So there you are, sitting on an antique sofa beneath a crystal chandelier, sipping a ginger martini, and you ask yourself, “Whose Brooklyn is this?” Formerly the home of a Sicilian men’s club from the 1930s, the Brooklyn Social, which opened in April, earnestly attempts to preserve the sophistication of that bygone generation—but doesn’t expect you to leave your Converse at home. While there are still black-and-white photos of smiling silver-haired men on the walls, the Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols, and the Rolling Stones dominate the jukebox. If you’re feeling old-world, the fruity Sicilian wines ($6) and cold bottles of Peroni beer ($4) will transport you to Palermo. But savvy “members” know to order from the specialty menu, where exotic fruits and garnishes give zing to classic cocktails: Matt’s Ginger Old Fashioned (bourbon muddled with ginger, sugar, cherries, orange, and soda) and the sparkling Fellini (i.e., a Bellini with lychee nectar instead of peach) are two favorites for $7. Hot pressed sandwiches on fresh ciabatta are made to munch on while playing a game of pool or sitting on the back patio. And like any social club worth its prosecco, there’s no sign out front—which makes you love it even more.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 11, 2004