Grub/Spirits Restaurant Reviews — 06 September 2011
Char No. 4: A Restaurant Review

Char No. 4
196 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Getting There: F,G to Bergen Street

Pork, if not the entire pig is having its day in our fair city. Now more than ever, eateries city wide are dishing out this hoofed animal to an eager public.  Brooklyn’s own Char No. 4 knows this culinary trait well, and strives to accommodate its patrons with pure pork goodness. Located on Smith Street, in the bustling and innovative Carroll Gardens hood, these folks are redefining porky the pig as we know it.

Visitors of Char No. 4 are greeted with a front bar area loaded with a ceiling filled with post-modern style lighting. This most likely compensates for the fact that no front signage exists for the restaurant. Beyond the bar area, exists an ample yet cozy dining room, perfect for varied party sizes.

No matter what season, the interior of the restaurant is a comfortable place to eat and/or hang out at. The front bar area features a greatest hits of the best bourbons and ryes available today. Said drinks are sold in one or two ounce pours respectively. Prior to being seated we decided to indulge in some spirits and being bold lovers’ of all things liquor, we went for a two ounce pour of Elijah Craig 12 year.

Char No. 4′s menu reads like a who’s who of pork delights. Therefore it was only fitting that our dinner order was indicitive of this fantasitc trait. We started off with the “smoked & fried pork nuggets with Char No. 4 hot sauce” ($4). This seemingly simple dish is far from ordinary. Each nugget bursts with fatty pork flavor. The homemade hot sauce combines with each morsel to make this a starter dish to remember.

From there we moved onto what we would call a, steel house favorite turned up to eleven. It was the “house smoked thick cut bacon with molasses marinated grilled corn” ($11). Each thick cut strip exuded a fantastic saltiness, while jibing quite well with the sweet molasses marinated grilled corn. The final starter dish of the dinner would be the “chicken liver mousse with fig-bourbon mostarda & grilled sourdough” ($10). Being a person who grew up eating liver, I had some expectations going into this dish and luckily we were awash in surprise when tasting Char’s version of this organ. It was creamy without being heavy.

Our main dishes wonderfully ended this pig culinary adventure in a bold way. We ordered the “chopped pork with Char No. 4 mustard barbecue sauce & side of baked beans” ($14), and the “mole pork sausage with cumin spiced chicharrones, corn, queso fresco, peanuts & lime” ($20) respectively. The mustard barbecue sauce used to top the chopped pork was both highly original and tart. It worked to nicely compliment the salty meat which was doled out in a generous portion. The mole pork sausage, was the wildcard dish of the evening, but this Mexican-barbecue hybrid left us wanting more.

With a selection of bourbons, ryes, and pork-centric dishes, Brooklyn’s Char No. 4 is definitely not for the casual dining out crowd. And trust us, that’s a good thing. If you want to indulge in some of the best of all things pigs, then make a reservation at the spot that so many haven chosen over the tired standard BBQ joint.

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