'The Winnie Mae Grill'
In order to understand why an aviation themed sports complex such as Aviator Sports on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn would name its newest restaurant "The Winnie Mae Grill," you would have to be a true aviation enthusiast.
"The Winnie Mae" was the name of the plane flown by aviator Wiley Pose when, in 1933, he set the record for the fastest solo flight around the world.
But, while the name is obscure, the cuisine served at the new outdoor grill at the sports complex is not.
The outdoor grill, which will move inside next to the present sports bar when the weather gets colder, serves up some of the best food in the local area.
Appetizers include the ubiquitous wings (what else would an aviation complex feature?), calamari, clam chowder, shrimp cocktail and a great grilled shrimp skewer. Burgers and sandwiches are joined by BBQ pulled pork and a crab cake sandwich.
There is a kid's menu, and specials each day, including Sunday, where a meal also gets you a ticket to skate in the Olympic-sized skating rink on site.
Chef Peter Garst, says that he is trying for a fun, casual dining experience, one where people can relax and enjoy the company, the setting and the food all at once.
Garst, who comes from years of running restaurant kitchens in some of Manhattan's finest eateries, including Fresco at Scotto, says that he came because the new owners of the complex are his friends and because it presented a different challenge.
He expects to get more elaborate when the grill moves inside when it begins getting cold.
Then, he says, people can enjoy the grill while watching the NFL games on large screen television sets.
"It will be more of an Irish sports bar, then," he says. "We'll add carving and other things such as fresh ham and roasts to the menu."
The Grill is open Monday through Thursday from 5 to 11 p.m. and on the weekends from 1 to 11 p.m.