Eat & Drink

Dandelion Wine Shop Raises Over $10K For Black Lives Matter with “Diversity Packs”

Dandelion Wine’s Diversity Packs raise money for Black Lives Matter

Drinking wine can be a casual form of activism, thanks to Dandelion Wine‘s (153 Franklin St.) newest charitable effort: Diversity Packs.

Purchasing the Diversity Pack’s $100 set of six wines donates 100% of profits to Black Lives Matter. Since the collection launched on Thursday, May 29th, Dandelion Wine has raised $9680. Once the wine shop reaches $10,000, 601ArtSpace will match the donation.

Some of the Diversity Pack wines are donated by importers or producers, meaning some pricey bottles can be found in the collection at a good deal. Additional wines, almost all of which are organic, are curated by Dandelion Wine’s buyer, Jed Boyar. The Diversity Pack selection has switched over three times. The latest collection launched on Friday, June 19th. Bottles currently include Azimut’s rosé cava, Viña Zorzal’s 2019 Rosado, Sierra de Toloño’s 2019 Rioja Tempranillo and more.

None of the wines featured in the Diversity Pack are made by Black producers, but are diverse in their tastes and styles. In the near future, Dandelion Wine plans to feature more Black-produced wines, such as Andre Mack’s Maison Noir bottles, which are expected to be available for sale in the shop later this week. Continue reading

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Levain Bakery’s First Brooklyn Location to Open in Williamsburg in July

Levain Bakery is opening in july in Williamsburg. (Image via LEvain Bakery)

New York City-based Levain Bakery will bring its famous cookies and baked goods to the other side of the East River next month with the opening of a Williamsburg location.

With five other locations in Manhattan and one in the Hamptons, Levain Bakery’s Williamsburg shop will be the first in Brooklyn.

After more than two decades in the Upper West Side and Harlem, the bakery started expanding last year opening three new locations in Manhattan, and co-founders Connie McDonald and Pam Weeks are planning for a national expansion as well with a Washington D.C. bakery.

The Williamsburg bakery will be located at 164 N 4 St. which is nearby the Whole Foods on Bedford Avenue, and an opening date is set for July 1st.

 

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Levain bakery fans can expect to see the signature chocolate chip cookies walnut cookies along with loaf cakes, roll and breads, and pastries as the menu will be similar to the original location. The bakery’s hours will be 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. everyday.

 

 

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Little Tiffin Set to Open New Thai Restaurant in Former Ott Thai Space

Chef and restaurateur Monurai Bhakdina will open her first restaurant in Greenpoint, Little Tiffin, this summer

Just weeks after 20-year-old Greenpoint staple, Ott Thai (970 Manhattan Ave.) closed its doors, a new Thai restaurant will open in its space. Little Tiffin, slated to start takeout lunch and dinner service on July 1, will be Bangkok-raised Brooklynite Monurai Bhakdina’s first restaurant.

Locals may already be familiar with Bhakdina’s cooking from her stand at Smorgasburg, Queen Cobra Thai, which she launched in fall 2012. Bhakdina specializes in Thai homestyle cooking, inspired by her own family recipes, many of which she learned from her grandmother, who worked as a chef for Thai royalty in Chiang Mai. The restaurant’s name comes from tiffins, the small Thai lunch boxes Bhakdina’s mom and grandma used at their restaurant in Thailand.

Bhakdina has lived in Greenpoint for many years with her partner, photographer Keith Sirchio, who has helped renovate the dining room and taste his way through the restaurant’s first official menu. “We’re just really excited to serve the local community,” Bhakdina says, “We’re hustling to get things open by July 1.”

 

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Thank you everyone for writing me asking for my Khao Soi recipe so here it is! I have divided it into 2 posts. One is the list of ingredients and the instruction is posted in the comment. Enjoy cooking!🍜💛 Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes Serves: 2-4 Ingredients🧄 * 1 can unsweetened coconut milk * 1/2 cup Khao soi curry paste (see below) * 1 package of Chinese egg noodle * 1 tsp fish sauce * 1 tsp palm sugar. * 2 cups chicken stock * 2 pounds drumsticks, chicken thighs * 1/2 cup water * 1/2 cup vegetable oil For Khao Soi paste🌶 * Red dried chilies – 5 pieces * Salt * Shallots – 2 medium * Onion – 1 small onion * Ginger – 2 tbsp * Lemongrass (thinly sliced)- 1 tbsp (1 stalk) * Garlic- 1 tbsp (5 cloves) * Cilantro roots- 1 tbsp * Curry Powder- 1 tbsp * Fresh Turmeric- 1 tbsp * Shrimp paste – 1 tsp * Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp For toppings🍃 * 1/2 shallots, thinly sliced * 1 handful bean sprouts * 1 tbsp pickle mustard greens, thinly sliced * 1 tbsp cilantro * 1 handful crispy noodles * 1 lime, cut in wedges * Red chili oil (if prefer)

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Little Tiffin’s initial menu will center around seasonal flavors and eco-friendly packaging. Staples of American Thai cuisine, like chicken satay, tom kha soup, laab, pad see ew, basil fried rice, massaman curry and more are on the extensive menu. Specialties like khao soi gai (chicken drumstick curry with soft and crispy egg noodles), a whole crispy fish with lemongrass, and goong ob woonsen (glass noodles cooked in a clay pot with jumbo shrimp, ginger and Chinese celery) are also on the menu. For dessert, sticky rice with mango is available this summer. Continue reading

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Sami and Susu Debuts Regional Mediterranean Takeout in Williamsburg

A spread of Sami and Susu’s new menu items available for takeout.

Mediterranean restaurant Sami & Susu (279 Grand St.) celebrates it’s grand opening in Williamsburg on Tuesday as a pop-up inside of  Maracuja Bar, which closed during the pandemic.

Founded by owner Amir Nathan, whose local restaurant credits include Via Carota and Maison Premiere, and executive chef Jordan Anderson, who has cooked at Olmsted and Maison Premiere, Sami & Susu’s name comes from the first Arab-Israeli children’s television show, which broadcast in Arabic and Hebrew in the 60s and 70s and served as a symbol of unity and peace in the Middle East.

 

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“For months, I had been working on a plan to open a Mediterranean natural wine bar and general store, but when Covid-19 hit I knew I had to rethink my plans,” says Nathan. “It felt silly to wait around and see when things improved, when I could just rethink the business model to begin with.”

The menu is based on regional cooking from throughout the Mediterranean, which melds Nathan’s Sephardic family’s recipes with Anderson’s American-Jewish family recipes. For now, only takeout and delivery are available, and the menu has created mix-and-match picnic sets to accommodate current clientele.

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Louie’s Luncheonette Creates Vegan Deli Meat In Greenpoint

The California Club made with vegan meat from Louie’s Luncheonette. (courtesy of Louie’s Luncheonette)

Cold cuts are not the most interesting flavors in the world,” admits Louie Catizone, founder of Louie’s Luncheonette, a new direct-to-consumer plant-based deli meat company slated to launch in July. However, when the lifelong meat eater went veg in 2016, the Italian American guy from North Jersey really missed sandwiches, and ended up with much more flavorful, vegan versions of his lifelong favorites.   

As a co-owner of Greenpoint’s aperitivo company St. Agrestis (233 Eagle St.) (along with Matt and Steven DeAngelo of Greenhook Ginsmiths (208 Dupont St.), Catizone was familiar with the food business. As he tested his own recipes for vegan ham and turkey-free turkey, he realized that the concept may become a business pursuit of its own. 

Enter a global pandemic, the major shutdown of restaurants, St. Agrestis’ losing 60% of its revenue streams and suddenly Louie’s Luncheonette, a vegan deli concept, becomes a reality. Instead of laying off staff, Catzione and his team focused on allocating their work towards the new venture, which is completely separate from their spirits company. Catzione’s home kitchen recipe testing moved to a local commercial kitchen, where he finalized Louie’s initial deli offerings.  Continue reading

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Restaurants Selling Groceries This Summer in Greenpoint and Williamsburg

Glasserie in Greenpoint offers a selection of groceries to order for pickup or delivery. (Image courtesy of Glasserie)

Restaurant takeout may have bounced back from the grim days of early March when ordering a pizza could feel like putting someone’s life on the line, but existing solely on meals emerging from plastic containers is probably not the best idea.

Groceries have become more of a necessity in New Yorkers’ lives in recent months, and thanks to our pandemic-conditioned brains, it will probably be a long, long time before those of us who are privileged to be able to fill our fridge and cabinets on the regular feel comfortable seeing a little empty space in there.

As you continue to stock up, consider shopping at these local restaurants selling provisions, dried goods, homemade condiments and more to add some local flavor to your home kitchen, all while supporting neighborhood businesses:

 

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Oxomoco (128 Greenpoint Ave.)

If you can’t stretch that stimulus check to cover endless orders of Oxomoco’s excellent $18 burritos, try your hand at Oaxacan-style Mexican cuisine at home. Oxomoco is selling heirloom masa to make your own tortillas with ($10/pound), as well as homemade tortilla chips ($4), tortillas ($5 for three) and four types of salsa ($5 for 4 oz bottle). Continue reading

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Misi Returns to Williamsburg, With a Takeout Twist

Misi Pasta’s mezze rigatoni with 30 clove pomodoro

Chef Missy Robbins’ perpetually packed Italian restaurants, Misi (329 Kent Ave.) and Lilia (567 Union Ave.), haven’t opened their doors since New York paused in early March, much to pasta-lovers’ disappointment. But after a months-long break and an extended delicious Instagram tease, North Brooklyn’s favorite garlicky rigatoni is back in a new way.

A new project from Grovehouse Hospitality, the restaurant group to which Lilia and Misi belong, MP New York, will sell pasta kits along with specialty Italian provisions, for shoppers to cook Robbins-esque feasts at home. All profits from this initiative earned in June will be donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

MP New York’s online shop is split into three categories: Misi Pasta, which vends restaurant-style meal kits of homemade pasta and its accompanying sauce; MP Grocery,  which will vend Robbins’ “favorite pantry items” like Calabrian chilies, extra virgin olive oil, vinegars and Parmigiano Reggiano, as well as a garden box with seasonal vegetables, herbs, poultry seafood and fresh ricotta; and MP specialties, which will be prepared foods. Grocery packages will be curated by Robbins and not customizable. Continue reading

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Black-Owned Businesses to Support in Greenpoint and Williamsburg

Action Burger in Williamsburg is one of the few black-owned businesses in the neighborhood. (Image via Google Maps)

Local businesses need neighbors’ support now more than ever. Months of closure or significantly reduced sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a toll on the community, and with the recent Black Lives Matter uprising, it’s critical for supporters of the anti-racist movement to put their money with their mouths are and notice gaps and shortcomings in our own neighborhood commerce.

66% of Greenpoint residents are White, which makes supporting the black and minority populations in our neighborhood all the more important. We can celebrate diversity, encourage it and learn how to make Greenpoint an even more inclusive place, starting with patronizing Black-owned businesses still open and serving the community during this tumultuous time:

 

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#repost from @webuyblack THANK YOU!❤️ . We Buy Black and SheaMoisture have teamed up to bring the culture the Black Business Relief Fund. The 15th business is Stuart Cinema & Cafe, @stuartcinema . . @stuartcinema features motion pictures and independent films, at affordable prices. The company bears the distinction of being the first movie theater in New York owned by a Black Latina. Stuart Cinema was opened to helped filmmakers and other artists monetize their art, in a world where spaces for independent artists are quickly disappearing. In addition, Stuart Cinema also features a cafe with a full menu, well beyond popcorn: from salads and sandwiches, to chicken fingers and espresso, there is something for everyone. Stuart Cinema provides an affordable space for film festivals, independent movie screenings and serves as a community center. . . Emelyn Stuart opened her theater without any partners, loans or investors. Since opening, several popular shows have used the space: Orange is the New Black, Billions and Ray Donavan. In addition, several celebrities have watched movies at the theater, including Hill Harper, Malik Yoba and Jon Voight. Stuart Cinema has been received warmly by the community and has plans to expand and add a second movie screen. On March 16th, however, everything changed: COVID-19 forced the theater to shutdown. In addition, the owner has been forced to layoff her three employees. Stuart is doing all she can to hang on: the theater is giving popcorn to kids for free and giving a free movie ticket to patrons who purchase a large popcorn, in anticipation of the theater opening back up. . . New Yorkers you can enjoy their famous homemade empanadas and their new Spicy Latin Burger. The cafe is open Mon – Sat, 11am – 4pm. You’re welcome to visit them for takeout as long as you wear a mask or you can have your order delivered via GrubHub. . . Visit: www.stuartcinema.com

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Stuart Cafe & Cinema (79 West St.)

This tiny movie theater, owned by Emelyn Stuart, is a treat to escape to for screenings of mainstream and artsy films. While current restrictions don’t allow the cinema to operate, the cafe is still open for takeout and delivery, which can be enjoyed during livestream movie nights Stuart is hosting.

Action Burger (292 Graham Ave.)

Yet another restaurant we can’t wait to return to, this comic book themed burger joint is home to over 250 free arcade games from the 80s and 90s. Pay it forward and order mac and cheese bacon burgers, deep fried pizza rolls, plus family-sized boozy slushies until we can return to full-on video game bliss with a side of munchies again. Continue reading

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Di An Di Rebounds From Pandemic Panic with Two New Concepts

A spread of Di An Di’s new summer menu

Perpetually packed Di An Di emptied house in early March when New York was put on PAUSE, but that hasn’t stopped the Vietnamese restaurant from feeding Greenpoint. Yes, the limits and lack of support have led to a very F-ed up situation for all small businesses, to paraphrase Di An Di chef and co-owner Dennis Ngo, but the beloved eatery is still feeding the community in several new ways.

“We’ve been trying to find out what hospitality means,” Ngo says. “What does a neighborhood business mean? We’re no longer a space, so what are we?” A spin-off delivery concept, Di Di, as well as a to-go market, Di Cho, which launches on Sunday, are intended to satiate Di An Di lovers, while adjusting to new restrictions and ways of interaction. 

Di Di, which means “to go”, is Di An Di’s takeout restaurant

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Where to Get Takeout Cocktails in Greenpoint and Williamsburg

Broken Land’s popular frozen pina coladas are now available to-go.

While hanging out at a bar sipping cocktails seems like a distant memory, our cocktail present and future is hopefully not too far off. For now, several local bars are serving their cocktail menus for takeout, either via walk-up window, service or pre-order. Open container laws seem to be quite lax (though legally, nothing’s changed), so take that cocktail for a socially distant walk or on a bar crawl through the neighborhood to these spots serving excellent to-go drinks:

Magazine (130 Franklin St.)
If there were an award for Most Creative Pandemic Pivot, Magazine would win. After a long closure, the quirky bar is back with lanky neon souvenir cups and a man in a chicken costume, known as the ‘social distancing chicken,’ dancing in the bar’s window. The menu includes frozen hurricanes and pre-batched classic cocktails. Spicy popcorn is still free, and a new food menu includes gumbo, po’ boys and watermelon.

 
 
 
 
 
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Vamos Al Tequila (162 Franklin St.)
The local Mexican restaurant is back with takeout cocktails, a full food menu, plus daily specials. Starting at 11 a.m., order frozen margaritas and piña coladas, palomas, mojitos and more to go. Call 718-383-0808 to order in advance. Continue reading

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