I had such a lovely experience at dinner the other night at Petite Crevette (144 Hicks St., between Union St. & President St., 718-855-2632), a seafood-heavy French restaurant on the border of Carroll Gardens and the Columbia Street Waterfront District (seriously, that's what it's called these days). It used to be on Atlantic Avenue but moved South to the Hicks St. location about two years ago. It was a slow Monday night, so we were seated in the back room which is super cozy, romantically lit and made me feel like I was in the French countryside, far away from my everyday troubles and concerns. Little lamps were scattered about, everything is dark wood or painted white and slightly scruffy, giving it that nice lived-in relaxed feeling.
The menu is written on chalkboards or butcher paper hung on the walls so you can see the list from every angle. There's the regular menu (fish, steak, salmon burgers) and a list of specials (catch of the day prepared a few ways). The front room is a bit colder and more brightly lit, so if you can try to get into the back room, which used to be Rose's Flower Shop. The old gold lettering is still on the window, adding to the vintage feel. The other nice thing is that Petite Crevette is facing the BQE (below street level at that point), so looking out the window the street feels wide open and spacious.
Then there's the terrific food; everything we ordered was delicious. We started with the Crab Corn Chowder and were served a great big bowl of the stuff. It was loaded with chunks of sweet crab meat, lots of kernels of juicy corn in a creamy, tasty base. I sopped up what was left with my bread!
I then got the Roast Cod with Capers and Mashed Potatoes. Let me just say that I LOVE capers. So salty & briny and they explode with flavor. The fish was tasty and tender and the side of veggies was perfectly garlicky. The mashed potatoes tasted great and were super creamy...but they were kinda on the cool side. I even asked for them to be warmed up, which I never do, instead I tolerate because I don't want to be a pain, but even then they came back just hot on the outside. Oh well, but not a big enough deal to affect how delicious the meal was.
My boyfriend ordered the Skirt Steak with Caramelized Onions. The onions were fabulous - sweet and tangy, and the steak was juicy and cooked perfectly. It was a HUGE portion, so we ended up taking it home to enjoy for lunch! YUM!
It is BYO, and there's a nice wine shop around the corner on Union where the owner will recommend something tasty. They do charge a corkage fee though, and it's cash only, so make sure you've hit the ATM on your way over.