New members welcome

GYCIf you’re a Penny Palate regular, your yacht club membership probably lapsed a long time ago. Like, in a previous lifetime. But with weather like this, it seems criminal not to do your eating and drinking out of doors. Luckily, Smith Street has just the club for you–no membership dues, collared shirts not required.

To be fair, Gowanus Yacht Club (323 Smith St., Brooklyn–map is not an actual yacht club, nor is it actually on the Gowanus Canal. But yacht clubs are stodgy and the Gowanus Canal is a putrid cesspool, so I’d say GYC comes out a winner in the end. Pass through the unimposing fence and head to the bar, where you can order hot dogs ($2), burgers ($4 for a single, $6 for a double), and beers at Canal prices. A PBR is $3, but kick in an extra dollar for a can of Porkslap Pale Ale or Moo Thunder Stout from Butternuts Beer–high class taste in a low-class can.

You’ll get to enjoy a diverse crowd–I’ve sat at the bar with hipsters, grizzled Brooklyn vets and, once, a beagle who had a hard time staying upright on his swivel bar stool. By the end of the night, you might have the same problem.

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Budget aphrodisiacs: my kind of cheap date

fish1It’s finally April. If you subscribe to the only “r” months rule, that means you only have a few weeks left to slurp down those briny pieces of heaven called oysters. And if you’re like me, you wasted all of the previous “r” monts (Sept-Apr) thinking that oysters were out of your price range. Not so. In the West Village, of all places, the restaurant known simply as Fish (280 Bleecker St., Manhattan–map) will shuck you 6 oysters (or clams, if you prefer) along with a glass of red or white wine, or a PBR, for a total of $8.

Fish’s bluepoints (not just a name, they’re from Long Island) are generously sized, perfectly opaque, and sit in just the right amount of salty liquor. They’re served with cocktail sauce and a tasty, strong mixture of red wine vinegar and diced red onion. You can probably imagine what a PBR tastes like, so I tried the Chardonnay instead, which was a perfect accompaniment, and certainly not the wine equivalent of a PBR.

It may be a myth that oysters are an aphrodisiac. But I’d think the combination of delicious bivalves, a decent wine, and your deal-finding savvy should be enough to drive anyone wild.

Happy Hour of (Next) Week

brazenhead1It’s good to plan in advance when you’re economizing, and in that spirit, here’s a surefire plan for next Monday, when the week ahead is starting to look a little too long.

Steer your way to the Brazen Head (228 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn–map) in Brooklyn. A brazenhead2comfortable, homey bar that’s a favorite of Brooklyn law students and court staff, Brazen Head serves up some 15 micro-brews on tap. But they watch out for the budget minded as well, particularly on Mondays from 5 pm on, when they serve up an assortment of free food. Often it’s fresh, meaty chicken wings. When I went last Monday, it was tasty meatballs in wine sauce and macaroni with carmelized onions.

Complement the free eats with a few $2 PBRs and your week will look a little hazier, and a lot brighter.