Book lovers and foodies will truly appreciate the newest addition to the neighborhood: Archestratus Books and Food. The new store is a bookshop that specifically focuses on cookbooks and books related to food, along with gifts, pens, notecards, and cooking gifts and accessories. There’s also a café in the back serving sweet and savory homemade Sicilian pastries, along with tea, coffee, beer, and wine.
The bookshop is named for Archestratus, who was a poet and philosopher, and one of the first foodies (before that was a term). The store has a warm, comforting vibe, and people can relax in the back with a pastry and a cup of coffee with a book. People can browse the shelves of the different categories of food books, finding unique and interesting titles. Soon, there will even be a children’s section, with books and toys for children.
Owner Paige Lipari has always loved books. After a trip to Sicily when she was 19, she connected with her father’s family through food. She began a love affair with Sicilian cooking (How could she not?) and cookbooks, which led to her obsession with all cookbooks. She knew she always wanted to open a store after seeing the success of her grandparents’ homemade cheese and Italian import store in Bushwick, and cookbooks seemed like a natural thing to focus on. After participating in Brooklyn Public Library’s Power Up Competition, she had a business plan for her dream to come true.
The daily menu will change, based on available ingredients and Paige’s inspiration. The items generally contain Sicilian ingredients or a Sicilian slant; when we visited, earlier in the day, Paige had baked mortadella, ricotta salata, and hardboiled egg biscuits. There will be lots of traditional Sicilian pastries, like cannolis and everyone’s favorite, rainbow cookies. Eventually, she plans on hosting “Sicilian blue plate special” nights, where guests will eat a plate of homemade Sicilian food.
Paige wants Archestratus to be a place for the community. A Greenpoint resident herself, she gets the culinary, artsy, and literate interests of the neighborhood, and is trying to tap into that. The bookshelves can easily be moved to accommodate community group meetings, and literary and food events. There’s space in the back for local groups to reserve a table for a discussion, or for bookclubs to meet. Paige is planning on starting a cookbook club, where participants will meet to discuss a particular cookbook, and then everyone will share a different recipe cooked from the cookbook to the meet-up.
Stop by this new unique shop for something good to eat, or a book as delicious as the treats.
Archestratus Books & Food (160 Huron Street) is opening Tuesday-Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sundays 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
For more information, or for local community groups to contact about using the space for events, or reserving a table for free for discussions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org