Reviews

Luksus, Unexpected Luxury in a Greenpoint Hideaway

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Wintergreen at Luksus Photo By Julia Moak

Behind the unassuming street front of Tørst bar, is Greenpoint’s most famous culinary secret, Luksus. This is one of North Brooklyn’s highest acclaimed eateries, yet humbly tucked away behind the beer bar, you may not know it is there. For two years running, it has held the only Michelin star status in the neighborhood, an honor it hopes to continue into 2017 after the New York City recipients are announced on November 17th. Even those who have ordered from the Tørst menu may not know that the dishes were created by world-renowned chef Daniel Burns, previously of Momofuku, The Fat Duck in the UK, and Noma in Copenhagen. The understated presence of Luksus in Brooklyn is void of pretension and reflects the persona of Burns and the cuisine. Continue reading

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Beer Street: An Ode to Beer

Beer Street in Brooklyn is serving up some of the best craft beer in the country.

To the beer snobs,  

cicerones

and those of good taste. 

To the curious, 

the unique, 

and the locavores–rejoice! 

If this bar had a theme song, it would be The Doors’ inimitable anthem to the odd “People are Strange.” Beer Street at 413 Graham Avenue embraces the bizarre. Their ever present sidewalk sign reminds me as I walk home from the L to “drink weird beer.” It was no accident that they were twice selected as one of the top 100 craft beer bars in the country. The narrow, intimate bar’s tastefully simple white-washed brick walls contain an atmosphere gentle and welcoming in a way that New York bars often lack. Décor aside, the best part is that this expertly curated beer bar operates without a hint of pretension. The bartenders will happily advise, educate, and guide a neophyte but never condescend. This is a different, elevated kind of service than other craft beer spots are offering and you can enjoy it without the fuss of other places (because that’s just not how we do things on Graham!). Continue reading

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Archestratus Turns One: Our Very Own Foodie Heaven Bookstore Celebrates Its Anniversary

The pre-dinner scene at Archestratus. Image via Archestratus/Facebook
The pre-dinner scene at Archestratus. Image via Archestratus/Facebook

Sunday will be the one-year anniversary of Archestratus, Greenpoint’s very own cookbook shop/cafe/place of food-related treats and events at 160 Huron Street. Archestratus will be celebrating by having a day of comfort: they will be making and giving out spaghetti for free from 11am-6pm. Oh, and better yet: they’ll be playing spaghetti westerns (another source of comfort for owner Paige Lipari and her employees).

“It will be a day to say thank you to everyone who’s supported us this past year,” said Paige. “Sunday will be all about coziness and gratitude.”

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Maman Brings Le Brunch to Their Kent Street Spot

Image: Julia Moak
Image: Julia Moak

At the beginning of the summer, Greenpoint received its very own location of Manhattan’s French bakery & café du jour, Maman (80 Kent Street). It has quickly become a great place to pick up some pastries or a light sandwich, or possibly an ice cream sandwich when it was hot out. What has been missing is the heartier brunch fare found at their other locations. Similar to their current offerings, Maman’s brunch has something for everyone; there is healthy fare alongside the decidedly decadent with a few exclusive items for each location. And that part of the equation begins tomorrow when our Maman begins offering brunch in their beautiful upstairs space! Like the downstairs, the second level is all very Provençal-chic with rustic light-painted wood, hanging plants, and a fake fireplace opposite a floral black-and-white wall. Continue reading

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Georgian Cheeseboats Sail into Williamsburg

Cheeseboat brings Contemporary Georgian cooking to Williamsburg.
Cheeseboat brings Contemporary Georgian cooking to Williamsburg.

Walking into Cheeseboat, the new family-run Georgian restaurant at 80 Berry Street in Williamsburg, my aesthete’s heart is overjoyed.  I am immediately put at ease by the soft, romantic lighting. The boldly-patterned table coverings are ornamented with tea lights that provide a lovely glow. A stunning piece of woodwork surrounds a table tucked into the wall, reminiscent of a hobbit hole and designed by the incredibly talented Charlie Baker of Baker Structures.  We are warmly greeted by Shako, one of the family members who will be our server for the evening.  I ordered the house red, which is a surprisingly good Malbec bursting with fruit.  We start our meal with the vegetarian dip trio, which includes a smoky eggplant paste, a spinach and herb pesto, and a chargrilled onion hummus served with delicious bread.  We enjoy our dips but are anxious to move onto the star of the show– the cheeseboat. Continue reading

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Cherry Point Gives Greenpoint Its First Whole-Animal Restaurant

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The bar at Cherry Point. Image © Nick Calcott, via cherrypointnyc.com

During the spring, 664 Manhattan Avenue changed hands again. Once the Polish-American restaurant CinaMoon, it transformed into “664 Wine & Dine” for a few months last year, and is now Cherry Point. The restaurant, which opened in May and named after the first published name for Greenpoint, is owned by The Spotted Pig alum Julian Calcott, artist Vincent Mazeau, and beverage director Garret Smith, each one contributing to Cherry Point’s distinct vibe. Wainscotting, exposed brick and an open kitchen create a warm and inviting space for dinner, brunch or after-work drinks.
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Cocktails and Cajun Comfort at Bourbon Springs

Bourbon Springs is serving up some of the best bourbon cocktails in New York
Bourbon Springs is serving some of the best bourbon cocktails in New York

If you haven’t been to vibrant Graham Avenue on the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint yet, I present to you the perfect reason to explore this part of town. Named after a communal trout fishing lodge that her grandfather founded in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Emily Casey’s Bourbon Springs somehow captures the familiarity of a little restaurant in the south, but with the all the culinary chops necessary to survive New York’s competitive restaurant scene. The Cajun-inspired menu is sure to satisfy and the bar happens to make some of the best craft cocktails in the city.  The interior is pleasant and charming; small enough to feel welcoming yet with table spacing optimized for conversation. Bourbon Springs also enjoys a quaint backyard complete with picnic tables surrounded by planters overflowing with herbs, tomatoes, and blueberries.  On Sunday evenings, they offer seasonal all-you-can-eat seafood boils, currently featuring crab and shrimp.

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Ahoy! North Brooklyn’s First Dinner Cruise, The Water Table

Image via The Water Table
All images via The Water Table

These gorgeous evenings lately have led many of us to hang outside until well after dark, but there is another way to enjoy summer. Hop on The Water Table at the India Street pier for an amazing boat ride through the East River down to the Statue of Liberty, complete with New England-focused food, craft beer, good wine, wonderful cocktails, and a lovely sunset with views of the East River Bridges, beautiful Brooklyn, and the Manhattan skyline!
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Screamers Pizza, Greenpoint’s Own Vegan Pizzeria

image via @screamerspizzeria on Instagram
Image via @screamerspizzeria on Instagram

A few weeks ago, the former Champs Junior spot on Manhattan Avenue (between Nassau and Driggs) turned into Screamers Pizzeria, a vegan pizzeria. Screamers is owned by Brad Baker, the man behind Champs Diner and Haymaker’s Corner Store, in a joint venture with chefs Mark Mebus and Ryan Moylan of Philly’s Blackbird Pizzeria. Blackbird is apparently some of the best vegan pizza available in the country, so this is a pretty big deal in the vegan world. I stopped by to see what it’s all about and get my first taste of a true vegan-with-cheese pizza.
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Eclectic, Expensive-ish, Comfort Food at Hail Mary

photo via hailmarybk.com
Interior at Hail Mary; photo from hailmarybk.com

If you’re going to Hail Mary (68 Greenpoint Ave), a new diner-like restaurant with an open and homey air befitting of Greenpoint, it’s best to take a crowd and some extra money.

The ambience is cozy, quaint and nostalgic—made for a group of friends or family. The busy, patterned wallpaper, upholstery and bits of Americana transport you back to an earlier era, while the dim lamp lighting, antique-style tables and open kitchen in the back room reflect more typical Brooklyn design trends. There’s some old school rap music playing lightly in the background. And you will meet the husband and wife co-owners and co-chefs, Sohla and Ham El- Waylly, who come out humbly and unannounced to serve you, offer menu recommendations and explain what’s on the plate. Continue reading

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