Lingo (27 Greenpoint Ave.), Greenpoint’s newest restaurant, serves modern American cuisine with a Japanese flair.
The newcomer finally opened its doors on Saturday, April 22, after an almost year-long delay. Lingo was slated to open last summer, as Greenpointers previously reported, however, a “myriad of delays” around construction, permit approvals, and supply shortages led to the significant and frustrating delay.
“We only very recently had our gas turned on,” owner Robert Hsu told Greenpointers. “Our team is chomping at the bit…This has been a long time in the making.”
Lingo, whose name stems from the Japanese term for apple, was founded by husband and wife team, Misako and Robert Hsu, who also own a catering company called Shiki NYC. To run Lingo’s kitchen, the pair brought on Chef Emily Yuen, who was most recently the executive chef of Bessou, a restaurant in Manhattan that serves Japanese comfort food.
The entire team is excited that Lingo is finally open, and it sounds like locals were, too. “The weekend was pretty busy, which was good for us,” Misako said. “We met many local guests!”
Misako told Greenpointers that the most popular menu items of opening weekend were the smoked tamago sando, steak tartare, beef pie, skirt steak, spicy fried chicken, grilled cabbage, and the oolong ice cream.
Other highlights on the food menu include grilled oyster chawanmushi with tarragon foam, miso eggplant with stracciatella, clam miso brodo, and spring vegetable fried rice.
“Chawanmushi is very authentic Japanese food. But Chef Emily surprised me by adding herbed foam,” Misako said. “I could not imagine tarragon went well with savory egg custard. When I saw this dish for the first time, I thought it would be a little bit challenging…but my guess was wrong. This is one of the popular small dishes now!”
Popular items from the cocktail menu are the Ichigo with gin and sake, the Kyuri with vodka, and the Hinagiku with tequila. All of the cocktails on the menu are worthy of a look, and most use unique Japanese-forward ingredients like shiso syrup and pickled plum.
Lingo’s interior is modern and clean without looking cold. “I designed most of this place,” Misako said. “Since we are not a sushi or ramen restaurant, I did not want to make it very Japanese, so I combined Japanese wabi-sabi and Scandinavian vibes.”
“I always think there are so many similarities between Japan and Scandinavian countries,” Misako continued. “We love nature, calmness, and cleanness,” she explained.
Lingo is closed Monday and Tuesday, and open Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday 5 – 10 PM, and Friday and Saturday 5 – 10:30 PM.
I met the owners and head chef. Class people. Good luck to them. I knew the woman who lived on the floor for 70+ yrs before the restaurant.
She could not believe how they fixed it up.
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