Taste Talks, a two-day conference on Brooklyn Food and Drink, announced its curatorial voice with April Bloomfield (of the Spotted Pig) at its helm. The event, which took place on September 14th & 15th, brought notable food, chefs and taste makers together in a bevy of curated panels, discussions, workshops, and cookouts.
Among the roster of activities, I signed up for three panels and Cook it Raw, a collaborative outdoor event where chefs worked together to create a meal using locally-sourced ingredients and as little electricity as possible – all in under 6 hours. Below are highlights from each, including quotes to add to the Brooklyn culinary repertoire.
If you have any relationship with The Richardson—albeit it a one-nighter, Grand Ferry (229 Kent Ave) will feel strangely, wonderfully, familiar. And that’s because co-founders Jon Derosa and Joel Lee Kulp—as well as the staff, are transplants from Greenpoint’s popular speakeasy. Located on Kent Ave in Williamsburg, this waterfront tavern is inspired by a ferry that docked nearby until 1918.
Dig old stuff? If you are an antique nut like me, you will appreciate that the mirrors, prints, and resident mermaid (who exists as a sculpture and is printed on Grand Ferry’s matchbox) all hail from Kulp’s treks to the Mecca of antique fairs—Brimfield. Lining the walls are early 20th century prints of the East River—including one of the East River bridge, now known as the Williamsburg Bridge. Continue reading →
I know, I know – Cory Feldman in the 80s… but I am more interested in the food options at tonight’s Summerscreen at McCarren Park! Bring a chair and a bib.
Handsome Hanks has my kind of menu – everything and anything is fried – except the cole slaw. Fried fish, fried crab, fried shrimp. You’re going to get some kind of seafood and I can guarantee it’s going to be fried. And if that’s not enough fried – they have french fries. Hallelujah!
It’s no surprise that Landhaus’ favorite Goonies character is Chunk – they serve Grilled Maple Bacon Sticks, which were voted best Bacon in NYC by Village Voice. Quite an honor. They will also be flipping grass-fed Cheeseburgers and Lamb Burgers (with some pork back fat on it) – and of course their signature Fresh Mint Lemonade.
No surprises here but Pizza Moto and beer and a movie from when you were four makes for a great Wednesday night.
Representing Greenpoint Selamat Pagi will be focusing on their Bali Style Wings, plus vegan Lawar Salad of long beans, lime and coconut, Beef Rendang, which is spicy beef curry with pickles and rice and a Tamarind Fizz drink.
Dating is always tough, but it’s tougher in New York – especially Brooklyn. Now for us single ladies, it’s always a different story. Before I give you my list of ”first date spots,” these are the prerequisites:
a. Incognito status: places where friends / exes do not troll aka I-won’t-bump-into-anyone-I-know. I want to save myself and my um, date, the embarrassment of saying “Uh, yeah. I’m on a date.”
b. Big open spaces: Well, I’ll be ok as long as it has a number of easy exits – especially on a first date. Big windows count. Continue reading →
Last year local restaurants were getting fined for serving brunch on the sidewalk before noon because of an outdated law that ensured the path was clear for churchgoers. Yana was right, “brunch is the new church!” and finally the city council abolished the stupid law. According to the Daily News, Stephen Levin who sponsored the bill actually said this: “I’m egg-static that the war on brunch is over…Thanks to the City Council, the law preventing sidewalk brunching before noon on Sunday is toast.”
Wining and dining in a romantic french cafe, is every girl’s fantasy. Guys, whisk your lady off to a lovely dinner at Greenpoint’s Le Gamin and let the authentic casual French ambiance make this the best Valentine’s dinner she has ever had (until you can actually take her to France!).
Valentine’s Day Prix Fixe Menu $49/person
Pan-seared Duck Foie Gras with port wine & black truffle lentil stew
Smoked Ahi Tuna Carpaccio with mache & cucumber salad and bourbon barrel-aged sauce
Valentine’s Gift Bag From The One Well (Optional, Order Must Be Placed At Time Of Reservation) “lover’s bag” is available for only $30 added onto the cost of your prix-fixe dinner. It includes one superb vegan chocolate bar wrapped in sweet Valentine’s paper, one delicious jar of local goat’s milk caramel sauce, and one bottle of luxurious essential oil scented massage oil.
Tuesday 15th – Sapporo Haru, 622 Manhattan Avenue
Our go-to local sushi place when too tired to cook. Thursday 17th – Selamat Pagi, 152 Driggs Avenue
Had been meaning to try the new Balinese place for ages. Mighty glad we did, it was fresh, charming and delicious.
Friday 18th – Calexico, 645 Manhattan Avenue
Finally got the timing right for the 12-1am Happy Hour, which means 2-for-1 Margaritas. The right way to start a weekend!
Living in Greenpoint, we are lucky to have one of the largest collections of Polish restaurants serving traditionally meat-centric goodness this side of Warsaw. And this is the season for it. Gray, fog-dampened, winter stretches where day and night are hard to tell from one another lend themselves to comfort food.
Grab your sweatpants and your inner fat kid, and read on for what we think are some of the best places in the neighborhood to get your international grub on.
Northside Bakery- Corner of Nassau and Humboldt
Essentially a traditional Polish bakery that decided they could fit some tables and chairs in the space and provide quick counter service. Perfect for grabbing golobki (stuffed cabbage) to go, or chicken noodle soup that’s still has a perfect layer of chicken fat reflecting on the surface. Every variation of rye, multi-grain, rustic, and peasant bread are up for grabs if you wanna carbo-load. This place is about as legit as it gets and it’s crazy inexpensive. Next time you’re in the area, do yourself a favor and get yourself the beet salad.
Lomzynianka-646 Manhattan Ave
Outside of actually having a Polish grandmother, this place is as close as you’re going to get to getting a home cooked meal. The decor here is probably more famous than the menu. Permanent Christmas lights, multi-colored streamers that scallop their way across the drop-tile ceiling, and taxidermied deer heads are festooned with Hawaiian leis can all be found in what is essentially a Polish rec-room from the early 70s. The white borscht and tripe soup are some of the best we’ve ever had and that’s no small compliment. For the more adventurous among you, boiled pork hocks and tongue in horseradish sauce can be found. This place is an institution, and the most expensive thing is only $9. Did we mention that this place is also BYOB? Yeah. We’ve spent many an afternoon sipping Żywiec and nibbling on perfectly prepared farmer’s cheese in this little gem.
Krolewskie Jadlo-694 Manhattan Avenue
We guess when you advertise the fact that you used to be a head chef at Rober DeNiro’s Nobu, we should know what we are getting ourselves into. Easily spotted by the iconic suit of armor found out front, Krolewskie Jadlo takes traditional Polish dishes and elevates them to more complex and innovative offerings. Sure, most Polish dishes are one of the infinite iterations of meat, cabbage, and potatoes, but head chef and owner Krzysztof Drzewiecki is doing his best to change that misconception. A still wildly affordable menu is real big on game meat. Stuffed wild boar with cognac pepper sauce, venison meat balls with garden dumplings and mushroom truffle oil sauce, and grilled pheasant breast served with port fig sauce can all be had for less than $15 bucks each. Grubbing on wild boar in a space that feels like a king’s mead hall is also a pretty tight way to spend an evening.
Karczma Polish Restaurant- 136 Greenpoint Ave.
Growing up in Florida, we guess we’re just a sucker for a themed restaurant. Eating at Karczma is like visiting a historical reenactment site. Not like Civil War reenactments, those are just weird. Once inside the decor and costumes do their best to convince you that you’ve somehow made a wrong turn and ended up in 18th century Poland. Traditional polish food, live polish folk music, and waitresses dressed in traditional peasant garb all combine to create the illusion of dining in a rustic country side inn. Peasant style lard is easily one of the most amazing appetizers we’ve ever had. Mixed with bacon and spices and served with warm rye bread, it’s probably a good thing that lard isn’t that easy to find. We’d put it on everything. Grilled blood sausage, pierogis, hunter’s stew, and spicy beef goulash are all damn near perfect. They also have a full bar and a pretty sweet happy hour on Thursdays. $3.50 Żywiec every Thursday from 5pm – 9pm is some of the cheapest beer offerings in town.
This list is by no means comprehensive. There are dozens of delis, bakeries, and cured meat spots peppered throughout Greenpoint. Visit one, be adventurous, and eat something with a name you can’t pronounce. Chances are it’s going to be something you’ve never had before and wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.