970 Flushing Avenue
As many new establishments in Bushwick are intended to be, the bar and restaurant Forrest Point is painfully cool. Located on a triangle-shaped parcel along a desolate stretch of Flushing Avenue, the space hums with activity of the young, good-looking, and buzzed. It’s all the work of Mark Trzupek, Darin Rubell, and chef David Rotter, who came over from the nearby eatery 983 Bushwick’s Living Room. These guys know their audience, and smartly deliver strong drinks and a fun menu in a location that draws you right in.
Forrest Point’s sprawling outdoor patio, decked with twinkling lights, is prominently on display along Flushing Avenue, and it’s the place to be if the weather permits. Inside, scruffy bartenders will take your order after throwing back a shot of whiskey, but the space is anything but a dive. Welldecorated, with exposed ceilings, it’s a less gritty, more refined version of Bushwick. The drink and food menu reflects that, too. There’s a long, impressive list of cocktails that pack a punch. The milk punch (my waitress recommended the “Fancy Pants” version) is a slightly milky, mostly light concoction with a flavor profile that defies exact description. My recommendation: Don’t miss it.
The menu goes way beyond bar food, although the somewhat haphazard mix of dishes and flavor profiles suits the bar-like setting. There’s a medley of Mediterranean, Japanese, Chinese, and American flavors. In short, something for everyone. The crispy cauliflower, deeply marinated in Sriracha and yogurt and lightened with parsley and lemon, had notes of Chinese influences. So did the porchetta sandwich, which was sweetened with caramelized onions, fig, and apricot relish. As for a Mediterranean option, be sure to try the shawarma-style flatbread. It’s grilled pita packed with chicken, Israeli salad, olives, and tzatziki sauce. Not the easiest thing to eat, but you’ll happily stuff it in your mouth anyway. An order of the tempura rock shrimp lettuce wraps got lost somewhere in the bustle of the bar, but when it finally came, it did not disappoint. Perfectly-cooked shrimp and pickled veggies nestled into a delicate piece of Bibb lettuce? Yes, please.
A word of warning: At 10 pm, that awesome outdoor patio closes up. Our waitress closed our tab without inquiring about dessert, and the bar, completely packed on a Thursday night, offered no open tables. My dining companion and I missed out on the cast-iron s’mores, which I had been dreaming of throughout the meal. Sure, it was a disappointment, but a few drinks in on a full stomach and under twinkling lights, it’s hard to stay mad at this Bushwick newcomer.