Di An Di has made several pandemic-related pivots to keep Greenpointers well-fed, most recently opening a new spacious sidewalk seating area for restaurant guests. Now, yet another addition to the Vietnamese restaurant will satisfy Greenpointers’ palates: Cooking Classes.
Starting in September, Di An Di’s sous chef, Quan Ngo, will be holding virtual cooking classes where he’ll walk students through the steps of making a homemade Vietnamese meal. The first at-home dinner will center around a staple sauce in Vietnamese cooking, nước màu (caramel sauce) which has an amber-rich hue and adds a sweet, lightly smoky profile to savory-caramelized dishes. Participants can choose if they’d prefer to braise, grill or glaze in their one-hour private cooking class taught via Zoom on Sundays at 6:00 p.m. Continue reading →
One of Brooklyn’s most popular new restaurants is reopening in Greenpoint. Rule of Thirds (171 Banker St.), which opened at the now-closed A/D/O in late February will offer outdoor courtyard seating starting on Thursday, August 6.
The Japanese restaurant inspired by izakaya culture, home cooking and the belief that the most interesting conversations take place at cultural intersections, is a collaboration between friends and neighbors Chef JT Vuong, George Padilla (both formerly of Okonomi) and Sunday Hospitality.
The inventive menu became Insta-famous and highly sought after in early 2020, when inventive, locally inspired dishes like a tofu hot pocket with camembert and fresno chile butter and yuzu hot honey salad were competitive to reserve a seat for. When the pandemic hit weeks after opening its dining room for the first time, Rule of Thirds closed its doors, eventually offering takeout bento boxes and pre-ordered multi-course duck feast complete with a duck rice, duck soup and very interactive duck lettuce wraps.
Williamsburg mainstay eateries are getting creative with how to accomodate guests outside this summer, and a new outdoor-only restaurant has found its solution: Garden dining. Strangeways (302 Metropolitan Ave.) will open on Friday, August 7th. The 90-seat restaurant is run by chef Ken Addington (formerly of Five Leaves, Picholine, Town, Eight Mile Creek) and Australian restaurateur Jamie Web.
Like many small businesses open amidst the pandemic, Strangeways’ original concept shifted once the owners postponed their original opening plans in March. “We consider ourselves fortunate to have not opened, as closing the restaurant would have proven to be an even greater challenge,” Addingston says. “I know how hard it was for restaurant owners that care about their staff to not be able to support them through this difficult time. To assemble a great crew, as we’ve done now, and not be able to follow through on commitments made would have been heartbreaking.”
Instead of moving forward as planned, Addington and Webb used this spring to focus on creating a safe and welcoming outdoor-only restaurant for the city. They partnered with Manscapers, the outdoor design stars of the Bravo show Backyard Envy, to create a verdant outdoor space that will utilize greenery to help separate diners.
“We are very fortunate to have a restaurant with 1500 square-foot outdoor space,” Addington says. “We worked with a landscaping company to install lush plants and flowering trees that act as natural partitions between dining tables and service areas. Plus, our garden features fans throughout that continuously cool and ventilate the space. This not only helps us separate the tables to create intimate spaces to be with friends and family but, we hope will act as a welcoming oasis to help bring the community together in a safe and comfortable manner.” Continue reading →
The five local businesses—12 Chairs Cafe (342 Wythe Ave.), Aurora (70 Grand St.), Ateres Avrohom (75 Ross St.), Carmine’s Pizzeria (358 Graham Ave.) and Cerveceria Havemeyer (149 Havemeyer St.) —join 438 other bars and restaurants across New York that the State Liquor Authority (SLA) has brought charges against.
A majority of these local businesses find the state’s cited violations petty, especially when there are other establishments in North Brooklyn more flagrantly violating the bevy of new regulations to which bars and restaurants have to adhere.
“It’s really frustrating,” said Felipe Mendez, owner of Cerveceria Havemeyer, in an interview with Greenpointers.
State investigators claimed to see customers eating takeout outside Mendez’s restaurant on June 19, before the city allowed eateries to have outdoor seating. Rather than fight the state’s allegations, Mendez agreed to pay the $1500 fine.
“We have the ax. We rule. We chop your head off,” he said. “That’s the attitude of Cuomo.”
Carmine Gangone, owner of Carmine’s Pizzeria, shares Mendez’s frustration. Investigators said four of his employees were not properly wearing masks on June 26, an allegation Gangone vigorously denies. The state fined him $2000, but he plans to challenge the charges in court.
“They’re tedious, pick-and-choose violations,” he said. “They’re crucifying the businesses.” Continue reading →
A summer without tourists may sound ideal to locals, but certainly not for hotels and restaurants. The hospitality industry in particular has been hit hard by the forced closures and limited operating restrictions during COVID-19, and North Brooklyn hotels are getting creative with ways to attract and distract locals during the pandemic. Looking for a staycation within walking distance? Check out what the hotels in the neighborhood are up to:
The upscale ambiance of Le Crocodile‘s outdoor patio has lured in diners to feast since the Wythe Hotel’s restaurant reopened earlier this month, and the hotel cheekily lists a hotel room (market price) below the peach melba and flourless chocolate cake on the dessert menu. A ‘Come for Dinner, Stay the Night’ package allows Le Crocodile guests can book a room at the hotel at an exclusive rate. Those eager to extend their stay for three or more nights are also treated to a complimentary movie screening of their choice in the hotel’s screening room, popcorn included. Those who need to focus on projects or just work outside of the house for a while can also book private office space (a converted hotel room, re-furnished for productivity), which starts at $200 for 10 hours, and includes an outdoor terrace.
The Box House Hotel’s expansive rooftop space usually reserved for weddings and private events has re-launched for the summer as Top of the Box, an outdoor bar with skyline views. The 10,000 square foot rooftop offer socially distant seating, plus a full cocktail menu and light bites. Reservations are available via Resy. A QR code menu offers completely contactless ordering. During the day, YO BK hosts yoga and pilates classes atop the roof, and the bar functions as a healthy juice bar. Continue reading →
Greenpoint’s cozy vegetarian Italian food and natural wine destination, Adelina’s (159 Greenpoint Ave.) will permanently close at the end of August after 8 years in business.
Adelina’s introduced a fully vegetarian and vegan menu in 2019, and in January transitioned from making their usual ‘pizza fritta,’ or fried pizza, to a version made with fermented dough known as ‘pinsa Romana.’
Owner Toby Buggiani made the decision to reopen at the end of April following the restaurant’s temporary closure during NY’s coronavirus pause, and told Greenpointers that the transition to a take-out format came with lower profit margins exacerbated by third-party deliver app fees.
Buggiani setup direct ordering on Adelina’s website in May to remedy the third-party fees, but the mounting losses from a lack of indoor business coupled with limited street dining options in front of a bus stop on Greenpoint Avenue are forcing the closure, according to a statement posted on social media:
Local businesses are continuing to shift their trajectories to best accommodate clientele during the pandemic. Oftentimes, for restaurants, this looks like an abridged menu, but popular upscale sushi restaurant Chiko (954 Manhattan Ave.) has rebranded from 13 course set-menu omakase dinners to “creative Chinese cuisine.”
Chiko’s new menu aims to be a survey of regional Chinese cuisine in “seven bites,” which is what chiko means in Chinese. To start, Chiko is focused on Sichuan cuisine, but plans to change the menu soon and explore the regional cuisines of China through the dishes.
Dishes on the new menu range from $7 to $13 and include cucumber salad marinated in a garlic-soy vinaigrette, mapo tofu over rice, dan dan noodles and more. Beverages include a homemade herbal plum juice and bubble tea, as well as bottle of sake and a sake mojito. Groups (or hungry individuals) can also order a family style meal, which includes spiced beef, mapo tofu, mushroom and egg fried rice and sauteed string beans for $65.
Takeout can be ordered by calling 917-909-0580 and Chiko encourages curious diners to sign up for their newsletter at ChikoNYC.com to be the first to know about new menu updates.
In the latest round of closures a number of businesses in Greenpoint and Williamsburg have confirmed their final brick-and-mortar days.
Kinfolk (90 Wythe Ave.), home to pop-up restaurants and a retail and events space, is closing after 12 years on Wythe Avenue. The North Williamsburg venue experienced a significant decline in business due to the L train shutdown and the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, according to Kinfolk’s creative director who spoke with Complex.
Kinfolk posted an announcement on social media stating that the closure is due to a “piling up of operational costs” :
It’s with great sadness we share the news that Kinfolk will not be returning & is closing its doors permanently. This is not a decision that has been made lightly. Unfortunately, the reality of the extended shut down and piling up of operational costs has essentially forced the decision to be made for us. We are heartbroken and did not want this to be the way that we said goodbye.
We could not be more proud of the 12 years we spent on the corner of North 11th and Wythe Ave. We could not be more proud of our staff past and present. We could not be more proud of the talent who shared their passions with us. Finally, we could not be more proud of the community that built us, sustained us, and made it feel like, for better or worse, home.
Through the main phases that have been Kinfolk, our main goal has always been to cultivate a culture and connection, we’re getting people to space to express and be there 100% true selves. We cannot stress the amount of gratitude we have for everyone who took part in and added to our ever evolving community.
We can only hope the energy created in our spaces will inspire and help grow the next scene, sparking a future of an ever-changing New York still built an expression acceptance and freedom to be yourself. This is the ethos we believe that makes the city the best place on planet Earth.
With all the love in our hearts we hope to see you all on the next path.
For the past decade, Loren Denim ( 80 Nassau Ave.) has operated their McCarren Park-adjacent work studio and retail space featuring their heritage brand BLKSMTH DENIM. After temporarily closing last winter during NY’s coronavirus-induced economic pause, the Greenpoint shop hosted a closeout sale last weekend with an announcement posted on Instagram: “With sadness, after 10 years of business, we are closing. I have so many great memories here. I’ve met so many great people here. I’ve have so many amazing people work for me here. I want to thank everyone who has supported our little denim shop over the last 10 years. Thank you, you will be missed.”
Greenpoint’s healing arts destination, Maha Rose, is closing their 97 Green Street shop of seven years with an online and in-store sale (hours TBA). Maha Rose will continue with online workshops and healing sessions during the pandemic, along with an online shop featuring many of the items from the store. Continue reading →
A new tenant is moving into a classic Greenpoint establishment. Edy’s Grocer, a deli and grocery run by chef and caterer Edouard Massih will open this August in the former storefront of Maria’s Deli, a Polish market owned by Maria Puk.
Massih, who is good friends with Puk was a regular at the shop, and often joked with her about taking over the place when she retired. The local caterer had dreams of his own brick-and-mortar, but was in no rush to create it. Then, a pandemic struck, Massih’s catering business quickly declined and Maria’s closed.
“I asked if I could use her space, and she said no right away,” Massih recalls of the early COVID days when he was trying to figure out his next career move. He started selling pre-made meals and dips via Instagram, and two weeks later, Puk returned to Massih saying she’d put a lot of thought into the decision, and was ready to officially close her business.
In early June, Massih helped clean up and empty the space, and started a renovation before even formally signing the five year lease with Puk, who owns the building. “It’s kind of unheard of,” he says of her benevolent flexibility.
Edy’s Grocer will “be an homage for Maria and my grandmother as well, Massih says. “I think of Maria as a grandmother to me. She’s super, super sweet and I want to keep a lot of her food.” The space will honor its Polish heritage by vending Eastern European staples, soups, and some signature dishes (like Maria’s beloved chicken cutlet sandwich), and also sell Massih’s native Lebanese cuisine. Continue reading →