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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Strong

Bar Bete Team Opens Ruthie's (yay!)

Channeling the vibes of Patti Ann's, another highly regarded chef has opened a more casual offshoot (with Hot Beef Sandwiches for all you Bear fans)

The tomato burger, and beer-battered fluke at Ruthie's (photos courtesy of Ruthie's)

Happy to report that the space previously occupied by Jolie Cantina on Smith and Douglass has become Ruthie's, a terrific new neighborhood spot named for owner Marc St. Jacques' mother and soon-to-be-4-year-old daughter, whose middle names are both Ruth.

The restaurant, what the team is calling an All-Day-Luncheonette, is lively and convivial, with exceptional service, warm hospitality, and excellent food. It's perfect for a weeknight walk-in with your fine self, dinner with the kids, or a casual dinner with friends.

Make a point of visiting if only to get your hands around one of their magnificent burgers; there's actually an entire section devoted to what comes between the buns, from a juicy and fat beef burger (not a smash burger, these patties are more the Red Hook Tavern style, brawny and two-handed) with melted cheddar and house made pickles, to a garlicky end of summer beefsteak tomato burger that's got a good amount of garlic, sort of like what I imagine a pan con tomate would taste like if it married a hamburger. To wash it down, the bar offers full side of the menu to well-crafted Old Canadian Rye and whiskey cocktails, as well as a nice neat list of mostly American wines and beers. (Though the night I was in, we went with a Basque Txakoli.)

Look at those Beef Fat Fries! (and on the left, hat's a heirloom greek salad with tomatoes, cukes, feta and Castelvetrano olives) photos from Ruthie's

The salads are gorgeous and invite sharing: charred broccoli is fixed up with mint, toasted cashews, and pecorino dressed up in a cherry vinaigrette; crunchy diamond-shaped cucumber slices get tossed with ripe chunks of avocado, and anchovy in a Green Goddess, and juicy peaches come up with burrata, pickled onions, and cornbread in a cider vinaigrette. Yeah.

The menu offers lots of rather pedestrian sounding plates (Grilled Cheese, Baked Potatoes, the aforementioned Burgers, Fried Fish) that are elevated to marvelous places thanks to the chef's training. So, Jacket Potatoes, such a fun dish that reminds me of London, come fluffy in the middle with your choice of sour cream & chives, smoked fish, or chili & cheddar. For those who like a fancy grilled cheese, there's a selection of those served with tomato jam, or bacon marmalade.

There's also a plate of golden beer-battered fluke that absolutely-no-questions-asked needs to be ordered with the Beef Fat Fries, a collection of potato wedges so divinely crispy that they seem to be robed in potato chips, but actually have just been treated to a good amount of hot beef fat. Who knew?

My favorite section of the menu might be the snacks—popcorn with brown cutter and sea salt, honey glazed peanuts with chili and rosemary, pigs in a blanket, and baked corn and cheese dip would an ideal menu for an easy evening of drinks and conversation at a big outdoor picnic table.

Weeknight specials mean you can plan your meals by the day: Pasta on Mondays, Chowder on Tuesdays, Hot Beef Sammies on Wednesdays for all you fans of the Bear, Fried Chicken on Thursdays, and Fish Fry Fridays.

I hope to see you there!

Ruthie’s is located at 241 Smith St, in Brooklyn and is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 5 to 10 p.m. but will eventually expand its hours to 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Book on Resy or walk in!

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