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1/2 Though hardly far away (maybe twelve minutes by car), Prospect Heights feels a little like a trek. I only ever head that direction to occasionally hit the Target, which I usually eschew in favor of the nicer Elmhurst location, anyway. I liked the idea of Beast, a pubby, neighborhood tapas place, but have never been inclined to pay a visit (I was supposed to go to a birthday party there maybe six months ago, but that afternoon our tire got punctured and blew. And yes, I realize there's such a thing as public transportation in Brooklyn, but this was a celebration thrown by people I barely knew, hence the lack of extra effort. It's tough going east-west).

Maybe it was an off night. (For me, I mean. I was feeling hot and cranky for inexplicable reasons. I don't like spring, I guess.) There's something off-kilter about Beast. I felt unsettled, even after two pints of beer. I can't put my finger on it. I'm not sure if it's the service, the clientele, the atmosphere or what. But most importantly, it seemed like the food had no taste. I can barely even recall what I ate beyond the main ingredient.

We ordered escarole that was studded with pine nuts and raisins. All I can remember is soupiness. There were also cocoa-dusted venison skewers, but all that's coming to mind is meat cubes and grapes on a stick. They rested on beds of something–red cabbage sauerkraut? Sweet potatoes? There was a purple patch and an orange one. James thought the mussels had gone off, I thought they were ok, but strongly flavored. The winey, buttery, tomato tinged broth was the most flavorful thing we tried. It was perfect for dipping crusty bread into.

Oh, the sticky toffee pudding was a late showing highlight. It's nice to find a warm dessert that's not chocolately, oozing and molten.

Beast * 638 Bergen St., Brooklyn, NY

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