Big Tiny: the Little Brooklyn Restaurant with Big Heart

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Finally, a restaurant name that makes sense. Big Tiny, located on Smith Street in Brooklyn, is a “micro-restaurant” by size, but it has all the makings of big-hearted wine bar. At the bar — and often in the kitchen — stands Dominique Drevet, who seems to know all of his clients and can speak to them at will about his selection of natural wines. Having imported French wines to the US in the past, he has all the necessary connections to discover outstanding finds.

Before opening Big Tiny last year, one could usually find Drevet on the other side of Smith street, where he worked at Jolie Cantina, a Franco-Mexican restaurant beloved by Brooklynites. “With Benjamin Tretout (the owner of Jolie Cantina), we decided to work together to open here,” recalls Drevel. “Good wines, small bites and warm ambiance, it’s all anyone could want!”

The small bites are an excellent surprise for what is not only a wine bar. The menu includes treasures like scallop carpaccio and beef tail terrine. The tartares, or the “French pizzas” have also seen great success since Big Tiny’s conception. For several months, Big Tiny has also been open from brunch on the weekends, and it quickly books its 20 or so seats available.

One year after opening, the two co-owners don’t regret having opened on Smith Street, which is full of restaurants, but also full of storefronts left open by building owners who raised rents. “We are lucky to have a very reasonable rent,” explains Tretout, “which makes this adventure possible.” The opening of Big Tiny, and several other restaurants, some of which are also French, seems to have marked a certain renaissance of Smith Street, the heart of Carroll Gardens, known for its French community. That’s worth a glass of natural wine or two.

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