Pandemic-Delayed Neighborhood Charmer The Acre Finally (Re)opens In Ridgewood

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Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie ($13), Warm Farro Bowl ($14)

Scott Lynch / Gothamist

Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie ($13), Warm Farro Bowl ($14)

The Great Neighborhood Restaurant can come in many guises–my personal locals include one of the city's best fried chicken places and a Mexican-Caribbean mashup that sells as much booze as it does burritos–but a few across-the-board requirements include a menu that you can dive into again and again without fatigue, an unforced friendliness, especially after you become a regular, and, trickiest of all these days, the space to accommodate your last-minute dining decisions.

The Acre, which was about to open on Forest Avenue in the spring of 2020 before COVID hit, paused their opening until the summer, but this was a short stint that ended in the fall. Finally, a few weeks ago, doors reopened and now the spot seems poised to become an excellent go-to for Ridgewood residents.

The space itself is charming, with creaky wooden floors, big bay windows, and loads of greenery on the inside. A narrow, fenced-off outdoor dining area wraps around onto 48th Road, providing comfortable (and mostly) dry, even in the rain) open-air options. Takeout orders, including to-go drinks, can be had via the large window on Forest.

Most important for its repeat visit potential, The Acre serves some first-rate food, with enough variety on the menu, including an impressive number of vegan dishes, to accommodate multiple moods and cravings. Almost all the starters come in under $10, and feature a few easily shareable dips, like the Whipped Feta with raw vegetables, the Curried Hummus with fried bread, and, my table's choice, a thick Kale and Artichoke number that sat up nicely on the crisp crostini.

Kale and Artichoke Dip

Kale and Artichoke Dip

Scott Lynch / Gothamist

Poutine, made with chunky roasted potatoes rather than usual fries, can be had either vegan-style, or with melted cheddar and lots of good and funky pork sausage. Sandwiches make up a hefty portion of the menu, with options like a double-stacked beef Burger, a Double-Double Mushroom Sammy, a garlicky, cheesy, porky Cubano, and a pair of Sandos, one with fried chicken, the other fried tofu.

We stuck to the "plates" side of things, and really enjoyed the Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie, a semi-deconstructed take on the traditional dish, and the vegan Warm Farro Bowl, which loads up the chewy grains with smoked mushrooms and lots of green things, including some lovely spring-fresh asparagus. Next time, though, I'm trying the Baked Mac n Cheese, studded, if you choose (and I will), with house-made pastrami.

people looking at outdoor chalkboard

Scott Lynch / Gothamist

The only dessert right now is the tiny loaf of Dank Banana Bread, but the booze options are ample, with cocktails (available in standard or pitcher size), a few wines, and lots of different kinds of beer. Housemade "provisions" and branded merch currently take up space at a "Mini Mart" in front of the bar, and will do so until restaurants are allowed to seat drinkers up there again. All in all, a very solid neighborhood spot.

The Acre is located at 68-22 Forest Avenue, at the corner of 68th Road, and is currently open on Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday (347-566-3449; theacreridgewood.com)

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