One morning at the McGolrick Park Farmer’s Market last Fall, I had the opportunity to taste a spirit I didn’t know much about. Though, coming from a half-Italian family, I was not a complete stranger to amaro. And living in a bar culture like Brooklyn’s, the spirit turns up every now and then too.
But both encounters were prohibitive. Being a kid at family parties, trying something red in color, you want it to taste a certain way (like Dr. Pepper). Amaro got quickly filed under “gross” and “adult,” which I filed under “boring.” And today, going to a fancy bar, the prospect of a sixteen dollar cocktail sometimes has me looking for the beer list, specifically “cans.”
So, running into the Greenpoint-made amaro brand St. Agrestis on that Sunday in the park cut through my personal red tape.
First off, the label is eye-catching: a simple blue print of a woman holding a branch in one hand, and a small medicine bottle in the other. Then there’s the name. How, after twelve years of Catholic school, did I not know of a St. Agrestis (it turns out St. Agrestis is not real!)? Then there’s the color. It’s a deep shade of red, not quite letting you see all the way through the bottle, but sort of half-way through.
The whole package was intriguing, as was the flavor. Which is on the right side of bitter, and the right side of sweet— it sort of approaches both, and pulls away just before either becomes too much. In any case, I felt it was cause enough to buy a bottle and to later follow up with its maker, Louis Catizone, to find out how this mysterious alcool is made. Continue reading →
The Park Church Co-Op was dimly lit, the stage awash with red and blue light. Meditative electronic new-age music played as the image of Jesus on the crucifix centered on the back wall looked over the scene. It may not seem like the most likely venue for a night of experimental jazz, but Pastor Amy Kienzle remarked that this event was part of the church’s larger event series that supports community art. And with Wawrzyniak being such an enthusiastic member of the church she felt it was important to support. She added that the church “believes in art and it being spiritually beneficial.” Continue reading →
This Wednesday, August 9th, Evil and Love (211 Franklin St) will be hosting a Drink n’ Draw. Live figure drawing and beer provided by Old Blue Last. Starts at 8! $10, BYO art supplies. RSVP: [email protected]
Echoes of the Cozy Royale catering hall can still be heard in the warm dining room in the back of the bar at Humboldt & Jackson (434 Humboldt Street). The Royale’s former owner, Joanne Perrotta, had turned down many other offers when she was looking to retire. For years, families and neighbors gathered for dinners there, and Perrotta wished to pass on that sense of community along with the space. Perrotta cared more about who was going to take the place over rather than what it was going to be.
The first time I set foot in Humboldt & Jackson was the very day it opened. I followed the renovation of the Cozy Royale into this place, a newly-titled “American Tasting Room,” step-by-step on my daily walk to the Graham Avenue L train and was thrilled to have a prospective place to call my own—my Cheers, if you will. I would cement my status by getting in right at the beginning. Over the three years since their opening I realized that the feeling of ownership and comfort that I felt is exactly what Bill Reed, the bar’s charismatic owner, wants for all his guests.Continue reading →
What’s your plan for watching tonight’s live broadcast-American-political-reality show trainwreck? Hopefully it includes drinking. A lot. Here’s some local joints where you can do just that. Greenpoint Beer & Ale (7 N. 15th Street) Sip some delicious local and house brews, while grubbing on their tasty brewpub fare. Happy hour from 5-7, $5 beers and $10 for a share plate and a beer. Continue reading →
One of the most delicious dishes in Polish cuisine is Bigos, or as it is sometimes called in English, Hunter’s Stew. For many Polish Greenpointers it’s a staple, but many locals still do not know about this fantastic cold weather dish. Extremely hearty and filling, it’s a stew that is perfect for a cold day. No one is entirely sure how the word bigos entered the Polish language, but some say that it comes from German begossen, meaning “doused” or “basted.” Another explanation is that it comes from Italian bigutta, or “pot for cooking soup.” But wherever it comes from, bigos is a delicious stew that is worth the wait in cooking it. Continue reading →
Just when you thought that Greenpoint eating could not get any more exotic and there was no room left for another local ethnic place, along comes a great Venezuelan place called Avila (685 Manhattan Avenue) that is causing a stir amongst local foodies.
The two Venezuelan Arellano brothers, Allan and Frank, started the place just a few months ago. Greenpoint is now a very competitive market for a new restaurant, but they seem to have a growing following. Avila has a modest décor, but the food is so good it doesn’t need a splendid ambience. Continue reading →
It’s that lovely time of year when it stops being deathmetal-hot, but it’s still warm enough to enjoy a cold glass of rose or white wine and some delicious oysters as a pre-dinner aperitif. Here’s where we found the best oyster happy hours in Greenpoint! Shuck ’em up! Continue reading →
New bar openings in the Greenpoint neighborhood are always exciting for us. Being the men-about-town that we are, we’ve hit up nearly all the hottest and hippest spots from Driggs to Ash. Yet ever since the closing of our perpetual ride-or-die watering hole, Greenpoint Heights, we have been searching for that “everybody knows your name” kind of place.
At long last, we may have found our home away from home once again.
Nestled in what should be called “The Little Steak-Shop That Could,” Delilah’s Steaks (55 McGuinness Boulevard), sits the delightful new seven seater bar with the unbearably appropriate name: Samson’s. Yet unlike the Biblical frenemies, Samson’s is the perfect complement to owner Tommy Ferrick’s cheesesteak mecca—the first step in his risky but ever-so-admirable master plan to battle the lumbering titans that are Seamless and other services like it. Continue reading →
It’s a swampass summer Saturday in the city, and everyone else got out of bed at the crack of dawn to make it to Rockaway or the Hamptons, but you ain’t got nowhere to go. You might need to recharge with an exotic staycation at Black Flamingo. If you’ve never cruised by its off-the-main-drag corner in Williamsburg (168 Borinquen Pl.), Black Flamingo is one drink, dinner and disco destination that’s not yet been overexposed via Instagram. The cocktails satiate tropical tastebuds without being too sweet, the Mexican-slanted vegetarian offerings are tasty and hearty, and the Friday and Saturday night basement parties have become something of a dance lover’s dirty underground legend.