Little Dokebi (85 Driggs Ave) has been open for just over a month and already it’s a huge hit. So popular, in fact, that when we recently tried to go for a mid-week dinner the wait was over an hour-long. Fortunately, when we returned for Saturday brunch it was much easier to get a seat, though this may have had something to do with the fact that it was the snowiest day of winter so far!
Little Dokebi is the baby sister of Dokebi Bar and Grill, a Korean restaurant on Grand Street. The Driggs venue occupies a smaller space and has a more select menu, serving some of the most popular dishes from the Williamsburg restaurant. The interior is cozy and woody, with big windows looking out over McGolrick park. There are only seven tables, but stools along the bar provide extra dining space and the intimate atmosphere is part of the appeal.
One of their specialities is BiBimBahp: a big bowl of rice, vegetables and chili sauce, topped with a fried egg and the star ingredient of your choosing (tofu, pork, tuna etc.). This comes served with numerous little side dishes known as ‘banchan’ and looks like an extremely fun dining experience.
However, as the day was still young, we erred on the brunchier side of things and opted for Huevos Koreanos. The dish consists of three bean chili, jasmine rice, corn tacos, two eggs over easy, avocado, kimchee, salsa picante and chipotle sauce. This Korean/Mexican hybrid was a hands-down brunching winner and one which I would definitely order again.
Little Dokebi also does a great line in Korean BBQ tacos and burritos, priding themselves on using locally-sourced ingredients and naturally-raised meat. Fillings include Berkshire pork belly, Black Angus kalbi, and giant oyster & button mushroom. We tried the fried whiting tacos, which were sublime. They come on two corn tortillas, and the tasty lightly battered fish is topped with a generous mound of good fresh things like soybean sprouts and radishes.
And, as it’s impossible to resist a dumpling on an icy December day, we also had some very good vegetable gyoza: six to a serving but we could happily have polished off more.
Eating at Little Dokebi is a very happy experience. The restaurant is cute, the service is fast and friendly, and the Korean menu with a Mexican twist adds another really great option when choosing where to eat in Greenpoint. Still in its infancy, there’s no website as yet and its success is solely due to word of mouth. Nonetheless, this younger sibling restaurant looks set to gain a golden reputation in its own right. Go now before everyone is in on the secret!