Brooklyn Barge Bar Finally Open – Just in Time for Autumn!

bbb_greenpoint_bargeSummer may be officially over, but a little change of season’s not standing in the way of the launch of the longest-anticipated bar in Greenpoint.

After months of uncertainty, Brooklyn Barge Bar finally opened its gangplank to the public on Friday. Continue reading

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A Sunday Evening With a Burmese Twist Inside Sunview Luncheonette

bar_lucky_number_greenpoint_rdbIt was the final Sunday evening of August and, whilst most of the city was recovering from another scorching weekend, in a hidden corner of Greenpoint things were only  just starting to warm up. The venue was Sunview Luncheonette, the charming former diner perched on the Nassau side of McGolrick Park. The event was a Burmese supper pop-up by Lucky Number, a tasty new enterprise masterminded by creative duo Tyler Drosdeck and Michael Sablan.

Michael, a talented chef who has previously cooked at Mission Chinese and Northeast Kingdom, is on a quest is to bring Burmese cuisine to NYC (of which there is currently surprisingly little). “We’re not yet ready to open a full-on restaurant”, he tells me, “but a pop-up is a great way to take the temperature and gauge our audience.” Continue reading

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Van Leeuwen’s Flagship Store Opens Tonight in Williamsburg with a Free Scoop Giveaway!!

Van_leeuwen_free_scoopListen carefully tonight and you might just  hear the strains of an ice cream cone fanfare echoing down Wythe Avenue.

Van Leeuwen’s flagship store in Williamsburg is having its official grand opening tomorrow, but tonight, for three glorious hours from 7pm-10pm, they will be handing out free ice cream scoops from the new store as a pre-opening treat. Continue reading

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Sweetleaf Coffee: New Cafe and Roastery Opens in North Greenpoint

Owner Rich Nieto outside his newest cafe on Freeman Street

You know those times when you don’t set out to do something, but somehow it just happens anyway? Well, this is pretty much how Sweetleaf, Greenpoint’s newest coffee shop, came about.

“I wasn’t looking to set up another cafe”, says owner Rich Nieto, “I was just looking to find a space to roast.”

Rich established Sweetleaf Coffee with a friend in 2008, in a tiny shop just over the Pulaski bridge.  Seven years later and there is now an additional coffee shop in LIC, one in Williamsburg and, as of last week, a new one in Greenpoint. Rich bought out his partner about a year ago and now runs the entire operation.  He recently  started roasting his own beans out of a friend’s loft in Bushwick, but as he started to step up production it made sense to find a roasting space of his own.

“I was looking for a warehouse of around 1000 sq ft, but it was almost impossible to find something this small, everything is huge”, he tells us as we sit sipping coffee in the brand new Greenpoint outpost of Sweetleaf on Freeman Street. “I discovered this space because I used to drive past every day on my way between LIC and Williamsburg, and although it turned out to be the smallest warehouse space I could find, it was still way more space than I needed. The building is in a great location, just off  Manhattan Avenue, so we decided to use the extra space by creating a cafe at the front and having our roastery at the back.” Continue reading

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Celebrity Chef Michael Psilakis Opens Event Space and Mega-Restaurant on Driggs Avenue

Piggies_The_Hall_Greenpoint_Rosie_de_BelgeonneThere’s something about the segment of Driggs Avenue between N 10th and N 11th streets that attracts a different type of business from other blocks in the area.

First came Fushimi, a super-sized, super-shiny sushi joint that boasts the lingering spirit of a 90s lounge bar. Now, on the opposite side of the street there has sprung up a new mega-restaurant called MP Taverna, the fourth in a string of Greek establishments of the same name, spear-headed by celebrity chef Michael Psilakis.

Psilakis has become known for his appearances on a host of  cooking shows such as Iron Chef America and Ultimate Recipe Showdown, but his real kudos came about in 2008 when a Michelin star was awarded to Anthos, an upmarket restaurant he started in midtown Manhattan.

Seven years on and Psilakis is bringing his celebrated Greek food to Brooklyn. Less high-end than Anthos, MP Taverna aims to provide a contemporary take on the traditional Greek tavern, with a focus on mezze dishes that can be shared family style.

Next door to MP Taverna is Psilakis’ next venture called ‘The Hall Brooklyn‘, a giant events venue whose recent opening heralded a flashy party, complete with cordoned-off entrance line and bouncers with earpieces. Continue reading

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‘Brooklyn 664 Wine & Dine’ Replaces CinaMoon on Manhattan Avenue

wine_dine_greenpointNot long ago there was a restaurant at 664 Manhattan Avenue called CinaMoon. Polish Ambassador Witold Sobków once cited it as one of the best places for traditional Polish food in NYC and although I’d meant to visit I had never actually gotten around to it.

Recently I walked past and saw that CinaMoon had closed and the signage had changed to an eighties-tastic ‘Wine & Dine’. The new restaurant was yet to open but as I peered through the window a guy came out and introduced himself as Alex. I asked him what kind of food it was going to be. “Modern American” he said,  adding “we’re going to have the best food in Greenpoint”. Continue reading

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A Peep Inside Cacao Market : A Place Where Chocolate Dreams Come True

shelves_3_cacao_market_greenpoint_rosiedebelgeonneGreenpoint: home to craft brewers, small-batch ice cream makers, and luxury tea ateliers. And just when we thought things couldn’t get any more up-market, along comes the cherry on the top in the form of an artisanal chocolate shop.

Cacao Market opened this week on Guernsey street and is the newest venture by Maribel Lieberman, the Honduras-born owner of Soho’s chocolate boutique MarieBelle New York.

The new Greenpoint store is housed beneath the existing MarieBelle chocolate factory, which has been quietly churning out sweet treats since 2004. When the downstairs space recently became available it seemed the perfect opportunity to open a Brooklyn outlet. Continue reading

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Rise and Shine with “Early”, Greenpoint’s Newest Coffee Shop

Image courtesy of @reidschlegel

There’s no shortage of top-notch coffee in Greenpoint, but it’s always fun to have options and, as of last week, we just got one more, courtesy of a new cafe with the suitably caffeine-related name of ‘Early’.

Early Coffee & Sandwich Shop (967 Manhattan Avenue), held its official grand opening on Saturday, where the neighborhood was warmly welcomed in from the cold with free-flowing coffee and canapé-sized tasters of their yummy sandwich menu. Owner Radek Kucharski was cheerily doing the rounds with prosecco and hot cider, whilst cafe manager Peter Chrostowski was doling out espressos, mimosas, and sweet treats by Vegan Divas. Radek told us he’s always dreamed of opening a cafe in the area and, now that the stars have finally aligned in his favor, he’s super excited about the new venture. Continue reading

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New Chef at Nights and Weekends…New Reasons to Linger Over Another Cocktail

Huevos Purgatorios and Coarse Ground Polenta for brunch at Nights and Weekends. Photographs by Rosie de Belgeonne

Whilst most of us Greenpointers are huddling together trying to keep out the winter chill, the folks behind Five Leaves and Nights and Weekends are off sunning themselves in California as they create the next installment of their growing culinary empire at Ace Hotel Palm Springs…alright for some! Nonetheless, back in Brooklyn, their flagship restaurants are certainly not going neglected, and Nights and Weekends recently rolled out some tasty menu additions under new chef Charles Imbelli.

Charles (formerly of fine-dining spot Chanterelle, and Harlem’s Red Rooster) worked with Five Leaves’ Ken Addington in setting up the events menu at L.A. Chapter last year. He returned to Brooklyn in September to take over the kitchen at Nights and Weekends, where he’s been cooking up a storm with their signature Latin American flavors. His first new dishes were introduced in December, and we went went along last week to try out some of them out. Continue reading

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All Aboard for Brunchtime Cruising on The Water Table

An Old Fashioned aboard The Water Table ©Rosie de Belgeonne

It may be November already, but that’s absolutely no excuse to go into hibernation. There’s plenty of reasons to get out of the house at the weekend, including this excellent one from the folks at The Water Table who are serving weekend brunch and dinner onboard their 70 year old ex-navy boat ‘The Revolution’.

Captain Kelli Farwell and first mate Sue Walsh are behind the floating feast, which runs as a cruise from India Street Pier, and recently returned from the upper east side which served as a temporary location while the Greenpoint jetty was under repair. Continue reading

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