If you haven’t been to vibrant Graham Avenue on the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint yet, I present to you the perfect reason to explore this part of town. Named after a communal trout fishing lodge that her grandfather founded in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Emily Casey’s Bourbon Springs somehow captures the familiarity of a little restaurant in the south, but with the all the culinary chops necessary to survive New York’s competitive restaurant scene. The Cajun-inspired menu is sure to satisfy and the bar happens to make some of the best craft cocktails in the city. The interior is pleasant and charming; small enough to feel welcoming yet with table spacing optimized for conversation. Bourbon Springs also enjoys a quaint backyard complete with picnic tables surrounded by planters overflowing with herbs, tomatoes, and blueberries. On Sunday evenings, they offer seasonal all-you-can-eat seafood boils, currently featuring crab and shrimp.
These gorgeous evenings lately have led many of us to hang outside until well after dark, but there is another way to enjoy summer. Hop on The Water Table at the India Street pier for an amazing boat ride through the East River down to the Statue of Liberty, complete with New England-focused food, craft beer, good wine, wonderful cocktails, and a lovely sunset with views of the East River Bridges, beautiful Brooklyn, and the Manhattan skyline!
A few weeks ago, the former Champs Junior spot on Manhattan Avenue (between Nassau and Driggs) turned into Screamers Pizzeria, a vegan pizzeria. Screamers is owned by Brad Baker, the man behind Champs Diner and Haymaker’s Corner Store, in a joint venture with chefs Mark Mebus and Ryan Moylan of Philly’s Blackbird Pizzeria. Blackbird is apparently some of the best vegan pizza available in the country, so this is a pretty big deal in the vegan world. I stopped by to see what it’s all about and get my first taste of a true vegan-with-cheese pizza.
If you’re going to Hail Mary (68 Greenpoint Ave), a new diner-like restaurant with an open and homey air befitting of Greenpoint, it’s best to take a crowd and some extra money.
The ambience is cozy, quaint and nostalgic—made for a group of friends or family. The busy, patterned wallpaper, upholstery and bits of Americana transport you back to an earlier era, while the dim lamp lighting, antique-style tables and open kitchen in the back room reflect more typical Brooklyn design trends. There’s some old school rap music playing lightly in the background. And you will meet the husband and wife co-owners and co-chefs, Sohla and Ham El- Waylly, who come out humbly and unannounced to serve you, offer menu recommendations and explain what’s on the plate. Continue reading
Maman’s original SoHo cafe opened in early Fall 2014 without much fanfare. That is, until people tasted their Nutty Chocolate Chunk Cookie and that cookie alone should make you want to stop at their newest location at 80 Kent Street (between Franklin and West). Luckily, the southern-France-chic bakery has plenty of attention-worthy treats beyond the cookie to make it a welcome addition to our neighborhood!
Get excited, Greenpointers— your walk to some seriously delicious Asian fusion just got shorter. Baoburg has moved to our very own stretch of Manhattan Avenue (between Nassau and Driggs). Chef Suchanan Aksornnan (aka Chef Bao Bao) had been delighting patrons in Williamsburg since 2013, but was forced to move her restaurant as a result of Thor Equities’ new mixed-use building. The menu is inspired by a variety of Asian cuisines with some nods to Spanish and French cooking as well. The interior of the new location at is still quite small, but Baoburg gained a beautiful back courtyard in its new home. I recommend walking straight to this oasis to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and brick facades of the outdoor space you wish was your own. Continue reading
I remember the time that I first noticed Polka Dot. I was walking down Manhattan Avenue, undoubtedly heading toward Peter Pan to satisfy my apple crumb donut addiction. Thankfully, I spotted the happy script across the street that was this little Polish cafe’s new sign. Many of you may not know that Polka Dot is in fact the reimagining of what was once the Polski Meat Market. Opened in 1996 by Marzena Parys and her husband, it’s evolved with the neighborhood into the gem that it is today. Continue reading
Admittedly, when I first had dinner at The Four Horsemen in Williamsburg several months ago, I went there because I’d heard about a certain lead singer of a well-known New York band being part owner. I also might have a borderline unhealthy obsession with said band and their recent resurrection, which is why I’m devoting this first paragraph to it. But even though that guy and his legendary music originally attracted me to The Four Horsemen, that’s not why I keep coming back.
The space is small and den-like, and the natural wood ceiling planks make you feel like you’re in the hull of a modest yet stylish houseboat, sailing on magical waters from Stockholm to Tokyo. And that worldly yet right-at-home feel is intentional—the owners were inspired by their own international travels, drawing from “attention to detail and unparalleled service via Japan, casual excellence via Paris, happy evangelism for wine and understanding of coziness via Copenhagen and the come-for-one-glass-and-stay-til-closing of London.” The vibe is on point. Continue reading
It’s really easy to get all your veggies this spring and summer in North Brooklyn with the vast variety of CSAs. CSAs (which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and CSAs are also sometimes called farm shares) are a great way for people to have access to local, fresh vegetables, fruit, and other food directly from the farms. Participants purchase a “share” for a season—shares are based on items, delivery regularity, or size—paying in winter or spring for a box of locally delivered goods. By providing financial support to the farmer early on, you support the farmer no matter what the weather—and you get to be treated to the bounty of whatever the weather provides. Best of all, you don’t have to deal with worrying about oversleeping and missing the good stuff at the farmers’ market!
Because you generally don’t get to pick which kinds of vegetables and fruit, and you are often exposed to new kinds of fruit and vegetables, it’s a great chance to learn how to cook new veggies. Many of the CSAs also provide a website or Facebook group with recipes; be sure to inquire.
If you’re interested in signing up for a CSA, you should get a move on. Some have already closed for the season, and many are nearing capacity.
Happy eating! Continue reading
Toro Ironworks is ringing in the spring with some additions to the menu, which will offer a new draw for vegetarians and carnivores alike.
The Taqueria, whose customers had asked for more vegetarian options, is now offering jackfruit tacos. Owner Sebouh Yegparian said he wanted to offer something for the more adventurous diners. Continue reading