Eat & Drink

Five Leaves’ Debuts Their Late Summer Menu

One of the late summer dishes, Sweet Corn Flan  All images: Five Leave/Instagram

Back in 2008, an Australian-American restaurant/bar opened on Bedford with its primary claim to fame being that Heath Ledger (RIP) had been involved in its conception. Now, Five Leaves is closing in on nine years in the neighborhood and is still one of the most popular spots around. It’s burger and pancakes are institutions on the New York dining scene and that weekend brunch wait hasn’t gotten any shorter. This doesn’t mean that they want to rest on their laurels though. If you’ve stopped by this year, you may have noticed both the food and cocktail menus changing ever so slightly towards a little more seasonality. They’re definitely giving the locals a good reason to stop by for dinner.

Five Leaves did always have a seasonal and organic angle to their menu, but when Chef Warren Baird took the helm in the kitchen towards the end of 2015, he knew it was time to step up their game a little bit. The local and sustainable movement has grown a lot in the past few years. Now, producers and consumers are more aware of our food systems’ environmental impact. But, luckily, consumers are also more willing to trust a chef when presented with unique dishes, like blue catfish done up Szechuan-style. Continue reading

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6 Greenpoint Cafés Serving More Than Your Average Latte

Budin's Secret Licorice Latte
Budin’s Secret Licorice Latte  Photo by Lucie Levine

New York has run on coffee since at least 1668, when the first written reference to the drink in America noted that New Yorkers were imbibing a brew made of roasted beans flavored with sugar, or honey and cinnamon. Following the Civil War, our beloved borough became the center of the national coffee trade. By the turn of the 20th century, 86% of the nation’s coffee docked in New York Harbor, and John Arbuckle’s plant on John Street in DUMBO roasted more coffee than any other building in the world.

Today, Brooklynites are pioneering the “third wave” specialty coffee craze, and our local roasters are flavoring their drinks with a lot more than sugar or honey and cinnamon. In the name of investigative journalism, I set out to sample some of that local flavor. In Greenpoint alone, that means turmeric, lavender, licorice and other assorted delights. These are not your average pours and they’ll run you more than a regular coffee, but if you’re looking to splurge on something special, read on for Greenpoint’s most exciting coffee concoctions. Continue reading

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Chef Sheldon Simeon Celebrates Hawaii at MOFAD

Image courtesy of MOFAD

Chef and restaurateur Sheldon Simeon is in town bringing the tastes, flavors, and ingredients of traditional and modern Hawaii foods to the East Coast. His love and appreciation for his home state’s culinary traditions have taken him from Maui Culinary Academy to the finals of Top Chef to opening up his own restaurant on Maui, Tin Roof. Our writer Ankur Parikh caught up with Chef Simeon to discuss what the difference between Hawaii food and Hawaiian food is, and why he considers himself ‘Filipino,’ not ‘Hawaiian.’ If you want to get a taste of Chef Simeon’s cooking, he’ll be at MOFAD (62 Bayard St) Thursday evening and is also hosting a BBQ with Dale Talde at Massoni (11 East 31st St) Friday night.

I feel like Top Chef’s been a nice avenue towards exploring first generation culinary contributions, especially in recent years with yourself, Kristen Kish, and Paul Qui. There’s a whole other kind of American chef, and especially as a first-generation immigrant myself, I’m wondering how it feels, personally, to be a part of that group. How do you associate it with what American food means?

Sheldon: I’m doing a show right now on Eater called “Cooking in America,” that explores just that, all the immigrant chefs across America, what they’re doing, and their contribution to the food industry. For me, it’s a little bit different. I’m still discovering my own viewpoint because growing up in Hawaii my whole history has been a melting pot. I’ve never been exposed to it like on the mainland, haven’t seen it directly through the lens of separation or having the concept of immigrants at the forefront of it, but I think it’s great. I mean, we’ve always, to some degree, we’ve always been here and I think it’s just a coming out of the shadows now. That’s what it is. And being recognized for it.

And what is American food, right? It’s still a question that is difficult to answer, I think. You can ask a chef that, and it’s a loaded question filled with politics, filled with history, filled with their own personal conflicts or experiences. But, I think it’s awesome that more and more first and second generation chefs are reaching back. And even though we’re born in The States, we’re reaching back and going into our roots and cooking, drawing from and adapting our culture. I think it’s an avenue for us to connect with our roots and tell our stories. I don’t speak the language. I don’t speak Ilocano, I don’t speak Filipino, but my way of connecting and sharing with everyone in my culture is through food. And I think a lot of chefs are doing that. Immigrant chefs. Continue reading

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Seeking Out Greenpoint’s Best Aperol Spritzes

via Shayz Lounge’s Instagram

In New York City, selecting the ‘drink of the summer’ is a hallowed warm-weather tradition, as inevitable as busted subway air-conditioning, blaring ice-cream-truck jingles, and promising yourself that this year, without a doubt, you’ll bike from Brooklyn to the Rockaways (and then…ya know…NOT doing that).

For this year’s Summer Sipper Supreme (ugh, sorry),  the Cocktail Powers That Be went with an old-school classic, beloved by Italian grandmothers far and wide: The Aperol Spritz. The ingredients are simple: Aperol (an Italian aperitif made from bitter orange and herbs), ice cubes, some bubbly, and a citrus peel. From there, the bartender has the freedom to get weird, and Greenpoint’s best spritz-maestros take full advantage. Here are five of Greenpoint’s finest Aperol (and Aperol-adjacent) spritzes, just in time for those last drunken days of summer. Continue reading

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Savor the Last of Summer with a Picnic in the Park

Monger’s Palate Picnic Basket  Photo by Desirée Flores

North Brooklyn may not have the vast green destination of Prospect Park, but there are several scattered parks that are perfect for picnics. We’ve put together a list of places that offer take away options to full-service picnic gear that can make a day laying in the grass so much more enjoyable. Whether you plan to lay out a blanket or just sit on your jacket, these bites are quick and easy for a meal in the park. Continue reading

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Greenpoint Ice Cream News You Can Use

Ample Hills is Here!  Image: Ample Hills/Instagram

New York City is in a great spot in ice cream history. Neighborhood favorite Van Leeuwen might dominate the North Brooklyn scene, but things are getting a little bit sweeter for all of us. Not only do we have a new pop-up in Brooklyn Bazaar, the Davey’s ice cream headquarters on Meserole Avenue is scheduled to be open in time for after school sundaes! Continue reading

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Woops! Brings Colorful Macarons to Norman Ave

Woops! comes to Greenpoint  Image: Woops Greenpoint/Instagram

A few years ago, a group of friends began serving up coffee shop treats at the whimsical Woops! Bakeshop over on Driggs Avenue and North 7th Street. Little did they know, they were starting what is now the nation’s largest macaron chain. And finally, one of their franchises is coming to Greenpoint with the opening of Woops! Greenpoint on Sunday in the former Lunchbox space at 120 Norman Avenue. The new spot will be helmed by Michelle and Monserrate Irizarry, two longtime Brooklynites (Monserrate is a born and bred Williamsburger) who are fulfilling their lifelong dream of opening a cafe, and Greenpointers readers can get a special treat when they stop by Sunday or Monday.

Image: Julia Moak

The path towards this new location all began when Michelle decided to be a stay-at-home mom after having their first daughter. She developed the frequent habit of stopping into that Driggs Avenue store for an afternoon coffee and a treat, and it was there that she noticed a flyer regarding franchising with Woops!. Her and her husband reached out to the owners and ultimately spent a year working side-by-side with their team for training. Already living in and loving Greenpoint, they couldn’t help but want to open their location in the neighborhood. “Giving back to our community in any way is what we pride ourselves in, and we are very grateful and blessed to have this opportunity,” says Michelle. If you’ve ever visited the Driggs Ave shop, the offerings will be about the same, with everything made on-site. In addition to those delicate French macarons, they’ll be serving sandwiches, select pastries, and a regular coffee shop menu. And once their permit is passed in the coming weeks, they’ll be the first Woops! location to have beer and wine.

Woops! was originally scheduled to open this weekend, but they’ve hit a couple of delays. When they do open, stop by, mention “Greenpointers” and you will get a free macaron with any purchase. Welcome to the neighborhood!

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Pueblo Querido, A Passion for Colombian Coffee

Greenpoint’s own Colombian coffee roasters  All images: Pueblo Querido/Instagram

There are a lot of people in Greenpoint who claim to know coffee, but I can safely say that no one in Greenpoint who knows more about coffee than owners of the Pueblo Querido Café on the corner of Greenpoint Avenue and McGuinness Boulevard (195 Greenpoint Ave). Run by two brothers, Christian and Fabian Guzman Herrera, along with Fabian’s wife Andrea, the three Colombians come from the Quindío region in the heart of Colombia’s coffee growing heartland, known as the coffee triangle. Right now, probably a hundred angry baristas are ready to write snide comments, but please bear with me. The family grew up on a coffee farm and have a lifetime of experience with every aspect of making the perfect cup of coffee from growing the beans, to roasting the coffee themselves, to pouring out a perfect espresso or cappuccino. Continue reading

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Unlimited Booze at Brokelyn’s Summer Beach Party! Get $14 Off!

On August 5, Brokelyn is packing its best swim trunks, shades and an unquenchable thirst for summer vibes to Coney Art Walls (3050 Stillwell Ave) for a day of drinking, games and more summer fun than you can stuff into your Speedo.

From noon to 3 pm, ticketed attendees will enjoy three hours of unlimited drink sampling from Coney Island Brewery, Belvedere vodka, Veuve-Clicquot champagne, Bayou rum and new alcohol-infused coconut water, Kaiso.

There will be games provided by NYC Social, beautiful custom murals by Brooklyn artist Jaima for guests to color in courtesy Artists & Fleas and giveaways.

At 4pm, gates open to the public for a free dance party, games, contests and more.

Save $14 on your ticket by using the code “GREENPOINT” at checkout for the next 48 hours.

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