Vinegar Hill House lives on a narrow street that slants up from the East river, an unexpected cobbled block of low brick houses tucked between old factories at one end and uninspired housing towers at the other. It takes its name from the neighborhood, a small anachronistic sliver wedged between Dumbo and the Brooklyn Navy Yards.
From the outside it’s hard to guess which of the houses is a restaurant; inside it’s very much the kind of place you’d hope to walk into. It’s busy but not crowded, friendly without being overbearing, and thoughtful but not overly contrived. The food is simple, seasonal, and mostly very good.
We had no trouble getting a table when we arrived for brunch at 11.30. I ate good scrambled eggs with ramps and a side of completely addictive maple-glazed bacon. Thomas liked the special, a thick corn pancake with pieces of chorizo topped with cream and jalapeno. Balthasar polished off the quiche, though I would have quibbled that it was a bit eggy with too few pieces of asparagus. Leo found the breakfast sandwich with country ham, fried egg, and pepper jelly a bit too sweet, and I was forced to agree (though he did have to finish it). Louise scavenged bits and pieces from everyone.
Then came one large sourdough pancake with pecan bourbon sauce and ricotta, and it would barely have survived a minute under our four-sided fork assault had not the creamy yogurt with homemade preserves accompanied by a granola bar arrived as a propitious diversion. It was a family brunch. It was lovely.
72 Hudson Avenue (nr. Water Street)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Open Mon-Thu 6-11pm, Fri-Sat 6pm-11.30, Sun 5.30-11pm
Brunch Sat-Sun 11am-3.30pm