Williamsburg’s Baba Cool (47 Withers St.) is just as chill as its name. The backyard patio has a disco ball and string lights, but the vibes are warm, welcoming, and extremely relaxed. When you’re sitting on one of the comfy outdoor couches, you’ll probably notice a waiter watering the plants during a break or the pétanque court set off to the side. The scene is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the highway nearby. 

Just when you think the patio is Baba Cool’s best selling feature, the food arrives and makes it even better. The recently revamped dinner menu is light, tight and vegetable-heavy, but there’s something for everyone with dishes that are filling and satisfying.

Baba Cool’s owner, Williamsburg resident Gabriella Mann, is also incredibly proud of the restaurant’s wine on tap program, which she told Greenpointers is one of the largest in Brooklyn.  “Our keg wine program is in line with our overall ethos of delivering consistent and quality products that also minimize our environmental impact,” said Mann.

Greenpointers sat down with Mann in Baba Cool’s backyard to talk about the new dinner menu, the wine on tap program, and why she chose Williamsburg for the second location of Baba Cool

Baba Cool’s inviting backyard patio.

Greenpointers:  The new dinner menu contains some exotic additions, like a dish called The Drunken Gabi. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free, but I tried it mostly for the name. Tell us about it. 


Gabriella Mann: The Drunken Gabi is our take on Drunken Noodles. We thought the name was funny. I wish there was more of a story.

Greenpointers: It doesn’t need a better story because it’s delicious. I loved the pesto at the bottom. 

Gabriella Mann:  That’s our Green Goddess dressing, which has basil, parsley, scallions, and tahini.

The Drunken Gabi, a vegan option on Baba Cool’s new dinner menu.

Greenpointers:  What are the most popular menu items on the dinner menu right now?

Gabriella Mann: The Drunken Gabi is definitely one. Others are the whipped ricotta, Brussels sprouts, bar salmon, and the lentil pâté plate with tahini. We haven’t taken the Brussels sprouts and whipped ricotta off the menu since opening. Everyone loves those.

The menu has something for everyone. It’s veggie-forward, but we don’t reject meat. It has vegan options, but also things that can please everyone.

The whipped ricotta at Baba Cool.

Greenpointers: Baba Cool has one of the largest wine-on-tap programs in the borough. Tell us about the program and its environmental impact. 

Gabriella Mann:  We are really proud of our wine on-tap program. I think it’s the largest in Brooklyn. All of our wines are on tap. It’s a more sustainable method. There is no waste with bottles and very little waste of wine. A lot more producers are coming out with natural wines that are available on tap.

Greenpointers: Which wine on tap should we try first?

Gabriella Mann: Right now I’m pretty in love with the Txakoli from the Basque Region. It’s a nice white with a hint of effervescence. 

Greenpointers: Baba Cool also has awesome cocktails. Which one is your favorite?

Gabriella Mann:  I love the Hot Monica. It’s named after my mom. It has mezcal, watermelon juice, chamomile, and lime.  A new fan favorite is the Poison Ivy features white rum, hibiscus berry iced tea, and mint.

The crispy chicken over Baba Cool’s take on a Caesar salad.

Greenpointers: How did you get into the industry? Have you always wanted to own a restaurant?

Gabriella Mann: I have no real experience in the restaurant industry, except as a server and bartender. I didn’t want to stay in a 9-5 job, so I took a chance and opened the restaurant in Fort Greene [Baba Cool’s first location]. A lot of training wheels have finally come off.

I grew up where food was an important part of family gatherings. My mom is half French, so I was exposed to good bread and butter. Sugar-free was not a part of the ethos. I also enjoy cooking and am interested in restaurants and the energy they create for people. 

Greenpointers: How did you come up with the name “Baba Cool”?

Gabriella Mann: Baba Cool means “hippie” in French. I also like that “Baba” means something in so many different languages and has familiar terms of endearment. Family is important to me.

The exterior of Baba Cool in Williamsburg.

Greenpointers: Why did you choose the Williamsburg neighborhood for Baba Cool’s second location?

Gabriella Mann: I’ve always been attracted to this part of Williamsburg. It’s not super young with a nice mix of people. It also has a nice vantage point and can draw people from all over Manhattan, Greenpoint, and Long Island City. 

I have spent every day for the past six years cultivating an audience in Fort Greene. Now, I want to build a new audience here in Williamsburg. 

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