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
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
Maman’s original SoHo cafe opened in early Fall 2014 without much fanfare. That is, until people tasted their Nutty Chocolate Chunk Cookie and that cookie alone should make you want to stop at their newest location at 80 Kent Street (between Franklin and West). Luckily, the southern-France-chic bakery has plenty of attention-worthy treats beyond the cookie to make it a welcome addition to our neighborhood!
Get excited, Greenpointers— your walk to some seriously delicious Asian fusion just got shorter. Baoburg has moved to our very own stretch of Manhattan Avenue (between Nassau and Driggs). Chef Suchanan Aksornnan (aka Chef Bao Bao) had been delighting patrons in Williamsburg since 2013, but was forced to move her restaurant as a result of Thor Equities’ new mixed-use building. The menu is inspired by a variety of Asian cuisines with some nods to Spanish and French cooking as well. The interior of the new location at is still quite small, but Baoburg gained a beautiful back courtyard in its new home. I recommend walking straight to this oasis to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and brick facades of the outdoor space you wish was your own. Continue reading
I remember the time that I first noticed Polka Dot. I was walking down Manhattan Avenue, undoubtedly heading toward Peter Pan to satisfy my apple crumb donut addiction. Thankfully, I spotted the happy script across the street that was this little Polish cafe’s new sign. Many of you may not know that Polka Dot is in fact the reimagining of what was once the Polski Meat Market. Opened in 1996 by Marzena Parys and her husband, it’s evolved with the neighborhood into the gem that it is today. Continue reading