Bar Bites: Sidecar

The cocktails are potent at this South Slope nook. Thank goodness the food is hearty, too

Sidecar 560 5th Avenue at 16th Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-369-0077

Bar menu standouts: From the small-plates menu, try the crostini (chicken liver pâté rich with cream and a double whammy of port and brandy) or the brandade (salt cod + whipped potatoes + garlic cream = yeah). Split an order of intensely flavored gumbo on Monday, the only night they make it. Or get a banh de (an ode to the banh mi, and a Sidecar favorite since long before the Baoguette watershed) and have the kitchen slice it into wedges to share. It comes with a cucumber-juice shot for dipping. Genius.

They'll run you: $7-$11

Washed down with: A Moscow mule (Oliphant vodka, lime and fresh ginger - one of the best versions of the mule we've had in town) or a Sticky Fingers (rum, ginger wine and syrup, and lime). Or the restaurant's namesake drink: Cointreau, Cognac, and lemon.

Tip: If you've ever been peckish in Park Slope after midnight, you know what a pickle it can be: Most eateries shut down the kitchen round about 11PM. But at Sidecar, hunger is permitted well beyond that: The cooks call it quits at 4AM.

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