Derrel "Jazz" Johnson, SNYNets.com
NEW YORK — The Nets took on the Oklahoma City Thunder at Barclays Center on Dec. 4. and while Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka were flying high on the herringbone floor, I was flying high elsewhere. I had the privilege of having a night off from my usual media routine at Barclays Center to get a perspective from a fan's point of view with great seats at the 40/40 Club inside of the arena.
The 40/40 Club brand, of course, is owned by Brooklyn Nets minority owner Jay-Z, so it was a natural fit for him to bring the brand to the arena that he also has a minor stake in.
Upon entering the 40/40 Club at Barclays Center, I was greeted by a hostess named Tisha, who immediately showed the group I was a part of to our seats. The lighting is dim inside of the venue, but perfect for almost any setting. There were certainly many business men in suits there with clients, but there were also tons of Nets jerseys, as well as a few Oklahoma City jerseys.
It was an intimate atmosphere that was a cross-breed between sports bar and upscale nightclub.
The food? Amazing.
The venue has buffet-style dining, with a versatile menu that varies from game-to-game that can suit most palates. The menu was prepared by Chef Jerry Davis.
My favorite item, by far, was the Creekstone Farms Prime Rib, available at the station titled 'Brooklyn Steakhouse.' Freshly carved by a chef, it was prepared to perfection. The Sliced Duck Salad at the same station was also very tasty, as was the Creamed Spinach and Whipped Sweet Potatoes.
At the 'Farm to Fork' Table, the Atlantic Salmon was very good, as was the Natural Raised Organic Chicken, a big hit for the crowd, signaled by the quickness in which it disappeared from the station.
The 40/40 Slider Bar offers more traditional stadium food, with barbecue chicken sliders, Mini Brooklyn Cheeseburgers, and 40/40 Chicken Wings. This is standard fare for those who are familiar with the original 40/40 Club located in Manhattan. That original club opened up in June 2003 and is among the top sports bars in New York City.
If you are looking for more stadium food, then the Tailgate Table is your station. With hot dogs, chili cheese fries, and potato pierogies, you are all set with the foods made for sporting events. As a man watching my diet, I personally stayed away from this table, but the food looked delicious and the many patrons seemed satisfied.
There is also an Antipasti station, which features cured Italian salami, hand-carved ham, tomato focaccia, and Brooklyn Brine, an assortment of pickles. Finally, there is a Signature Cheese Table with an assortment of cheeses, including one hand-crafted in Brooklyn for over 80 years at the Made in Brooklyn Mozzarella Bar. I didn't want to overindulge (more) at this station, but not because the selection didn't look enjoyable.
The Made in Brooklyn Desserts menu is also a big hit, featuring four selections from the world famous Junior's restaurant, located near Barclays Center. Their Traditional Cheesecake is what they are most famous for, but the menu also includes their Carrot Cake, Chocolate Devil's Food Cheesecake, and Red Velvet Layer Cake. The huge portions can easily be shared, or saved to consume at a later time.
There is plenty of seating for dining at the 40/40 Club at Barclays Center, and the centerpiece is a huge bar, similar to the one in the Manhattan location, with huge high definition televisions for viewing the game. All drinks are served in glasses, as opposed to the plastic cups you would get if you were court side.
Overall, the 40/40 Club in Barclays Center is a nice establishment and gives arena goers a nice alternative to sitting in the bowl during a normal home game.
As you might imagine, there are plenty of tunes by Jay-Z and his 'clique' played at the venue, which is the same of Barclays Center itself. Still, the music doesn't get too intrusive, so if you are there on business, with friends, or on a date, it wouldn't interfere with closing a deal, catching up on old times, or sparking a new romance.
At halftime, the place got packed, as you might expect, with many fans looking to get a beer in an actual glass, as opposed to a plastic cup. Also, the 40/40 Club at the arena is quite spacious, and I am sure for those who have access can get a beer a lot quicker there than on the lines at other places around the arena.
After the game, the Brooklyn Nets radio team of Chris Carrino and Tim Capstraw host the post game show on the inside, so if you don't have access prior to or during the game, you can stop by for the post game show.
Overall, the experience at 40/40 Club at Barclays Center was wonderful. In fact, the group I was with never went to our seats, as we sat in the 40/40 Club the entire game. The service was excellent, and the waitstaff helpful with questions.
If you have the opportunity to check out a Nets game, or stop by pregame, I would definitely recommend it. If you do, let the hostess Tisha or the supervisor Kim know that Derrel from SNYNets.com sent you.
Derrel “Jazz” Johnson is a Contributor to SNYNets.com and is the Founder of the Razz and Jazz Sports Blog. You can follow him on Twitter @razzjazzsports