With Spring teasing us with her dainty ankle of approaching warmth, it’s easy to feel torn between our winter hobbit ways and the urge to run topless into summer’s heat. What do we wear, what do we eat, and most importantly, what do we drink during this time of transition? Between the seasons of warming whiskey and cooling margaritas, it’s wine that is the most versatile of beverages. And no better way to indulge this changing of seasons than with the cheapest and most transitional way to drink: happy hour! Welcome the spring with a crisp Rosé or hold on to winter with that full-bodied red by drinking early and affordably at some of Greenpoint’s best bars and restaurants. We’ve gathered a few of the neighborhood’s top five wine happy hours, offering 2 for 1 glasses, great food and wine combos, and even a $4 vino to get you through the change and into those short shorts. Continue reading
So it turns out that there is some kind of massive sports game going on this weekend. Yep, according to the internet, Sunday’s Super Bowl will see the New England Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks in an epic battle to become the, um, winners.
Katy Perry will be chipping in with some half time entertainment, in a performance that show director Hamish Hamilton describes as ‘a triumph of bringing lots of people, technology, ideas, creative, scientific and logical minds together’. With any luck this amazing melting pot will result in a solution for world peace…but failing that let’s hope Perry’s outfit at least trends on twitter for a few minutes.
Here’s our round up of where to go in Greenpoint to watch the game…as well as some places you can definitely avoid it…
WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME:
Warsaw (261 Driggs Avenue at Eckford))
The Polish National Home is throwing an Epic Super Bowl Party, with three giant cinema screens, and stadium sound from their ‘gagillion watt’ rock concert PA.
They’ll be serving up a banquet of pierogies, vodka shots, beer towers, wings, spicy kielbasa, paprika relish hoagies, smothered nachos and savory chili. Tables should be booked in advance here.
Riverstyx (21 Greenpoint Avenue)
The folks at Riverstyx are pulling out all the stops for the occasion and bringing in smoke machines, lasers and LED lights, as well as two big screen TV screens. Cocktails will be served in trophies, alongside buckets of beer. Meanwhile their ‘Game Day’ menu ($6-$12) will include Nachos, Sliders, Jalapeno Poppers, Chicken Fingers, Buffalo Wings, Pizza Shooters, as well as regional specialties representative of the competing teams’ hometowns. Continue reading
2015 hit the ground running and already the year has been busy, the days have been long, and sometimes it gets late before we’ve even entertained the thought of dinner, by which time most locals chefs are hanging up their aprons and going home.
However, lucky for us, there’s a few kitchens who fuel their stoves on midnight oil. After a bit of hungry late-night research, we’ve brought together a roundup of Greenpoint joints where you can still get fed in the wee-hours.
This cozy fireside favorite serves up the likes of frito pie and mini cheeseburgers until 1am Friday & Saturday (10pm all other nights)
We are so proud that the talented and amazing Greenpointers contributor responsible for the hilarious and adorable illustrations in her Friday column “Recipes Gone Wild” – is the champion of Enid’s Apple Pie Contest that happened this past Sunday!!! We asked her how it feels to win the most competitive Apple Pie contest in the universe:
GP: So, how many pies were you up against?
Libby: Somewhere around 28-30.
GP: Did you think you had a chance at winning?
Libby: I didn’t think I’d win because my pie looked like a lumpy, primitive life form in a world of civilized, beautiful pies. But I did have one special ingredient in my arsenal, which I was hoping would give me an edge. Continue reading
Enid’s is the first restaurant in Greenpoint I noticed before I ever imagined I would live here or run Greenpointers. I remember thinking, “that place is cu-ute.” Despite that it never became my regular spot even though so many friends swear by it. They also have some awesome events, like the Annual Pie Bake-Off and in the winter they have a Snowflake Making night. I also feel like I never hear about the events, but if I was a regular I would know. It’s that kind of place.
After a photo exploration with my photographer amigo Miguel, we stopped in for a meeting with Jeanne Hilary another wonderful photographer and founder of Bicycle Utopia. Don’t know about it? You should know about it.
It was a great spot for informal day drinking introductions – next to the big bright window facing Manhattan Ave with a view of one of my favorite installations – the golden camel.
Before I get into the burger, I will preface it by saying that I screwed up the order and when it arrived without cheese and avocado I asked if they wouldn’t mind melting some cheddar on top. They were sweet hearts about it. I am trying to keep an even playing field among the veggie burgers, and it’s a back-up in case it isn’t that amazing – cheese and avocado make everything okay, you see?
I am not sure if reheating had anything to do with it, but the burger had major mush factor. I appreciate that they make it in house and could see the fresh chopped vegetables and peas in the patty, but there was hardly any flavor to it. I kind of pushed it around on my plate. Veggie burger fail.
The fries were good old crispy salty fries and the afternoon of talking cameras and drinking beer was stand-out.
Until next week…
I drank a lot of whiskey last week on my quest to find Greenpoint’s best hot toddy. The booze guzzling was well worth the effort. I’m proud to announce Greenpoint bars are no stranger to the tasty winter treat. I found a few bangin’ toddies in this ‘hood and got a little tipsy along the way.
Before I feign food critic and rate the toddies, how about some history, in case you’ve somehow survived without toddies all winter long? Traditionally, the drink combines whiskey, boiling water and sugar or honey. Cloves, lemon and/or cinnamon may also be added. According to good ol’ Wikipedia, hot toddies were once recommended as a cure for the common cold, but the American Lung Association denounced this because alcoholic beverages cause dehydration. Yeah, whatever.
Though a seemingly simple recipe, concocting the best hot toddy is an art. You’d be surprised how disappointing a toddy can be – especially when you’re paying $8 for what tastes like hot water with lemon. Luckily, the bartenders in this neighborhood know what they’re doing and tend to be plenty generous when it comes to pouring whiskey.
Runner Up: Greenpoint Heights, 278 Nassau Avenue
Props to the hidden dive bar on the corner for having hot water ready to go upon my arrival. Also, I’m sending a virtual fist pump to the bartender for pouring half a mug-full of Evan Williams before adding the water, cinnamon stick and lemon with cloves. THIS toddy would cure a common cold. And knock you on your ass. Heights’ hot toddy isn’t trying to be anything special. It needs honey. I did like the holiday teddy bear mug, though. And I hear this place has great tacos.
Runner Up: Black Rabbit, 91 Greenpoint Avenue
First, let me point out that Black Rabbit wins for coziest, most perfect toddy ambience. Fireplace? Check. Twinkly lights? Check. This is an ideal place to escape a cold winter night. My biggest problem with their recipe is the use of scotch instead of whiskey. Huh? It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t my favorite. Rabbit’s excessive use of lemon made the toddy too bitter for my liking. Additional ingredients include honey syrup (equal parts honey and water, boiled and cooled), Tetley’s black tea bag, cinnamon stick and a clove-studded lemon slice.
Third Place: Berry Park, 4 Berry Street
“Jameson. Fresh lemon. Honey.” That’s what the menu reads. There’s not much else to say about it. Berry Park’s toddy fits the traditional definition best. It’s simple and delicious and not trying to be fancy. It had just the right amount of each ingredient.
For the record, Spritzenhaus almost came in first. I lucked out with a bartender who is extremely passionate about his hot toddy making. His trick: Coat the bottom of the glass (not a mug) with lots of honey. He used Barton’s whiskey, which sounds worse than it tastes, I promise. The honey disguised it well. You can certainly request better whiskey if you prefer. Spritz’s toddy also included a lemon wedge with cloves in it and a cinnamon stick. Fireplaces and Jenga definitely added to this Greenpoint beer garden’s hot toddy perfection. Bravo, Spritzenhaus. Bravo!
WINNER: Enid’s, 560 Manhattan Avenue
Enid’s serves a perfectly whiskeyed and perfectly sweetened toddy that’s easy on the lemon (despite the use of lemon juice and a lemon wedge) and sans both cinnamon and honey. The secret ingredient that makes this toddy so goddamn delightful is…wait for it…maple syrup! In addition to its deliciousness, the hundreds of handmade snowflakes hanging from the ceiling and the still-standing-in-January Christmas tree provided the ultimate winter atmosphere. Enid’s toddy isn’t on the menu, but ask and you shall receive. Congrats, Enid’s!
The Enid’s Magic Recipe:
1 Part Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1 Part Fresh Squeezed Meyer Lemon Juice
1 Part Grade B Maple Syrup
2 Parts Boiling Water
Last evening while waiting for a friend (to go canvas Xmas tree stands for Greenpointers) I popped into Enids to grab a Hot Toddy.
The bar tender served me up my yummy hot beverage plus a stack of paper and scissors. It was Enid’s Annual Snowflake Making Party! As I sat there and tried my best to be artistic (and not not cut my fingers off) I couldn’t believe how perfect a situation I was in before going to interview Xmas tree salesman. If I wasn’t in the holiday spirit before, this Christmas-y overload was gonna snap me into gear.
After living in Greenpoint for almost 4 years, I am so happy I finally (randomly) made it to an Enid’s decorating party.
Yeah for bars’n’crafts!
Do you think you (and your pie) are the main slice?
Here’s one way to find out: Go to Enid’s Restaurant (560 Manhattan Avenue) on Sunday, October 21st 2012 for the Tenth Annual Apple Pie Contest. Last year about 50 local bakers brought their apple pies to the contest. We had boozy bourbon apple pies, homestyle double crust pies and many, many apple pies laced with tasty bits of bacon.
Anyone can enter Enid’s Apple Pie Contest, and everyone is welcome to come by and check out the pies. Open pie call is from 5:00 – 5:45pm, and judging will begin promptly at 6:00pm. The only rule is that pies must contain apples and crust, and no ‘accessories’ like sauces and creams can be submitted. Apple Pie only!
Brooklyn Kitchen co-owners Harry Rosenblum and Taylor Erkkinen have judged the pies year after year, and this year they will also be joined by Millicent Souris, Brooklyn Kitchen’s resident pie instructor. Angela Thurmond, our 2012 Smorgasburg-Daisy Flour pie contest winner (it was a showstopping lemon-lavender pie) will also be a judge this year.
There will be food on sticks, seasonal drink adventures, and thrilling prizes from local vendors, so it will be a good time for everyone who attends.