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.
If you have any relationship with The Richardson—albeit it a one-nighter, Grand Ferry (229 Kent Ave) will feel strangely, wonderfully, familiar. And that’s because co-founders Jon Derosa and Joel Lee Kulp—as well as the staff, are transplants from Greenpoint’s popular speakeasy. Located on Kent Ave in Williamsburg, this waterfront tavern is inspired by a ferry that docked nearby until 1918.
Dig old stuff? If you are an antique nut like me, you will appreciate that the mirrors, prints, and resident mermaid (who exists as a sculpture and is printed on Grand Ferry’s matchbox) all hail from Kulp’s treks to the Mecca of antique fairs—Brimfield. Lining the walls are early 20th century prints of the East River—including one of the East River bridge, now known as the Williamsburg Bridge. Continue reading