Before my inevitable retreat into cold weather hibernation, I’ve been running around like a squirrel trying to sample as many of the new hangouts that have popped up in Greenpoint over the summer. Here are a few places you might want to check out before Autumn’s arrival–which is sadly Friday.
Calyer – 92 Calyer St.
Hidden away on the corner of Franklin and the street of its namesake, Calyer was opened a few weeks ago by the owners of Anella, with little fanfare and no sign. The interior is lovely as you might expect, combining a touch of “noir” with some the space’s original rustic beauty. The food was described by the waiter as Spanish influenced and should be ordered tapas-style. This makes the menu a bit more spendy than it appears at first glance, as a typical plate runs around $10 to $12. Avoid the salads as they tend to be paltry, but do try the seafood plates or any of the more substantial entrees. I hear the Chicharrones are addictive as well. They also have a cozy bar and a decent selection of Spanish wines.
El Toro Taqueria – 254 Driggs Ave.
Greenpoint may be the Polish capital of New York, but those who live north of Greenpoint Ave. know of the many delicious Latino inspired restaurants/laundromats/in-the-back-of-a-bodegas tucked away here. El Toro is a new take-out style taqueria that recently opened on Driggs. The vibe is causal and welcoming. I was impressed with the flavor and thoughtfulness of the parings. The kimchi and marinated steak taco is fusion heaven. The fish and shrimp are served cold, which may put off purists, but the savory sauces more than make up for it. Those familiar with Snack Dragon on the LES might reconsider their fourth meal until after the cab ride back to Greenpoint.
The Lobster Joint – 1073 Manhattan Ave.
I finally hit The Lobster Joint last Friday on what was a particularly cool September evening. As a native New Englander this made me feel right at home. So did the perfectly seasoned chowder, reminding me more of a lighter Rhode Island style broth than the creamy Massachusetts style you may be used to. The Lobster roll was also surprisingly authentic, with warm buttered bread making it all melty and sweet in your mouth. The mussels and fries are a plate large enough to share and the Lobster Ale makes it all go down smooth. Needless to say I will be returning a few more times this fall.