By Siobhan Wallace

About Siobhan Wallace

Siobhan Wallace is a freelance writer & editor. She 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).

Annicka, Greenpoint Beer’s New Farm Brewery Restaurant

Celery Root Salad  All images by Megan Penmann

Last week’s opening of Annicka (544 Manhattan Ave) made New York State history. The restaurant represents the first time one has opened under New York State’s farm brewery license. Officially operated by Greenpoint Beer & Ale, Annicka is a celebration of the North Brooklyn community. They’re working with local chefs, fostering a chill ‘no assholes’ environment, and there’s more than one local artist on the walls. And the vegetable-heavy menu (there is meat!) is a welcome change from all the comfort food spots opening up all over the neighborhood.

The farm brewery license allows a New York State brewery to operate a restaurant in a different location than the actual brewery and to serve beer by the glass at that restaurant sans a separate license. This is why every tap at Annicka is something from Greenpoint Beer i.e. you don’t have to walk all the way over to the brewery to enjoy a few. As for the food, Greenpoint Beer is collaborating with North Brooklyn Farms as well as Christian Perkins, a former Marlow & Daughters butcher, and Emma Jane Gonzalez, a vegan. Continue reading

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Rye’s Closing, Annicka’s Open, Mulholland’s is Done + More Food News

Fans of Rye have nine days to grab one last meal there. The restaurant has been a local hangout at 247 South 1st St for 10 years now, but their chef Cal Elliott announced they’ve lost their lease. You have until the end of dinner service next Saturday night, the 17th, to say your goodbyes. [Instagram]

Greenpoint Beer & Ale made history last week when they opened Annicka. When you stop by, you’ll notice that all of their taps are from Greenpoint beer and there’s a big reason behind that. The restaurant is the first opened up New York State’s farm brewery license. This allows Greenpoint Beer & Ale’s owner, Ed Raven, to serve beer by the glass without a separate license and, since he owns a brewery, to do that at an off-premises restaurant. As for food, Ed is collaborating with a bunch of locals including people from North Brooklyn Farms. We’ll have more on Annicka tomorrow! [New York Times] Continue reading

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Bagel & Lox World Record This Friday at Acme Smoked Fish! (2/9)

gravlax © acme smoked fish
Gravlax at Acme. Photo © Acme Smoked Fish

This Friday (2/9), you can get FREE lox and bagel from Acme Smoked Fish (30 Gem Street). To celebrate National Bagel and Lox Day, the most New Yorker food holiday, Acme is teaming up with Zucker’s Bagels to create the world’s biggest bagel and lox sandwich. It will start with a custom-made gigantic everything bagel that will be topped with cream cheese, Acme’s Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon, tomatoes, red onions and capers. After the Guinness team weighs the sandwich, it’s gotta be eaten! This is where we can all come together to help our most fishiest of neighbors. The whole event is scheduled to start at 12 noon with no RSVP or ticket required, and that means FREE food!

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Meet Sam and Sami, The New Owners of Eastern District

Seven years ago, Beth Lewand and Chris Gray turned a former Polish deli into Eastern District, a specialty shop focusing on craft beer and artisanal cheeses. Nowadays, the shop is part of the fabric on the northernmost stretch of Manhattan Avenue. It’s a place to grab a quick sandwich, drop off your flyers, and a CSA pick-up spot for those who don’t want to trek through Greenpoint with 30 pounds of produce in the heat of summer. But over the past year, Eastern District quietly changed hands. Beth and Chris were moving to Vermont (she’s now at Cricket Creek Farm) and didn’t want to close Eastern District outright, so they sold it lock, stock, and barrel to Sam and Sami Shah.

Longtime fans of Eastern District don’t need to be worried about missing out on the best cheeses and beers! Ever since he first tried yak cheese as a child, Sam has been intrigued by “the science and nature of cheese,” he says. And how did he get his hands on yak cheese? Well, both Sam and Sami are from Nepal, though they met and fell in love while living in Dallas, Texas. According to him, “faith and destiny” brought them to the East Coast. Continue reading

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Soup Takedown & National Popcorn Day This Weekend

The very famous, Greenpoint-borne food competition, The Takedowns, is back again this weekend at Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave). This month, about 20 home cooks will battle it out over warming pots of soup. Up for grabs are a plethora of prizes from Anolon, Cuisinart, Microplane and Wüsthof, plus, of course, the glory of making the best soup in Brooklyn. It’s all you can eat until the soup’s all done and only $20/person. Yours truly will be on hand to judge with criteria including creativity and replicability. It all goes down this Sunday, from 2pm – 4pm. Get your tickets here.

Nitehawk, Williamsburg’s OG dinner-and-a-movie cinema is celebrating National Popcorn Day this Friday by bringing back The Vince: Popcorn with truffle butter, Sriracha sauce, chipotle, lime, and citric salt. You can also get in on their current Pizza Popcorn made with truffle butter, Parmesan, oregano, and crispy pepperoni while watching Phantom Thread. The next big delicious food holiday on their celebration calendar is Tater Tots Day on Friday, February 2nd. For that, they will be reprising “Tots on Repeat” ($10) where you can flag down your server for a second round of the tots special once you’ve gone through the first. “Wild at Heart” is the night’s midnight special if you need more incentive. Continue reading

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Catch Future Generations at the Next Wild Honey Pie Dinner (1/24)

All images © Jackie Roman

Lately, one of the hottest tickets in Greenpoint is to the series of dinners being hosted by The Wild Honey Pie. The monthly event, which began last year, starts with a three-course dinner before a small set by an up-and-coming artist. The dinner party has been held at several locations around the neighborhood including Archestratus Books + Food on Huron Street. Needing to find a bigger space that can accommodate more guests and equipment, they’ve moved over to Le Fanfare (1103 Manhattan Ave). That’s where this month’s dinner will be held on the 24th with the local band Future Generations.

It also happens to be where last month’s dinner happened when the guest musicians were Wilder Maker. In need of a nice pre-Christmas night out, I checked it out with a neighborhood friend. As with the dinner on the 24th, $40 gets you everything you could need. Continue reading

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Goodbye, Pretty Southern & Golden Brown’s. Hello, Pelicana!

Pretty Southern in happier times Instagram

As Greenpoint gets hotter (figuratively, not literally), the celebrity chefs have been starting to roll in. One of the first ones in was Top Chef alum Sam Talbot and his fried chicken/Southern/gluten-free/sometimes vegan restaurant, Pretty Southern (14 Bedford Ave). The spot opened late last year and appeared to be taking a little while to hit its stride. On October 30th, they posted on Instagram about closing for renovations, but as of this week, they have yet to reopen. The allergy-mindful approach was inspired by Talbot’s own struggle with Type 1 diabetes. As of yet, there is no news about who will take over the space. [Eater]

These past few weeks also marked the closing of Greenpoint’s other sit-down fried chicken/Southern, Golden Brown’s in the Brooklyn Bazaar. An offshoot of Brooklyn Star, it was one of the neighborhood’s hidden gems, especially if you like classic fried chicken. That chicken is still available during weekend brunch at the original restaurant (593 Lorimer St). In its place is Super Burrito featuring California-style Mexican.  Continue reading

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Greenpoint Trading Opens North Brooklyn’s First Spice Shop

If you’re a regular shopper at New York City’s specialty grocery shops, pop-up markets (like our very own Greenpointers markets), or back in the day at Smorgasburg, you’ve probably come across Greenpoint Trading Co.’s spices. If you’re like me, you’ve wondered why they didn’t have a small shop in the neighborhood, a place where you could look at their offerings or pop in when you need some emergency za’atar or hawaij. A few months back, owners Kimmee and Evan Hoffman finally found the perfect little space at 65a West Street for a little spice shop of their own.

Greenpoint Trading Co. and its wholesale arm, Brooklyn Spice, have been around since 2011 when they operated out of a space on Box Street. Kimmee and Even are setting out to create simple easy-to-use, healthy spice blends for the home cook. A good amount of the blends are salt-free, with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives. While the entire operation began as a weekend side project, the two Greenpointers eventually gave up their “regular” full-time jobs to focus solely on bringing New Yorkers better spices. Continue reading

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Bellocq, Greenpoint’s Very Own Tea Atelier on West Street

Image: Bellocq

Michael Shannon and Heidi Johannsen Stewart want one thing to be very clear when you step into Bellocq Tea Atelier (104 West St), you’ll be welcomed with open arms and no judgment even if all you’ve ever steeped is a bag of Lipton. Instead, a visit to the atelier is an “opportunity to learn about tea,” according to Michael. The cozy space, originally planned as their showroom, now serves as their only brick-and-mortar shop despite the brand’s growing popularity. Their tea can be found at numerous restaurants around the city, has made Oprah’s Favorite Things list for the second year in a row, and is now featured prominently at Tiffany & Co.’s new Blue Box Cafe. And tomorrow, they’re opening their doors for a little holiday fun and the whole neighborhood is invited to stop by!

All of the growth for Bellocq has definitely been organic. When the shop first opened to the public, located in front of their 9,000 sq ft production space, it was more just a space for buyers to smell and sample their teas. But the gradual regular stream of people stopping in necessitated being open five days a week and bringing in a few more tea-adjacent products. What makes Bellocq’s tea so special is the time and care the team has for their final product. Even with a line of 120 teas, they have been careful to only choose the highest-quality sources and have really formed a community with their producers. They’ve visited the farms, they know the names of their producers and what makes any particular tea special. It’s not strange to pop in and find a casual Japanese tea ceremony being performed by a master, or for a fan to quickly stop by before flying home 12 hours away. Continue reading

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Two Big Restaurants Have Expanded To North Brooklyn

Image: Qi Thai Grill/Facebook

News came out this week that two big names in New York City’s dining scene are expanding to Williamsburg and Greenpoint. The neighborhood is now home to one of Queens’ best Thai restaurants, a spot that’s been on citywide Top 10 lists multiple times, and Greenpoint Avenue will soon be home to a new wood-fired Mexican restaurant run by one of Brooklyn’s most underrated chefs. Of course, this great news isn’t without a little bad news as another long-time Greenpoint watering hole quietly closed its doors a few weeks back.

First, where you can eat. Qi Thai Grill at 176 North 9th Street has crossed over to being a full expansion of Woodside’s SriPraPhai. SriPraPhai’s chef-owner, Sripraphai Tipmanee, had been involved in Qi along with well-regarded chef Pichet Ong, but now the entire space is a part of chef Tipmanee’s realm. Word is the menu has been shortened so that the kitchen can focus on her famed spicy Thai fare. This makes the North 9th Street spot her third restaurant, as she also has one out in Long Island’s Williston Park. If you’ve always wanted to try the restaurant but were afraid of the trek or crowds, here’s your chance. [Eater] Continue reading

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