As I strolled past Sharkey’s Driving School at the top of Bedford Avenue on Sunday evening, I noticed it was NO LONGER a driving school but instead some kind of pop-up gallery/shop. The guy inside told me that the space is about to be taken over by Five Leaves with view to an expansion and we can now confirm that this news is indeed absolutely true!
Five Leaves co-owner Kathy Mecham tell us “We are upgrading the entire restaurant: bigger kitchen, bigger room, bigger bar. This also means we will also be able to up our catering so it’s really exciting!” 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 →
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 →
Who loves pizza in Greenpoint? Well good news – Ria Bella, a new pizzeria just opened at 1049 Manhattan Ave (between Freeman St and Eagle St). But Ria Bella is not just any other slice spot – it specializes in hard to find Sicilian specialties (think square pies), plus they offer some great deals for lunch and game days.
For a girl with roots in Sicily, just a look at Ria Bella’s menu has me drooling. The Caponata, a dish I grew up on, is a sweet and sour eggplant spread that should be served in a bottomless dish in my opinion.
Sicilians are masters at serving multiple types of carbs in one dish (this is a good thing) – like Ria Bella’s Potato & Eggs Pie (pictured). Getting a pizza crust perfectly crisp while cooking an egg on top is not an easy task and thus a hard to find topping – but not in Greenpoint anymore.
Let’s talk Sfincione, not an easy to pronounce but a very easy to eat pizza that has anchovies, bread crumbs and caciocavallo cheese on top. This was a treat my Grandma (aka Nonna) made in a square pan growing up and I cannot wait to sink my teeth into it again.
You will have to go in and try the rest of the menu, which has vegetarian friendly options as well.
Let’s talk DEALS: Lunch in Greenpoint just got easier and more affordable because Ria Bella is offering 12″ personal pies for only $8 Tuesday-Friday between 12-4pm. And on Game Days (Thursdays and Sundays) buy one pie and get the second half off.
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 →
Greenpoint has seen a whole host of new restaurants open over the past year or so. One of the interesting things about this is that we get to witness their growth and development as they evolve to meet local tastes and demands.
The Bounty (131 Greenpoint Ave) is a great example of this. The restaurant opened gently last spring as an evening spot with simple, good food, and has recently extended its offerings to include weekend brunch, a daily oyster happy hour, and a gorgeous outdoor space. Continue reading →
North Brooklyn has become synonymous with a certain type of restaurant: venues with unassuming frontage, pared back interiors, single-sheet menus of small plates and cocktails served in jam jars. Fushimi (475 Driggs Ave) is different, and it has always made me curious. I walk past it most days on my way to and from the L and often try to catch a glimpse of what lies beyond the bead-curtained windows and silver-mirrored entrance. Continue reading →
Fifth generation fishmonger Vinny Milburn and co-owner/chef Adam Geringer-Dunn have opened the doors to Greenpoint Fish & Lobster (114 Nassau Ave), their much-anticipated raw bar and market offering seasonal, local, and well-sourced seafood in a quaint corner restaurant setting. Milburn and Geringer-Dunn are passionate about ensuring customers know where their catches come from, and that transparency is embodied in everything from the large, street-facing picture window where passersby can see their team at work to maritime maps hanging in the restrooms. It’s a little jewel box of a space and a two-fold great addition to the neighborhood – a reliable, quality seafood market and quite a nice new date night option.
As of 8am this morning, Littleneck Outpost is open at 128 Franklin St (at the corner of Milton St) in Greenpoint. It is a sandwich shop/cafe/specialty grocery spinoff of the restaurant Littleneck in Gowanus. Full review coming soon, but in the meantime, let us know what you think!
Last Saturday saw swarms of hungry foodies pounding the pavements as the Bon Appétit Grub Crawl landed in Greenpoint. I’m not usually a huge fan of group tours but made an exception for this one because it involved so many amazing local bars and restaurants. And I’m mighty glad I did. The day was phenomenal, with such an incredible array of food and drink that it just went to confirm what most of us already know: Greenpoint is so hot right now!
Here’s what we learned as we did the rounds of the the five fantastic venues taking part: Continue reading →