Watermelon Soju Recipe for All Your Picnicking Needs


Every summer, someone I know calls for an impromptu celebration of a sunny Greenpoint day in the form of a picnic. Each time, I always show up with the same thing – Watermelon Soju, a boozy pureed watermelon punch that is dangerously (or gloriously) stronger than it tastes.

Watermelon Soju is no secret to anyone familiar with Koreatown’s best offerings but since many people have asked me what goes in it and how I make it, I decided to quench all your curious minds here on Greenpointers. Continue reading

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Local Boozehound Vows Daily Drinking Blog; Wife Reportedly Just Thrilled

IMG_91659 (1)As the new year approached, it dawned on Greenpoint resident J.P. Grace that he needed a challenge–specifically, a challenge firmly grounded in the consumption of adult beverages. Bravely acknowledging the dangerous deficiency of brown liquor in his diet, Grace took upon himself a solemn vow: to drink an Old Fashioned every single day of this Year of Our Lord 2015, and to blog daily about the experience.

Like many of us, Grace finds the 19th century cocktail strangely alluring, and worthy of an extended study. “The interesting contradiction is that there are so few ingredients, yet so many variations on ways to make it,” he observes while stirring two glasses of his favorite take on the concoction.* “No two bars make them exactly the same, and every bartender seems to have an opinion about how it should be made.” Continue reading

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French Pastries Get Fancy at Charlotte Patisserie

Charlotte Patisserie's splendid pastry selection

Charlotte Patisserie  (596 Manhattan Avenue)  is like a little piece of France in Greenpoint. Although it’s been open since 2011, recent renovations and the addition of a dining room have given new life to the pastry shop, which also boasts a wonderful back yard surrounded by ivy- covered brick walls.

They have also expanded their menu to offer brunch and a casual but elegant dinner. Menu options include French classics like a croque monsieur, ratatouille, omelette, crepes, Niçoise salad and croquettes.
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Recipes Gone Wild: Dan Valen’s Risotto with Asparagus, Leeks, and Shell Peas

Rainy days and Mondays…sigh… Let us consider today’s weather as an answer to yesterday’s summer-y heat and a reminder that it’s still spring, friends. I only wish I liked my raincoat more. In other news, Recipes Gone Wild is about to go on summer vacation! But in case you still want a little cooking inspiration, worry not. We at Greenpointers will still be putting up lots of recipes in the coming months! So anyway… I attended my first BBQ of the year the other weekend, where I ran into my neighbor and friend Dan. He’s been promising for weeks to send me his risotto recipe, and surprise, surprise– he came through! Loaded with fresh green veg (I’ve been watching Jamie Oliver lately and that’s what he calls vegetables), this recipe is insanely delicious and will knock the socks off of you and whoever is lucky enough to dine with you!  And if you run into Dan (perhaps at one of the local beer shops), I’m sure he can give you some great ideas on what beverage to pair with this dish.  Continue reading

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In Anticipation of Summer: Cocktail-Making at Glasserie

I attempt the Honeydew
I attempt the Honeydew (I am a lot happier than I look, I promise!)

Now that summer is (nearly) here, you’ll be needing some extra-cooling beverages.

Glasserie – mostly known as purveyors of spectacular lamb sandwiches and spicy tomato stew (I’m working my way through their brunch menu) – organized a special private cocktail class Thursday, where we were able to try some of their refreshing Summer drinks (and learn a thing or two about the cocktail business). Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Awakening’s Spring Energy Smoothie


Feeling like a bit of a sloth this morning? Suffering perhaps from a case of the Mondays? I concur. It’s more than a little tough to feel energized knowing that you’ve got a solid work week ahead of you. Memories of leisurely bicycling, beers with buddies, ice cream in the park, strolling in the sunshine, and other weekend-ish whims linger as you fill up your “world’s best” (fill in title here) mug. No time for daydreaming now. Time now to focus, to work, to make the donuts. How can one muster the energy and positivity in a healthy way? Thanks to Karolina Gumpert of Awakening Café (on Manhattan Avenue), I’ve found a lovely way to get that healthy boost. A bit of background about Awakening if you haven’t popped into this little spa and café yet, they’ve got a wonderful fresh juice and smoothie bar as well as an extensive menu of wellness services such as craniosacral therapy, Reiki, sound therapy, and yoga. I recently ran into Karolina from the café, and she recommended this lovely recipe to me as an energizing way to start the day, so I whipped it up in the blender and gave it a go. Delicious and clean-tasting, this nutty, vegetal, sweet treat was supremely satiating as well. A nice, clean, and simple start to the week! Now, I beseech you. Go forth and blend! Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Kate Coats’ Toad In the Hole, Brit-Style

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and perhaps you’re looking for something fun and brunchy to make for that special lady in your life. Waffles topped with caramelized bananas?  That’s been done. And she already knows you can poach an egg. So how about Toad in the Hole! No, no, no… I am NOT talking about one of those predictable (but tasty none-the-less) pieces of toast with an egg-filled hole in the middle. The recipe I’m in fact referring to is the BRITISH version, which is essentially a family-sized Yorkshire pudding topped with little breakfast sausages. And if you really want to say I love you with breakfast, top that toad with onion gravy and add a side of beans. It’s quite simple, really , I say with an unconvincing British accent. This week I went to Kate Coats, lovely Brit and mother of the ridiculously entertaining Avery and Oliver, to find out what her brood’s been eating these days. Thank god the word “nuggets” was not uttered. With a smile, she answered that Avery’s favorite dish is Toad in the Hole. Says Kate, “Avery normally makes the batter for me. It’s his favorite meal to make AND to eat. Plus we pretend that it’s real toads that we’re eating.“ You know what? Eatin’ toads with some cool kids sounds pretty fun. So grab your whisks, you Yankees, and ready yourself for a British breakfast invasion. Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Duke’s Spring Cocktail, Le Rana

Happy Friday! Have you looked at your superfluous (but super cool-looking) wall of international clocks lately? Because it’s 5 o’ clock in Paris, comprenez-vous? The Manhattan Cocktail Classic, NYC’s celebration of all things boozy and bibulous, starts next week (I’ll drink to that) and there will even be a bit of Brooklyn representin’ on this side of the river. New York Distilling Company (located at 79 Richardson in Williamsburg), will be hosting a guinguettes-inspired, Parisienne-themed brunch at their distillery on Saturday, May 10, hosted by Allen Katz. But all brunches aside, why not cheers to the freakin’ weekend tonight by stirring up some lovely, springy cocktails chez vous? I asked Patrick Dacy, of Greenpoint’s own Duke’s Liquor Box, on Franklin, what sort of flavors he’s been into lately, and he sent over the specs for a gorgeous, little libation he’s deemed “Le Rana”— a nod to its mingling of French and Mexican spirits. Notes of wood, smoke, ripe fruit, and bitter quinine are brightened up with fresh citrus juice and a splash of crisp ginger beer. Allons-y! Vamos! Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Adina Grigore’s “It’s Spring So Let Your Skin Know It” Mask

Yesterday morning I decided to go for a run along the river, and I thought to myself Oh hey! I think it’s warm enough to don my shorts today!  After finding them in the bottom drawer buried under sweatshirts and long johns, I put on my running shorts, laced up my sneakers, and ran out the door. Down the sidewalk I bounded, happy to feel the sunshine on my skin for the first time this season. Along the way, I stopped to tie my shoe, and, in doing so, came face to face with my bare shins. Gasp! They were looking pretty shabby and neglected—pale, dry, and in need of some TLC. After wrapping up my run, I wrote to my friend and neighbor Adina Grigore (of S.W. Basics) to ask if she had any good skincare recipes to get me glowing again. Well of course she did! And in no time I had a recipe for a gentle exfoliating mask made from simple, basic ingredients (and on a sidenote, it actually sounds like it could be good on a slice of toast!).

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