If there is a place in the hood where I have my food pulse tuned into, it’s the stretch of Manhattan Ave. between Greenpoint Ave. and Java St. Quite the small focus, I think of it as the La Taverna/McDonald’s line. Dead center of that line was the restaurant Happy End: an old school Polish spot that drew me in with a 70′s looking brown and orange sign and made me a customer with the curvy counter and the simple menu.
More than that, the owner Martin kept me coming back. Over the years we developed a friendship and discussed the restaurant in it’s old incarnation, at length. A few weeks ago he popped his head from the newly painted roll gates and said with a big smile, “doing some work, but it’s a secret.”
Last week that secret was let out of the bag with the re-opening of Martin’s place under the banner Brooklyn Point Cafe. Of course I was one of the first people to pop in to get the low down (It’s only 23 ft from my front door.)
It has been gutted and turned into a fresh new restaurant with a menu that is anything but Polish. Of course they kept the grilled Polish sausage on the menu to stay tied to their roots. Continue reading →
Six weeks ago I pitched a solar powered ice pop truck to my client, Sungevity, I didn’t think I’d be standing in Rockefeller Center yesterday basking in the orange solar glow of a push-button, auto-articulating, air ride equipped, natural ice pop dispensing, ex-postal step van. Nor did I think I’d be watching the 30 person line double in size by the minute with happy NYers grabbing their hibiscus mint or Mango flavored all natural ice pops. But I was. And today I am doing the same thing at Grand Central and Bryant Park. From NYC this baby heads to Boston and then Jersey and maybe even as far as Maryland. Unfortunately we are not hitting Greenpoint.
What’s on board are these beautiful delicious pops made by the guys at Good Pops, out of Austin.
This May the first ever Bike-in-Theater will be held by the crew at Forking Tasty Suppers, the local monthly dinema supperclub we hope you have all come to love. To launch their new season they are “going public” with their 2 story high projector and inviting anyone on two wheels to come join them.
A few things you can expect; lots of bikers, an old school hit movie and some delicious snacks. It wouldn’t be Forking Tasty if they didn’t provide some delectable morsels to munch on during what is sure to be a unique evening.
A peek through the lowered rollgate revealed a narrow table of twenty that was nestled in between the towering wine shelves and the purposely dark hum of a refrigerator bank.
Through the steel and glass you could hear only muffled conversation, the clang of plates and the reverberation of laughter as it filled the converted shop and snuck out the cracks in the front windows. Last Saturday 20 lucky singles mingled it up after hours in a little Greenpoint wine shop to sip some vino, taste some edibles and meet their possible spring fling. I’d say the evening was a fantastic success being that our guests made a connection with more than the food. To pull this supper off we partnered up with Dandelion Wines to provide the space and wines that complimented our four course feast. We then summoned some singles who were up for a gastro-guzzle-blind date.
The idea came from my realization that daylight savings time forces us to lose an hour each year as we hurdle ourselves into the future. This imposed, careless disregard in hopes of getting closer to the impending spring is a cheap trick that strips us of the commodity that seems most scarce these days, time. I thought it might be smart, and fun, to hold onto those 60 minutes and see what happens if you anonymously were put into a room with nineteen strangers. Below is the glutenous mystery that unfolded.
As the final customers picked and purchased their Sunday night, night caps, we were busy finalizing the table settings of our conversion from wine shop to true pop-up restaurant. With every detail triple checked the menus were set and we fired up the small stove in the back of the shop to get the make shift kitchen into high gear. While Aimee browned the polenta and I started building the first plate of chicken cacciatore our guests snacked on some cheese and dried sausage while sipping Dandelion’s first selection a “La Gaudrelle” Cremant de Loire Sparkling Chenin Blanc.
Soon enough our first course was ready to be passed. We like to keep our guests standing for a bit so they can easily move around the room and meet others. The food worked it’s magic as each plate simultaneously became an interruption and a catalyst .
Chilled jumbo prawns with arugula pesto and a lemon aioli.
Braised chicken cacciatore on fresh polenta with caramelized balsamic onions.
Every year we lose an hour as we spring ahead to…well…spring. What if those lost 60 minutes held a secret? What if that secret was filled with attractive singles, delicious food and rich, luscious wine? Would you tell? Or, would you keep your mouth closed and smirk with content?
On March 13th we are teaming up with Dandelion Wines and converting a wine shop into a dining den to celebrate this seductive lost hour. As the rest of the world skips past these valuable and mysterious minutes ten single men and ten single women will be indulging with gluttonous disregard. A 4-course gourmet dinner will be crafted to perfectly match hand selected, small batch vintners favorite wines.
Quietly reserve one of the 20 seats below and treat yourself to an evening that will be full of visual surprises, olfactory inspirations, tongue tantalizing moments and perhaps, by the end of the evening, even those little hairs on the back of your neck will be at attention. Who knows, you might even share a bite and a sip with your new spring lover.
Red Star Bar and Forking Tasty are teaming up this Sunday for a semi-star studded Oscar party. FEBRUARY 27th, beginning at 7:00 pm. It’ll be more fun than watching from your living room plus their will be comics, red carpets and prizes but there are only 50 seats available.
Red carpet arrivals Wine and cheese cocktail hour 3-course dinner Drinks in their upstairs event space Prizes for Best Dressed and Best Ballot Picks Champagne toast to the Best Picture Winner
Award nominated comics Jason Saenz and Nick Turner (aka “Too Cool For School”) will handle the hosting duties, providing comedic commentary throughout the commercial breaks as well as doling out prizes for the evening’s trivia contest winners. We hope to see a bunch of you there.
Tomorrow, February 12, 2011 at Redstar Bar in Greenpoint. Doors open to the public at 2pm! This event is FREE! No cover, No charge for sampling the wings!
I realize last Sunday was a rough day for many of us. You might be saying to yourself, “I can’t gorge again this weekend.” Of course you can but that isn’t much fodder for swaying your decision so I thought it might help for you to read a bit about last years delicious chicken arm madness. Many of the same players are back in the ring to defend or uncrown so research carefully and make sure you hit your prospective favorites first.
Let’s get to a few contestants. It’s a long recap so if you want the full run down from last year pop over here. We’ll start out strong, drop in the middle of the pack and then close with my favorite traditional entry.
I loved this crew. They were chatty, smiley and super happy. Their wings…totally broke the mold. In the restaurant the selection is ridiculous. You can choose from Ginger Buff, Trini Tamarind, Bajan Merry Mango, Island BBQ, Chili Cilantro, Spice Island Rub and Lava. They served Ginger Buff with Lava Sauce. I screamed, cried and then hit seconds. Nothing like a traditional wing BUT they did it right. They started with a meaty wing that was not too big. This was smart because there was so much flavor that too much meat would actually kill the flavor profile. I know, I never use big cooking words like that, but here it was necessary. The lava sauce on top was a nice break from the blue cheese and complimented the Ginger spice wonderfully. So, turns out I was not the only person who though this way. They took first prize. Nice work ladies. I’ll be by the restaurant really soon for more.
Wings from a BBQ joint always peeks my interest. Off the bat they were a talkative team. I love that. Lots to say about the wings, the competition and their restaurant. Their entry was definitely of the BBQ realm. A saucy entry that had a spicy yet sweet BBQ sauce on it. I loved it but yearned for that taste on some pork. A rib, brisket some pulled shoulder, anything, would have held up to that sauce better than a wing. Let me be clear, I loved the taste. It was the wing that fell a little short. I will say, they did something no other team did. They served the whole wing intact. Still connected at the joint I needed to change my eating approach to devour this morsel and I enjoyed the challenge. I am dying to head down to Carroll Garden’s and try some of their pork creations. I am sure they will not disappoint.
I don’t have one note, memory or story to tell about this wing. I guess that says it all. So, let’s move on. Ohh, wait…they were best dressed. Doning Valentine’s Day red chef coats they were the cleanest and most professional looking of all the teams.
They were from Flatbush Ave. and entered with a jerk wing.. No blue cheese dip, just straight up Jerk. This Trini team kept it real West Indian style. A sucker for jerk chicken I reveled in their wings and reminisced about Mr. Biggs roadside jerk spot in Negril. An absolute must every time I am in the birthplace of Bob Nesta. A good non-traditional wing but a little small and dry when I got to the meat. Jerk holds up much better on a leg or thigh so I suspect a trip to Flatbush is in order.
After about 2 hours I had made my way around all the tables, once for pics and a second time for eats. With a belly full of 28 wings and a memory card full of 280 photos, I gulped down the rest of my pint and slipped through the now shoulder to shoulder crowd and out the front door.
As food competitions go, The Best Wings In Brooklyn Competition had a good showing. Two hours in and there was still a line outside Red Star. Considering the G train was broken and the temp was hanging around a windy 25 degrees, I’d say Brooklyn takes their wings pretty seriously.
Every year around this time I rally up my friends for a yearly pot luck, THANKSBRINGING. This year I thought it would be nice to share a little of what makes dinners in my world a little more fun with my Greenpoint neighbors. Taking inspiration from Forking Tasty Suppers, my monthly supper club, here is a small do-it-yourself project that will make your Thanksgiving table look like a mini Plymouth Massachusetts.
Download the PDF and print it on your home printer. Be sure to add your own little creative twist for style points that way you can claim it as your own. We’d love to see your creations. Send us a pick of your Pilgrim and Indian adorned table and we’ll reward the best with two seats to our next dinner. Happy Creativity!
Fresh from the husband and wife team that brought us CUP coffee shop, Brooklyn MAC is their new joint focusing on the beloved comfort food. Conveniently located next to CUP on Norman Ave, you will soon be able to stop in for some down home mac and cheese. From the classic Kings County (Cheddar and American) to their Coney Island (Hotdog + Sauerkraut + Mustard + American), I promise you there is a neighborhood taste for everyone.
True to their neighborhood friendly roots they will have veggie, vegan and gluten free options. They also figured out a clever way to turn their creamy, delicious mac menu into a healthier option. Substitute fresh, crispy lettuce greens for the macaroni in any order and voila.
I got a sneak bite the other night. Working off the “build your own” menu I created the “Jason Heights” MAC, a 3 cheese, 3 meat slugger. Damn delicious I must say.
They are set to open in about a week or so. I’d say perfect timing as that mercury seems to be dipping lower and lower as the days go by. As we head into NYC hibernation I might have to keep Brooklyn MAC on the speed dial.
Brooklyn MAC 77 Norman Avenue btwn Lorimer & Manhattan