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
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
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
Not 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
Greenpoint: 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.
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
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
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
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
Ooh la la! There’s a new cafe in the neighborhood and oui, vraiment, c’est Français! Recently opened on Nassau Ave, Sweet Fox Café is run by French chef Jean-Marc Hardy, and is a great spot to pick up a morning coffee and croissant, a fresh-baked baguette for lunch, or a fancy pastry for afternoon tea. Sweet treats include alluringly colored macaroons, delicate fruit tartlets, and the classic praline cream-filled Paris Brest (an item which, at the age of nine, I rated as most the sophisticated of all racy foodstuffs.) Continue reading
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