Bistro kitchen at Coco 66

Greenpoint’s Coco 66 (66 Greenpoint Ave) has had its ups and downs over recent years but, as of last Wednesday, its future is looking decidedly brighter.  A new bistro has opened in the adjoining space, run by Michael Callahan, the Manhattan restauranteur behind the likes of Indochine and BondSt.

In honor of his first Brooklyn venture, Callahan has stepped away from his usual Asian influence, instead opting in favor of relaxed neighborhood dining.  Consulting Chef, Julie Farias, has created a fabulous menu, which is being executed by Head-Chef Joe Capozzi, formerly of The Fat Radish. The intention behind the food, Farias says, is to be able to go to the restaurant with your partner, grandma, neighbor or daughter and have everyone find something they would be happy with.

The bar menu includes bacon cheeseburger sliders, pickled egg salad sandwiches, and smoked bluefish with hardtack crackers, all under $7.  The main menu features grilled oysters with smokey bourbon butter, pan seared fish with seaweed salsa verde, and a double thick chop with escarole and cherry peppers.

When we popped in for dinner at the bar on Friday night, a ravenous friend ordered the chop, and when it arrived (after a 25 minute cook time) its gigantic proportions made it something of a show-stopper.  According to him it was very good, especially when teamed with their robust Kennebec french fries. We also had the hot olives (honeyed, spicy and wonderful) a root vegetable cassoulet (hearty and good value) and a cheese plate with a winning selection of fromage. As the place is still so new, there are limited drink options behind the bar,  but the amiable bar tender was happy to let us sample their new wine.  And even though they don’t yet a have a cocktail menu, he whipped me up a very decent whiskey sour.

The space itself is lovely and while there is an inviting bar and intimate booth seating in the front, heavy wooden doors give way to a huge airy room at the back– a former chocolate factory with raised tables and stools, a big family-style dining table, and additional seating with a window-view into an exposed kitchen. Skylights cast a beautiful natural light into the room, which will be particularly joyous when brunch service begins in a few weeks’ time.

Farias tells me that they’re still tweaking the menu and are working on a few gluten-free and vegan options but, even as it stands now, the line-up is pretty appealing. There’s no denying it, Callahan’s move to Brooklyn was a brilliant one.  The bistro at Coco 66 is great.

The bistro opens at 6pm for dinner and is currently closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. And we’ll be sure to keep you posted on their future brunch plans, TBD.

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