Well Bilt

Cocktails take the stage in Prospect Heights

Nightlife in Prospect Heights may be thriving at spots like cocktail haunt Weather Up and the burger-slinging Soda Bar anchoring Vanderbilt Avenue, but the neighborhood's latest newcomer has officially made it an outer-borough drinks destination.

Chef-owner Saul Bolton, who marshaled in Smith Street's culinary renaissance a decade ago with his eponymous Saul, has opened another game changer with The Vanderbilt, a former hardware store hammered into a long, spacious gastropub styled with reclaimed wood and an open kitchen.

His menu of globe-trotting small plates–which is heavy on pork and house-made charcuterie–seems crafted with drinking in mind, whether it's something from the selection of mostly local draft beers, the list of value-minded wines or the half dozen house cocktails (all $9) concocted by Weather Up's Brian Floyd.

The King Edward (pictured) is a strapping, aromatic blend of rye, Cherry Heering and vanilla, with a spritz of Scotch providing smoky depth. The namesake Vanderbilt Pimm's gives the gin-and-Pimm's combo a vegetal tweak by incorporating sweet basil and bitter lemon.

And the Chase & Shade, made with Applejack, apple-cider molasses, black tea, lemon juice and a dash of bitters, expertly channels fall's essence (click here to download the recipe).

The Vanderbilt, 570 Vanderbilt Ave. (at Bergen St.), Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; 718-623-0570