as a combination of lounge-type couch seating, and tables.  They occasionally have live music featuring local bands and singers.  I've only been there once for that, and I would say the only down side is that it was super loud.  Its not a huge space, so to me it doesn't need to be that way.  But who am I.  I really like that you can order off the regular menu downstairs.  So if the upstairs is packed and you don't want to wait, you can enjoy your entire meal down there.  I probably wouldn't choose to do that because the tables are pretty low, but in a pinch its great.

I found out that they also have a couple of private rooms, when we went to a post-game dinner with one of our suiteholders.  There's 2 separate rooms and the one we were in was honestly kind of boring.  The main restaurant and wine cellar are warm and inviting, but in this room all I noticed was tables, chairs, a big-screen TV, and a few paintings on the wall.  I think they only recently made the private rooms available, so I'm hoping they take advantage of the huge potential and make these rooms an extension of the restaurant, not what comes across as an after-thought.  I will say though, that it was a very spacious room that easily sat our group of about 20, and could have comfortably sat about 10 more. 

As you can tell, I've been to Brooklyn's on a number of occasions, and just realized that I've never blogged about it.  I've been for everything:  lunch, dinner, happy hour, and a bachelorette party.  The only area where I haven't sat is the patio.  I need to make a point of doing that next time the weather is good.  They started offering Sunday brunch right before the 2012 season and I went with Joni, Tony and Bob the day after the spring game last year.  I don't do bloody marys, but they do have a make-your-own bar that Bob tried and said was really good.  Especially because they have a wide variety of stuff to add to them.  The food is always consistently good, and the prices are very reasonable. 

The Thursday night before Bedlam the snow was coming down and the roads weren't the greatest, but another friend Tony and I decided we needed a break from game prep for a beverage and some dinner.  We had planned to just go to Zannotti's Wine Bar since he had never been, but they were closing early due to the weather.  So Brooklyn's it was.  A lot of other people obviously had the same idea, because it was packed and we sat at the bar.  The bartender made me an Italian margarita.  Not sure what's in it to make it Italian rather than Mexican, but it is fabulous. 

I figured I should try to eat healthy, so I went with the blackened pineapple salsa tilapia
Blackened tilapia served with a pineapple salsa served
with cilantro rice and sautéed spinach and garlic confit
The tilapia was amazing!  It had a definite kick from the blackening, but the salsa certainly helped tone it down.  The pineapple tasted fresh, not canned, and the mixture with the red onions and red peppers was delicious.  The rice was very good, but was room temperature and that was disappointing.  Actually the rice was the first thing I tasted, and was afraid the whole dish would be like that.  I'm guessing they made the rice earlier, but thankfully the fish and spinach were cooked to order.  The spinach was really good, but...

Yep, ALL that garlic was for my one dish!  And I think I had even eaten a piece or two before I stopped.  It's a good thing I wasn't kissing anyone that day--or week.  I feel like they should warn you before they put so much garlic into a dish!  If you're on a date and order this, you better make sure your date eats some too.

Brooklyn's is definitely one of my favorite restaurants in town.  So much so that as I'm typing this I realized the weekend I got this dish, I ate there that night, the night of the game in the private room, and the day after when my friend Joe came to town.