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.
In the front of the space there’s a u-shaped bar where I always post up. I’ve never stayed till closing, but I’ve definitely come in for just one glass and ended up staying for a few. On my most recent visit, the bartender Mackenzie recognized me from a few weeks before and immediately pulled out a bottle of wine she remembered I’d been keen on. The atmosphere is familial and friendly—they won’t judge you for throwing back untold glasses of wine, and they’ll learn what you like. It’s the kind of place where you want to settle in and hang out for a while, with an inspired and accessible list of wines curated by Justin Chearno, who was the buyer for Williamsburg’s Uva for eight years.
The food focus is on fresh seasonal ingredients in simple combinations—resulting in dishes that are both modern and timeless. And they’re served up with a neighborly elegance that most brunch spots in the ’hood are lacking.
I always get some kind of bread and butter when I’m there. I think once I had bread and butter as my actual dinner (along with a healthy amount of wine, of course). And when it’s that simple and that good, why not? For brunch bread, the toast with thyme butter and orange marmalade is a totally solid choice. Then there’s the baked eggs in a bolognese sauce, topped with a sizeable sprinkling of cheese—what your rad grandma would quietly have ready for you in the morning if she knew you tied one on the night before. It’s slightly spicy, filling and gratifying.
Chef Nick Curtola’s neon orange house hot sauce is fantastic, and it elevates what’s already pretty flawless. My poached eggs g0t happily doused. There’s talk of the possibility of selling the hot sauce as its own product, and if they do I’d be the first buyer.
There’s an insane amount of detail and consideration put into your experience at The Four Horsemen, but somehow it comes off as comfortable, casual and effortless. And unlike dinner, which gets fairly crowded, there’s usually no wait for brunch. Get yourself there now before people realize it’s a thing.
The Four Horsemen is located at 295 Grand Street in Williamsburg.
They’re open Monday – Friday, 5:30pm – 1am and Saturday – Sunday, 11am – 1am. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday.
You should follow them on Instagram.