Williamsburg

Cocktails and Cajun Comfort at Bourbon Springs

Bourbon Springs is serving up some of the best bourbon cocktails in New York
Bourbon Springs is serving some of the best bourbon cocktails in New York

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.

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OddFellows Ice Cream Co. Has it All: Strange, Savory, and Sweet

OddFellows Ice Cream Co. in Williamsburg
OddFellows Ice Cream Co. in Williamsburg. All images via oddfellowsnyc.com

As co-founder Mohan Kumar tells it, OddFellows in Williamsburg has an origin as sweet as its ice cream.

“When Holiday was pregnant Sam [Mason] brought over ice cream, and she loved it. At the time I was looking to get out of what I was doing in real estate finance and do something more entrepreneurial, more creative,” Kumar shared. “A couple days later, she said, ‘Why don’t you talk to Sam about opening an ice cream shop?’ I said, ‘That’s a great idea.’ I approached Sam about that over a beer, I had half a business plan already written out, and that’s how it started.” Continue reading

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Funky Plot and Savory Performances for Shakespeare in the Theater’s “Cymbeline”

Curt James (foreground) and Josh Krebs in "Cymbeline" at The Brick
Curt James (foreground) and Josh Krebs in “Cymbeline” at The Brick

Cymbeline is tonally ambiguous, dramaturgically elusive. This is no weakness of Shakespeare’s so-called tragedy, but it stands out in being one that ends in reunions and discoveries instead of wars and death while featuring beheaded characters and disguised lovers. It’s no wonder, then, that critics have long debated whether Cymbeline is drama, romance, comedy, or something in between. Perhaps Shakespeare was pushing genres out and contemporary storytelling, with its mix of laughter and catharsis, forward. Regardless of category, Stay Awake! Theatre’s production of Cymbeline at The Brick (575 Metropolitan Ave.) in Williamsburg is firm in its footing thanks to its minimalist approach and rather strong performances. Continue reading

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Cool Nights & Hot Tacos at Black Flamingo

Cocktail 01It’s a swampass summer Saturday in the city, and everyone else got out of bed at the crack of dawn to make it to Rockaway or the Hamptons, but you ain’t got nowhere to go. You might need to recharge with an exotic staycation at Black Flamingo. If you’ve never cruised by its off-the-main-drag corner in Williamsburg (168 Borinquen Pl.), Black Flamingo is one drink, dinner and disco destination that’s not yet been overexposed via Instagram. The cocktails satiate tropical tastebuds without being too sweet, the Mexican-slanted vegetarian offerings are tasty and hearty, and the Friday and Saturday night basement parties have become something of a dance lover’s dirty underground legend.

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Thursday Spotlight: Trey Ditto, PR based in Brooklyn

Trey Ditto, Ditto PR
Trey Ditto, Ditto PR

Hailing originally from Texas, Trey Ditto cut his teeth working for the Associated Press in Dallas and quickly moved into the political sphere, advising legislators and elected officials on their communications strategies. Ultimately this lead him to Washington D.C. where he worked for various political leaders and landed with a position as the deputy press secretary for U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, handling local and national media and external relations on K-12 and higher education issues. Continue reading

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You Gotta See It Once! The Amazing Giglio Feast!


If you have lived in North Brooklyn for any amount of time and have never seen the Giglio—you don’t know what you are missing. This celebration of Italian culture is one of the most awesome pieces of street theater you will ever witness. Continue reading

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Upcoming Bill Callahan Residency at Baby’s All Right

bill callahanSmog (aka Bill Callahan) rolls in to Brooklyn town late June for a residency at unflinchingly popular Baby’s All Right on Broadway.

Bill recently played New York in April, supporting the famous Iggy Pop on tour, with a drop-down at the United Palace Theater, uptown.

A prolific singer and songwriter, Callahan, active in the lo-fi New York scene for well over 20 years and only in the last few recording under his new name, has, perhaps, as Pitchfork has pointed out, maintained a kind of mystical aura, thanks not only to the minimalism of his music, writing, and interview repartee, but also because-up until recently-not many people had heard his own recordings. Callahan’s songs have been taken up by noted artists such as Gil Scott-Heron, Flaming Lips and Cat Power.

In a recent profile, The Washington Post described Callahan alongside three other major singer-songwriters as, “asserting their gravity in the North American mystery zone where cosmopolitan sophistication and folk mysticism overlap”.

Come see for yourself when Callahan plays Baby’s All Right this month.

Bill Callahan
June 26 through June 28
Shows at 6PM and 9PM each night.
Baby’s All Right, Williamsburg
Tickets

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The New Meat Hook, Complete With Monday Night Grilling!

The New Meat Hook, via The-Meathook.com
The New Meat Hook, via The-Meathook.com

It was big news earlier this year when our neighborhood whole-animal butcher, The Meat Hook, left their space in the back of the Brooklyn Kitchen and moved a little further into Williamsburg. The new Graham Avenue space, which opened on February 26th, is bigger, brighter and allows for a bit more interaction between their fabulous butchers and us customers. I stopped by recently to get some groceries and catch up with owner Brent Young.
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Late Nite Cocktails and Dreams at The Regal

When conjuring images of legendary bartenders, you might be reminded of Tom Cruise doing the Hippy Hippy Shake in Cocktail. While their scene is more chic and the cocktails are more artfully crafted, the bartenders at The Regal in Williamsburg are having no less fun (and are arguably no less charming) than Tom Cruise’s character in that film.

Bartender Adam Lipiec at The Regal.
Bartender Adam Lipiec at The Regal. Photo: Will Star

We stopped by on a Sunday night a few weeks ago to meet and drink with Adam Lipiec, one of The Regal’s star bartenders. Adam’s a native of Poland and had bartended in Europe—in his home country, Ibiza, and London—before coming to New York. Aside from immediately noticing that Adam’s a genuinely friendly tall drink of water, you’ll spot him mixing drinks with incredible flair. He gracefully tosses a napkin and twirls it around to have it touch down delicately on the back of his hand as if it’s a butterfly landing on a flower petal. Drinks get shaken with a vigorous flourish, and shakers flip in the air and get thrown behind his back with the ease of a master juggler. Some of the cocktails require use of a blowtorch; if you’re in a fiery mood, get The Spitfire—sotol, pineapple, lime, jalapeño infused agave, for $10. Continue reading

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Going Home For Brunch at The Four Horsemen

The bar at The Four Horsemen, via their Instagram.
The bar at The Four Horsemen, via their Instagram.

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

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