It may be positioning itself as “the most authentic Nigerian restaurant” in the city, or so say the business cards, but Buka in Clinton Hill actually has more of a Brooklyn bar feel. Instead of your usual African restaurant accoutrements — masks, colorful paintings, maps of the homeland — the decor is casual, almost accidentally cool in that hipster-basement way, with bare brick walls, a glossy oak bar, and a vintage-looking chandelier. And now that it has a liquor license, it qualifies even more as a local watering hole.
The drinks options are pretty brief: Heineken, Beck’s, and Guinness in bottles for $4, tall ones for $6. And the bottles on the back bar are very basic: Grey Goose, Maker’s, Bacardi. But the atmosphere is welcoming, and the appetizers — fried plantain, grilled meat slices — make for great bar snacks. This Friday, the World Cup match between Ghana and Uruguay will be shown in the back. (Yes, we know the two nations are separated by two whole other countries, but the pride during this tournament has been pan-African, so Nigerians are just as psyched about Ghana as the Senegalese, Cameroonians, and South Africans are.)
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