Last summer my boyfriend and I decided to have an impromptu date night. I wanted to try somewhere new and consulted that now infamous list of “100 Black Owned Restaurants” in Brooklyn and Manhattan. For no reason other than convenience, we ended up at Bedford Hall.
Located in Bedstuy, Bedford Hall is a nice size spot with a decent bar. Foregoing tradition seating for leather couches, club chairs and benches lined walls, the décor encourages a level of intimacy lacking on the NYC restaurant scene. The menu at Bedford Hall is filled with tasty comfort food – burgers, mac and cheese and tacos. The portions are just right and perfect for sharing so you don’t feel guilt redenied afterwards. Although the menu has changed a bit since I was last there (my boyfriend and I had become regulars at one point), the standouts are still going strong. The mac attack, a 3 cheese bowl of deliciousness with a panko crusted topping is consistently good. The classic grilled cheese and bacon gets an upgrade with a healthy but not overbearing helping of tomato jam. Lastly, the island spiced pork skewers are a must try, I was harking back to my childhood when my Jamaican uncle Louis used to cook up dishes on Sundays – and the mango sweet chili sauce is a perfect complement to the spice.
Aside from the food, what kept us coming back to Bedford Hall is owner Calvin Clark. Named one of Brooklyn’s most influential, Calvin is a thriving restaurateur with 2 restaurants and a club in the borough. During our first visit he came to our table introduced himself and had a pleasant conversation with my boyfriend and I. Whenever we went back he made sure to stop by and say hello.
Bedford Hall is definitely one of my go to restaurants. It’s budget conscious (menu options $13 max) without sacrificing flavor or atmosphere. There’s a pool table and board games available if you’re into that or you can snuggle up in a dimly lit corner.
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