Radio Star (13 Greenpoint Ave.), a Mediterranean restaurant, bar, and cafe from the owner of Greenpoint’s Glasserie (95 Commercial St.), officially opened on November 15. Greenpointers previously reported that the newcomer would open in September, however, there was a delay with the restaurant’s liquor license.
Radio Star’s owner and local Greenpointer, Sara Conklin, said her second venture’s name was inspired by the history of neighboring Transmitter Park. (From 1937 to 1990, the WNYC radio station broadcast from what is now the waterfront park).
Radio Star is open all day, every day, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. “There is a hole in the neighborhood for daytime,” Conklin previously told Greenpointers.
“Radio Star is for the people: a place you can go for an espresso anytime, or a full meal,” Conklin said. “Pop in for a cocktail at 4 p.m. and then maybe back for a breakfast sandwich at 8 a.m. the next day.”
Conklin collaborated with Glasserie’s chef, Yusuf Lovett, to create the menu at Radio Star, which she described as a mashup of an American diner from the 1940s and an Italian trattoria with Mediterranean influences. Plus, the ingredients on all menus are sourced as locally as possible, including flour from Wild Hive Farm that is delivered by the Schooner Apollonia right to a nearby pier in Greenpoint.
For breakfast and lunch, the menus include savory and sweet pastries, sandwiches, and sides with flavors influenced by Conklin’s childhood in the Middle East. The dinner menu will be “a step up” and of a “higher caliber,” Conklin told Greenpointers, featuring more substantive entrees and sides.
One highlight on both the breakfast and lunch menus is the saffron pastry, a filo pastry filled with cream cheese, glazed in orange blossom saffron and cinnamon syrup. There’s also a cauliflower and goat cheese quiche, a breakfast griddle sandwich, and an oat milkshake.
The dinner menu includes a merguez in a blanket, olive oil-poached cod, and mushroom filo pie. Another highlight is the smoked short ribs, which are rubbed in dry cure and set overnight, smoked for several hours, and glazed to order. They are served with a smoked heirloom tomato sauce and Marcona almonds.
Radio Star’s wine list showcases labels from Greece, Slovenia, and Croatia. There are also creative cocktails and a selection of local beer, including a custom Radio Star lager created by Conklin and Michael Messenie of Dutchess Ales. Plus, there are non-alcoholic options like a ginger shrub, iced turmeric tea, and a full espresso and coffee, and tea program.
In keeping with Conklin’s vision, the furniture and other elements at Radio Star are from the 1940s. Many of the items she personally collected from her travels.
Radio Star is a fully gas-free venue. “We take being green seriously and were in lengthy conversations with our favorite neighborhood group, Friends of Transmitter Park, about how to operate in a responsible manner,” she said, noting that operating a fully gas-free restaurant is significantly more expensive. Conklin said that her choice “makes a statement of turning away from fossil fuels, which is better for the environment as well as the health of staff working on premises.”
Conklin will also implement composting at Radio Star as soon as possible, which is something she already does at Glasserie. “All of our to-go packaging is compostable. We are utilizing rainwater run-off to water our plants when possible. This is an ongoing project and something we consider a lifestyle,” Conklin stated.
Radio Star has 40 seats inside, 12 on the front patio, and 50 on a side patio that is open in warmer weather. There is also a space in the back for private events.
Radio Star is open Sunday through Thursday 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. – midnight.