Robin Des Bois Sherwood Cafe
195 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 596-1609

I’ve been eating in this neighborhood for a number of years now. (approximately 9) Many places come and go, but there are a few that hold their integrity, their quality of food and ambiance, service, and menu. One of these places is Robin Des Bois Sherwood Cafe. During my earliest years in the hood I called it Sherwood, my wife calls it Robin Des Bois…whatever, it’s all the same.

RDBSC is situated on Smith between Warren & Baltic in what I believe was once a shoe or furniture store. The store expanded to the left into what is now New York Perks. You are greeted at the door by a little Michelin Man holding the menu, and windows full of random kitch.

Once inside you’re transported to another time and place – think 1960’s Paris? I don’t know. Wasn’t born until ’77, and prior to last April I’d never been to France. The decor would have you believe it though. It’s part Catholic (large Virgin Mary statue), part cinema (old French movie posters featuring buxom babes), with a mix of plenty of random antique shop / second hand trinkets.

Arrive early enough, and you’ll be seated right away. Your seating choices are inside at one of the many random tables with a mix of wood and plastic chairs, or in the center at their large communal table. You may also eat in their garden space which also features a sitting area for those who choose to only drink. If you’re a late eater you may wait at the bar, and enjoy a beer, a glass of wine from their impeccable selection, or a specialty cocktail. I usually keep it fairly simple with a massive glass of Cotes Du Rhone.

For your meal you may select from a handful of specials, small plates, sandwiches, or large entrees. I can’t stress this enough – if they have mushroom risotto on special, GET IT! You will not regret it. Other favorites are the whole or half roasted chicken with garlic mash and green beans. The chicken is crispy and succulent. There’s also the grilled skirt steak au poivre that comes with potatoes au gratin. Nine times out of ten, this is what I will order. They also make a killer pork chop, lamb merguez sandwich, and croque monsieur.

I’ve taken dates here, friends – my old roommate and I once ate at a table set up in the front window. The wife and I go often, and we even took her parents once who also enjoyed the food and atmosphere.

Another high point for RDBSC is the service. Most, if not all the wait staff is French. But unlike their continental counterparts, there isn’t the slightest hint of rudeness or entitlement about them. I guess you could sum up Robin Des Bois Sherwood Cafe as the total experience.