“For celebs, by celebs.” Those who know the famous hip-hop-themed apparel line, FUBU (an acronym for For Us, By Us), will get the drift of that first statement.
And that’s precisely what the 37-seater upscale Brooklyn restaurant, The Four Horsemen, represents. It’s a bar envisioned and run by four individuals who have made a name for themselves elsewhere.
Leading the charge is James Murphy, frontman for LCD Soundsystem. He’s joined by his wife, Christina Topsøe, and Justin Chearno, a Uva alumnus. Natural wine expert, Katrina Birchmeier, rounds up the formidable quartet.
Murphy’s simultaneous love for reservations and hate for waiting is well documented. But access to The Four Horsemen is harder than you’d expect. There are no tables available on Friday or Saturday, for instance.
On a typical evening, you’ll find James Murphy sliding glasses of Burgundy to clients. Right behind him would be a doting couple swiping crusty bread through a bowl of flavored shrimp pasta or some other exotic delicacy.
What Makes the Four Horsemen Tick?
When The Four Horsemen opened in 2015, it was the founders’ initiation into a club of cult-like wine-driven restaurants such as Copenhagen’s Manfreds & VinSydney’s 10 William and Tokyo’s Ahiru Store.
A tiny size, low-key vibe, and natural wine are the defining elements of these restaurants. You’ll certainly gush and wax lyrical over chef Nick Curtola’s full-on Wagyu bavette bread steak.
However, it beats the imagination of many 4H visitors on how to classify the place. Calling it a “restaurant” conceals the specialness of its 300-bottle wine cellar. Conversely, calling it, a wine bar fails to express how special the food is.
It’s the dilemma of having somewhere that is enticing and so good at everything it does. But Murphy’s team still prefers to leave the distinction to the guests.
Christina Topsøe – Murphy’s significant other – describes it as a place they “wanted to go.” She wants you to come in for a good afternoon glass of wine or an anniversary meal, meaning The Four Horsemen is great for a solo drink or a group hangout.
However, there’s one caveat: The Four Horsemen is not the LCD wine bar! It’s completely disconnected from the reputation of its Grammy-nominated owner.
At this spot, the massive natural wine list intimidates even the most endearing servers. But, in a twist from typical Williamsburg spots, the staff does an excellent job at being charming.
Drinks for Everyone
4H’s natural wines are the engine room of the operation. You’ll find a full complement of orange wines, but this list is seldom the same. The staff will tell you what’s hot and what’s not.
The champagne repertoire is certainly Napoleon’s dream. However, bottles will likely dent your wallet, while glasses are quite affordable.
The priciest glass on the list is a $15 Grignolino d’Asti from Cascina ‘Tavijn. It’s a great price, though, to impart an unforgettable tartness to your tongue. But all the wines (except one) are either from France or Italy, making it a skewed distribution.
The wine program is the outcome of collaboration between the core founders to achieve a “personal” selection that comprises wines they believe are delicious and would like to drink.
How About the Menu?
Only a few restaurants are as distinctive as The Four Horsemen. And fewer can tantalize your taste buds as meals from Nick Curtola’s kitchen.
He doesn’t skip the Parisian beat for a moment. So diners will likely imagine being at the foot of the Eiffel tower while enjoying little plates of brain-tingling cheese, charcuterie, chicken liver mousse, and tartare with sesame crackers.
A more comprehensive dish could be Berkshire pork chop steeped in a cider glaze, though the vegetable-themed dishes come with a generous helping of meaty offerings. This would appeal to Semilla up on Havemeyer.
You can look forward to turnips with greens, roasted carrots with stracciatella, cilantro, Thai peppercorns, and other pleasant surprises.
Beef jerky, olives, and other snacks are priced at $10 or less, whereas others such as buckwheat hover, cured egg yolk, and turnips with greens dither around the $15 border.
For a whopping $40, you and your date can share a massive pork shank for two. It’s served with salsa verde, shelling beans, spring onion salad, porcini mushrooms, and zucchini.
It is the spot’s most expensive meal. But it’s never too much to pay to rekindle the spark in your relationship or seal a deal.
In short, where our mouths longed for non-dairy milkshakes and vegan cheesesteaks now drips with Williamsburg warm house buttered bread.
Expect a full-on always-changing set lunch on weekends at The Four Horsemen. It’s only $32 per person. It may include fried squash blossom, Montauk bluefish with chervil, Rainier cherry sorbet, or yellow wax beans.
The Four Horsemen Online & Offline
Location: 295 Grand Street., Brooklyn, NY, 11211
Phone: +1 718-599-4900
- Monday: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
- Tuesday: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
- Wednesday: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
- Thursday: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
- Friday: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm + 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
- Saturday: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm + 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
- Sunday: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm + 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
How do reservations work at The Four Horsemen?
If you’re a group of at least 4 people, The Four Horsemen takes reservations through resy. However, reservations open 30 days in advance at 7:00 AM.
Can I make changes to my reservation?
You can make changes from the rest website or mobile app for existing reservations.
Can customers contact The Horsemen on social media?
How expensive is it to dine at The Four Horsemen?
While bottles of drinks can be pricey, glasses are $15 max. Food costs at least $15 and no more than $40 for the pork shank.