It all started with an idea, and a few years later, new restaurant Slick Willie (179 Meserole Avenue) is a dream come true for three friends, Jeremy, Josh, and Benjamin. It took quite a while to construct and design the space, as they signed the lease on the property just before Sandy hit New York, and then everything was delayed as construction priorities changed post-storm. However, the restaurant finally opened a few weeks ago and the trio are now ready for business!
While some might think Slick Willie was named after Bill Clinton, it’s actually named after one of Greenpoint’s famous residents, Willie Sutton. He was a legendary bank robber, a “gentleman bank robber,” so called because he never killed anyone. He robbed banks because “that’s where the money is,” and the FBI gave him the name “Slick Willie” in reference to how many times he’d eluded them Continue reading →
In a neighborhood largely under occupation by the Haslegrave brothers, we walked into new bar and restaurant Le Fanfare to the pleasant surprise that it wasn’t another one of theirs. The design of the space is comfortable and coherent, from the sharply-painted facade to the sequin-lined stage. Attention to detail pervades everything; the printing on each page of the menu lines up perfectly with the stenciled text on the board holding it, for example. This careful attention to detail appears throughout the restaurant: ingredients, furnishing, music, and even the staff have been chosen and integrated carefully by people who realize that it only takes one cut corner to cheapen the whole experience.
Our night at Le Fanfare (1103 Manhattan Ave) began at the small round bar up front, where we were warmly welcomed by an easygoing and friendly staff. The cocktail list is short and classic, with drinks around $11, and the bar is comfortable and pleasantly backlit by a clouded mirror studded with star-like lights. I sometimes find that I mentally rank spaces like these by how badly they make me wish I could still spend long nights smoking inside at them, and this bar gets pretty high marks there. Continue reading →
Sandwich shop No. 7 Sub on Manhattan Avenue was closed over the summer for renovations. When it re-opened a few weeks ago, not only had the interior undergone a major facelift, but the place even had a slightly different name: No 7. North.
The new name is reflective of their their updated menu as, even though they still have some kick-ass sandwiches, there is now an expanded selection of bar food and, excitingly, booze. Continue reading →
Do we really need another pizza place in Greenpoint? Well, probably not, but Ria Bella (1049 Manhattan Avenue) is pretty good and I am more than happy to add it to my rotation of options.
The pizzas are baked in a ceramic oven, with either a thin or traditional Sicilian crust. Some of the pizzas are pretty creative – one that they especially recommend is the Sfincione – a square pie that has tomato basil sauce, sautéed onions, anchovies, caciocavallo cheese, topped with roasted bread crumbs (Bread crumbs on pizza? Oh yes.), and extra virgin olive oil. Continue reading →
Regular visitors to Greenpoint Library (and indeed anyone who frequently crosses the intersection of Norman and Leonard) may have noticed that changes have been afoot around that area recently. Antek, a Polish restaurant noted for its fine pierogi, has closed down and in its place has arisen a charming new French bistro, Le Fond.
The creation of Le Fond (105 Norman Ave) involves a fruitful collaboration of the old and new. It came about when Antek owner Stanislawa (Stasha) Prenkiewicz advertised on Craigslist for somebody with a strong vision and business plan to come onboard and relaunch her restaurant. The ad was answered by local chef Jake Eberle, who’d been looking for the right opportunity to open his first business. Stasha was excited by Jake’s proposal and a new partnership was born. She handed him creative control of the space whilst remaining involved as a silent partner. Continue reading →
Esme, the newest restaurant to open on Manhattan Avenue, is named after the female protagonist in J.D. Salinger’s ‘For Esmé – with Love and Squalor’. Happily, the new bistro reflects all of the love but none of the squalor of the touching short story about an encounter between an American soldier and an enchanting young British girl during WW2. “My dad gave the book to me and my brother when we were 14 and that story was one of the reasons we ended up going to college” says Esme co-owner Matthew Ricke. Continue reading →
Bagels, delicious bagels! With their amazing array of freshly baked goods and delicious cream cheeses, the brand new Bread Brothers Bagel Cafe will make you crave bagels for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
The fifth annual Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint event happened on Sunday and it could not have been a better day for it.Brilliant sunshine, smiling faces, great music, totally manageable lines (mostly you just had to hover for a moment before getting a taste of something incredible) and best of all a whole load of ABSOLUTELY AMAZING FOOD AND DRINK!
“Wow,” someone said as I waited in line on opening day. “I’m not even a vegetarian, but there’s definitely way too much bacon in this area. This is a relief.”
Jungle Cafe (996 Manhattan Ave) is certainly a relief for the vegetarians and vegans of North Brooklyn. But fortunately it’s also incredibly delicious and so comes as a welcome addition to the rest of us as well. Continue reading →
Important Food News Flash: As of last Friday, Greenpoint got itself a second donut shop. Yep, that’s right, after many years of plain sailing, Peter Pan has finally got some competition!
Moe’s Doughs Donut Shop (126 Nassau Ave), situated at the corner of McGuinness, is a family-run operation headed by Egyptian-born owner Mohamed Saleh, who has lived in the neighborhood for over 25 years. Continue reading →