This spring brings a new addition to the Greenpoint dining scene. As of today, a pop-up restaurant will be launching under the arches of Shelter Pavilion in McGolrick Park. The restaurant is named ‘Brooklyn Pasture’ and aims to have all of its produce foraged from Greenpoint and the local area.
Brooklyn Pasture chef and owner Ralf Poolis tells us that by sourcing free ingredients he hopes to keep prices ultra-low. “Local, seasonal produce is really trendy right now, but it comes at a price”, he says. “By foraging for produce we will cut our costs dramatically, meaning that diners will be able to eat a 3-course dinner with us for less than $20 a head. In some places around here you can barely buy a kale salad for that price”.
Menu items include the signature Brooklyn Pasture Squirrel Burger (squirrels will be caught overnight in humane traps in McGolrick and McCarren Parks), a savory bread-pudding (made with day-old loaf rejects from Warsaw Bakery) and salads made with edible greens from around Newtown Creek. Drinking water is sourced from the East River (and is purified before serving), and crockery has been collected from stoop give-aways and yard sales.
Ralf says that he hopes his new restaurant will transform the way people approach food. “Instead of automatically going to a supermarket for groceries, I hope people will start to look around them and realize how much nutritional potential there is in their everyday environment” he tell us.
He is also asking that residents give him first dibs on their food waste before taking it to be recycled at the green market. “It’s surprising the perfectly good food that people chuck out” he says. Anyone who does donate their food scraps will be offered a 30% discount to eat in the restaurant, but are warned not to be surprised if they are served up something they recognize.
Brooklyn Pasture launches today at Shelter Pavilion in McGolrick Park. It will stay open until Labor day, or until Greenpoint runs out of squirrels.