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 →
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 →