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Williamsburg so rarely has its act together food-and-service-wise. You might get one, youre not likely to get both, and you just might get neither. I dont know if my standards have risen with my age, but my tolerance for cramped ill-thought-out seating, same table entrees spaced twenty minutes apart, and so-so dishes, isnt what it used to be.

I liked the idea of eating in a restaurant called Sweetwater that used to be the bar Sweetwater, at least for the sake of novelty. Not being wowed by any of the cooked offerings, I opted for a charcuterie platter and frisee salad. I guess thats French, though I wouldnt say this is a French restaurant. My food was perfectly fine, but James had a different feeling about his fish that almost never arrived.

I was more irked by the person seated haphazardly behind me. I was properly seated, squarely at a table. His chair had no proper place and had been added onto the corner of a table diagonal to me. The backs of our chairs were just shy of touching, which created blockage for anyone trying to get through the restaurant. I'm not the restaurant designer, it wasnt my idea, yet I managed to garner dirty looks all evening from patrons insistent on squeezing past. Perhaps this wouldnt have gotten under my skin so much if earlier, on the subway ride home this fat guido hadnt been shouting at me “Sweetie! Sweetie! Move ovah” from the complete other end of the row like it was my responsibility to give his ass space. I take these things personally.

Vibe matters, and it overshadowed my dining experience. I so rarely eat in Williamsburg anymore anyway that Sweetwater wouldnt warrant a return visit.

Sweetwater * 105 N. Sixth St., Brooklyn, NY

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