By Siobhan Wallace

About Siobhan Wallace

Siobhan Wallace co-founded the food blog Blondie & Brownie in 2008, and co-authored New York à la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks (Running Press, 2013). She now drinks way too much wine as editor of Wine4Food.com.

The New Menu at Tørst is a Perfect Mix of Nordic & American

A new spread at Tørst  Image courtesy of Tørst

As 2016 came to an end, Michelin-starred Luksus shut its doors in the back room of Tørst (615 Manhattan Ave), adding to the pile of restaurant closings in our area. For a moment it seemed that Tørst would revert entirely to a Nordic beer bar with a few bites. But all hope is not lost, Chef Jesus “Chuy” Cervantes, who worked at Cosme before spending two years under Chef Burns at Luksus, was ready to over the food program at Tørst and bring it to the next level. A recent lunch—yes, Tørst is open for lunch—showed there are still many Nordic influences on the expanded menu along with some quite delectable bread, but now they also have excellent takes on regular bar food. Continue reading

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Inside the Limited Time Pop-Up, Threes @ Franklin & Kent

Threes @ Franklin & Kent Image: Threes Brewing/Instagram

Everyone is discussing all the restaurant closings happening along the Franklin Street corridor. Hail Mary’s shutter this past weekend was just the latest, but this has been happening since before the holidays aka the time of year many restaurants are able to get into the black. There are a multitude of reasons why this is occurring, most of them not really within our control. The bright side of this predicament is it allows new spots to open up and for new neighborhood faces to try to win us over. One such example is the limited time only Threes Brewing pop-up in the old Cassette space (113 Franklin St.). Continue reading

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Where to Take Your Honey for Valentine’s Day in North Brooklyn

This is all I really want, Peter Pan’s heart-shaped doughnuts.  Image: Peter Pan Donut/Instagram

Our annual holiday to celebrate love is almost here. Yes, Valentine’s Day is next Tuesday, and if you haven’t made a plan yet, there are plenty of North Brooklyn restaurants ready to help you out.

No word yet on whether Peter Pan will be serving up their famous heart-shaped doughnuts, though.  Continue reading

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Grand Street Restaurant Week is Back 2/6-2/12!

If you’re in need of dinner or lunch plans, here’s some news you can use. Grand Street Restaurant Week, a project of the Grand Street Business Improvement District, is happening now until Sunday the 12th. This year, twelve Grand Street restaurants are offering two-course lunch specials for $15 or less, and three-course dinner specials for $30 or less. Notable participants include The Sandwich Shop, The Starlight, and Ryujin Ramen (that’ll be really good during the snowstorm). Menus can be found here.

Another one to check out is Pie Smith, a build-your-own pie and panini shop started by a long-time Brooklyn family. Also, if you Instagram your restaurant week prix-fixe meal with #DineOnGrand and @GrandStreetBID, there’s a chance to win a $25 gift card to your favorite Grand Street spot!

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North BK Farms & Blue Light Speak Cheesy Pop-Ups at Budin

North BK Farms is trying to keep us healthy at Budin lately.  Image: NBK_Farms Instagram

If you stopped by Greenpoint Avenue’s Nordic café, Budin (pronounced “Boo-th-in”), any time lately, you might have seen that they’re doing more than coffee and beer these days. Budin has become home to a few regular weekly food pop-ups for lunch, brunch, and dinner. The first is run by two neighborhood chefs needing something to do over the winter, while the other is bringing us all the winter comfort we need.

The most recent toast offering  Image: NBK_Farms Instagram

Chefs Kenny Monroe and Emma Jane Gonzalez are often found cooking up a storm during North Brooklyn Farms’ summer dining series. But, obviously, it’s winter. With the farm closed for the season, the two met up at Budin to brainstorm some pop-up plans. As it happens, Budin itself was looking to bring in someone for food. Now, Kenny and Emma are serving up delicious, healthy dishes every Tuesday and Wednesday at least until April. They start serving at 1pm, perfect for those of you missing lunch at Cassette and Brooklyn Label and keep going until close (10pm). Of course, as with most pop-ups, the menu changes slightly from week to week due to what’s available. Recent menu items included a tasty white bean hummus and charred broccoli on rye toast with the bread coming from Bakeri, a winter vegetable soup, and heirloom grains with mung beans, winter kale and shaved turnip. With the most expensive dishes being about $10-12 plus Budin offering $1 off draft beer & wine, NBK Farms’ pop-up is the perfect inexpensive option.

Everything you need on a cold, winter night. Image: The Blue Light Speak Cheesy/Instagram

Of course, it’s easier to stay on the healthy side at the beginning of the week, but really, by Thursday night lately, the state of the world makes me want something to feed my soul. Something like a gooey grilled cheese. And The Blue Light Speak Cheesy is here to help! They’ve been setting up shop at Budin Thursday through Saturdays for dinner and are also there for Sunday brunch. The Blue Light Speak Cheesy has done events at The Diamond a few times, so it’s super exciting for them to be around on the regular. Yes, they have your classic grilled cheese with a little tomato soup, but you can also find them serving up sandwiches like Freaks & Geeks (dill Havarti, herbed feta, sautéed spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and olive tapenade), The Forager (taleggio, crispy wild mushrooms, thyme, on brioche), and the Posh Spice (smoked mozzarella, roasted butternut squash, and fried sage). They even have an option for the vegan outlaws among us with smoky cashew “cheese,” harissa, pickled baby heirloom tomatoes, and avocado. And at least once, there’s been a secret menu breakfast taco.

Bonus Budin news: They’re included in this year’s Brokelyn North Brooklyn beer book along with a few other neighborhood gems. Get ‘em while you can.

Budin is located at 114 Greenpoint Avenue. North Brooklyn Farms Pop-up should run every Tuesday and Wednesday until April. They begin serving at 1PM and go until close (10PM). The Blue Light Speak Cheesy Pop-up is Thursday through Saturday, 4:30PM to close; Sunday, 11AM to 4PM. 

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Celebrate Lunar New Year With a Visit to MOFAD

All images: Megan Swann, courtesy of MOFAD

Somewhere in the aughts, Dave Arnold—an “adventurer and writer with a dash of mad scientist”—got the idea in his head that what New York and the world really needed was a museum specifically dedicated to food and drink. Think about it, what do most of us do throughout the day? We eat and drink. Where do we meet our loved ones? At bars or while grabbing something at a restaurant. In every culture, the very act of breaking bread with someone instantly forms a bond between those sitting at the table. And yet, there wasn’t a museum discussing this cultural aspect, or the technological aspect of our food system, or the marketing aspect of the industry.

Dave worked on the idea, getting so far as to build a business plan and having a goal for the first exhibit, but nothing could really get off the ground. Until 2011, when a lawyer taking weekend cooking class at French Culinary Institute—now the International Culinary Center—sat in on Dave giving a talk about this museum idea and decided he wanted to get in on it. That lawyer, Peter Kim, is now the Executive Director of the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD)—Dave is still heavily involved—and we, as you’ve probably gathered, are the neighborhood lucky enough to have MOFAD in our midst. Continue reading

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Where to Cozy Up to a Fireplace This Winter

A roaring fire and some steaks at Achilles Heel  Image: Achilles Heel/Instagram

One way to lift your spirits during the gray days of winter—which have been disgustingly rainy, not beautiful snow-filled wonderlands—is by simply snuggling up to your honey with a nice hot toddy in hand, in front of a fire. And yet, most of us live in apartments where fires are decidedly not encouraged. Those silly building codes. Luckily, some of our favorite neighborhood bars are here for the nights where you have to fill that primordial need to get out of the cold and warm up by the fire.

Achilles Heel (180 West St) – If the staff of Achilles Heel loves one thing, it’s fire. Their fireplace keeps everything toasty through the night, but if you there in the evening, don’t be surprised if it’s being used for actual cooking.

Battery Harris (64 Frost St) – The cold can’t stop the beach vibes outside Battery Harris so they have a big fire pit to help keep you warm. It’s almost like a late summer beach bonfire. Almost.

Black Rabbit (91 Greenpoint Ave) – All the way at the back of the bar is Black Rabbit’s perfect make-out spot: on the bench in front of the fire. It’s preferred by 3 out of 4 couples.

Fire + Stout = Hygge  Image: Brouwerij Lane/Instagram

Brouwerij Lane (78 Greenpoint Ave) – Though your drink options are limited to what Brouwerij Lane’s is carrying beer/cider-wise, the fireplace and friendly company more than make up for the lack of hot toddies.

Greenpoint Beer & Ale (7 N 15th St) – To make up for all the drafty cold seeping through Greenpoint Beer & Ale’s huge glass garage doors is a substantial fireplace. Pro tip: you’ll want to sit at the bar, it can get a bit hot right in front.

Spritzenhaus (33 Nassau Ave)Our very own beer hall has one of the most impressive fireplaces. Open on three sides, you can usually get an adjacent table, but if not, you can also enjoy from a spot at the bar.

Union Pool (484 Union Ave) – The magical backyard of Union Pool is kept warm through the winter by their fire pit, so you won’t catch a chill while waiting for your tacos.

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ICYMI: 4 Beloved Greenpoint Restaurants Are No More

The Saddest Sign  Image: Megan Penmann

Restaurants come and restaurants go with increasing regularity—I’m personally still mourning the loss of Lomzynianka. And 2016 didn’t go out without a few shocks to our neighborhood restaurant scene. Some beloved spots quietly served their last meals and closed up shop while we were all busy celebrating the holidays. On the bright side, more than a few new places have opened last year like Greenpoint Avenue’s Hail Mary, Cherry Point with its excellent charcuterie, high-end Leuca in the William Vale, River Styx transformed into 21 Greenpoint, and now we have two fried chicken joints with Brooklyn Star in the Brooklyn Night Bazaar and Pretty Southern on Bedford Ave. Plus at least one big one, A/D/O, is on the way, and they are all ready to comfort our souls over the losses. Continue reading

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Where to Eat Christmas Eve + Christmas Day

The bar at Anella is all dressed up for the holidays/Instagram

Much of Greenpoint will be quickly leaving town in a few days to head wherever they celebrate the holidays, or to simply take advantage of the upcoming week off. But many of us, myself included, will be hanging around the neighborhood, enjoying the emptiness, and finally hitting up that restaurant you’ve been wanting to try all year. Since Christmas Eve/Hanukkah is Saturday with Christmas on Sunday, this totally messes up any brunch staycation plans you might’ve had, but more than a few eateries will be open for the Eve and have special menus planned. Here’s the rundown. Continue reading

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Amami, Greenpoint’s Own Izakaya With a Sushi Brunch Bonus

amami_greenpoint_from-restaurant
Images: © Nicho Nugraha/courtesy of Amami

Sauvage isn’t the only new restaurant to pop up at the great Bedford-Nassau-Lorimer-Berry-McCarren exchange. Amami (57 Nassau Ave) opened its doors in late July bringing us sushi, sashimi, and most important now as cold and flu season beckons, bowls of steaming hot ramen. But one look at the space—which formerly housed Mexican restaurant Sindicato de Cocineros—and you can tell this isn’t your regular sushi joint. Yes, there are the “regular” sushi dishes we’ve come to know and love, but underneath the beautiful floating terrariums, are dishes made from seafood fresh enough to be on higher-caliber (read: $200/person) omakase menus, alongside little touches like house-fermented soy sauce and freshly grated ginger. And then there’s the real kicker: sushi brunch. Continue reading

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