eat and drink

Soup Takedown & National Popcorn Day This Weekend

The very famous, Greenpoint-borne food competition, The Takedowns, is back again this weekend at Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave). This month, about 20 home cooks will battle it out over warming pots of soup. Up for grabs are a plethora of prizes from Anolon, Cuisinart, Microplane and Wüsthof, plus, of course, the glory of making the best soup in Brooklyn. It’s all you can eat until the soup’s all done and only $20/person. Yours truly will be on hand to judge with criteria including creativity and replicability. It all goes down this Sunday, from 2pm – 4pm. Get your tickets here.

Nitehawk, Williamsburg’s OG dinner-and-a-movie cinema is celebrating National Popcorn Day this Friday by bringing back The Vince: Popcorn with truffle butter, Sriracha sauce, chipotle, lime, and citric salt. You can also get in on their current Pizza Popcorn made with truffle butter, Parmesan, oregano, and crispy pepperoni while watching Phantom Thread. The next big delicious food holiday on their celebration calendar is Tater Tots Day on Friday, February 2nd. For that, they will be reprising “Tots on Repeat” ($10) where you can flag down your server for a second round of the tots special once you’ve gone through the first. “Wild at Heart” is the night’s midnight special if you need more incentive. Continue reading

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Catch Future Generations at the Next Wild Honey Pie Dinner (1/24)

All images © Jackie Roman

Lately, one of the hottest tickets in Greenpoint is to the series of dinners being hosted by The Wild Honey Pie. The monthly event, which began last year, starts with a three-course dinner before a small set by an up-and-coming artist. The dinner party has been held at several locations around the neighborhood including Archestratus Books + Food on Huron Street. Needing to find a bigger space that can accommodate more guests and equipment, they’ve moved over to Le Fanfare (1103 Manhattan Ave). That’s where this month’s dinner will be held on the 24th with the local band Future Generations.

It also happens to be where last month’s dinner happened when the guest musicians were Wilder Maker. In need of a nice pre-Christmas night out, I checked it out with a neighborhood friend. As with the dinner on the 24th, $40 gets you everything you could need. Continue reading

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Brooklyn Whiskers, Manhattan Ave’s New Vegan Cafe/Bakery

Brooklyn Whiskers Bakery (1008 Manhattan Ave) is a sweet little place chock full of delicious goods with a creative menu, located at the north end of Greenpoint. This cafe/bakery serves up pastries and delectable desserts but also has a good-sized menu with all-day breakfast, sandwiches, bagels, and bites. Plus everything is vegan, with lots of gluten-free options as well. Fear not, however, because you won’t be missing a thing — the food here is fantastic.

This is the second location to recently open with the first one being located in Bushwick. They are also a retail and wholesale bakery in addition to having these shops. The two very friendly owners, Preesa Adeline Bullington and Michael Minahan, are frequently around and easy to chat with. The Greenpoint cafe is small but quite charming with a couple of vintage-looking mismatched chairs, wooden tables, and holiday decor this time of year. It’s also eco-friendly with bamboo products and recycling well-marked. There’s a warm, homey, personalized feel in the cafe and also fun for cat lovers with a little bit of a cat theme in the mix. Continue reading

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Greenpoint Trading Opens North Brooklyn’s First Spice Shop

If you’re a regular shopper at New York City’s specialty grocery shops, pop-up markets (like our very own Greenpointers markets), or back in the day at Smorgasburg, you’ve probably come across Greenpoint Trading Co.’s spices. If you’re like me, you’ve wondered why they didn’t have a small shop in the neighborhood, a place where you could look at their offerings or pop in when you need some emergency za’atar or hawaij. A few months back, owners Kimmee and Evan Hoffman finally found the perfect little space at 65a West Street for a little spice shop of their own.

Greenpoint Trading Co. and its wholesale arm, Brooklyn Spice, have been around since 2011 when they operated out of a space on Box Street. Kimmee and Even are setting out to create simple easy-to-use, healthy spice blends for the home cook. A good amount of the blends are salt-free, with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives. While the entire operation began as a weekend side project, the two Greenpointers eventually gave up their “regular” full-time jobs to focus solely on bringing New Yorkers better spices. Continue reading

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Bellocq, Greenpoint’s Very Own Tea Atelier on West Street

Image: Bellocq

Michael Shannon and Heidi Johannsen Stewart want one thing to be very clear when you step into Bellocq Tea Atelier (104 West St), you’ll be welcomed with open arms and no judgment even if all you’ve ever steeped is a bag of Lipton. Instead, a visit to the atelier is an “opportunity to learn about tea,” according to Michael. The cozy space, originally planned as their showroom, now serves as their only brick-and-mortar shop despite the brand’s growing popularity. Their tea can be found at numerous restaurants around the city, has made Oprah’s Favorite Things list for the second year in a row, and is now featured prominently at Tiffany & Co.’s new Blue Box Cafe. And tomorrow, they’re opening their doors for a little holiday fun and the whole neighborhood is invited to stop by!

All of the growth for Bellocq has definitely been organic. When the shop first opened to the public, located in front of their 9,000 sq ft production space, it was more just a space for buyers to smell and sample their teas. But the gradual regular stream of people stopping in necessitated being open five days a week and bringing in a few more tea-adjacent products. What makes Bellocq’s tea so special is the time and care the team has for their final product. Even with a line of 120 teas, they have been careful to only choose the highest-quality sources and have really formed a community with their producers. They’ve visited the farms, they know the names of their producers and what makes any particular tea special. It’s not strange to pop in and find a casual Japanese tea ceremony being performed by a master, or for a fan to quickly stop by before flying home 12 hours away. Continue reading

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When One Bar Closes, Another Restaurant Opens

During the past year, there have been whispers that a Greenpoint institution would be closing. When Park Luncheonette closed its doors, those of us who’d heard the rumors held our breath, hoping that it wouldn’t be true. But the future of Bar Matchless does not look good. As far as we know, the building is in the process of being sold with the bar’s lease being up at the beginning of the new year. It is possible that they will keep the Bar Matchless dream alive by relocating. We’ve reached out to Bar Matchless for a comment, but have yet to hear back.
12/13 Update: We’ve heard back from Bar Matchless and the rumors are true. The building has been sold.

Further down Manhattan Avenue, Fresh Stop (975 Manhattan Ave) is closing its doors this week, ending another option for fresh produce north of India Street. It’s an “everything must go” situation as the building is being razed.

Over in Williamsburg, we have another closing though this is not as traumatic. Claus Meyer, one of the Scandinavian chefs behind Norman in A/D/O, has closed his Williamsburg bakery, Meyers Bageri. The bakery was located at 667 Driggs Ave, in the former Margot Patisserie space. Meyers Bageri will be available for private events though and Meyer can now focus on his upcoming Williamsburg project with Mads Refslund. Continue reading

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Glasserie Expands with Bar Glory on Franklin Street

All images courtesy of Bar Glory

Franklin Guesthouse’s restaurant space was finally occupied when Bar Glory opened in August under the stewardship of restauranteur Sara Conklin (of Greenpoint’s beloved Glasserie). The restaurant forges its own identity through an inventive and inspired combination of culinary influences. Chef Jeff Kouba’s eclectic menu takes risks in the mashup of flavors and textures with delightful and surprising results. The food is largely influenced by Central Asian and Far Eastern flavors but takes liberties with Uzbek, Thai, and Korean flavors. Its environs can be described as refined rustic-chic decor and cozy ambiance that feels slightly more casual then Glasserie. Continue reading

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Thursday Night Pop-Up Dinner at The Diamond

Images courtesy of El Jefe Nachoria

The New Yorker spilled Greenpoint’s secret recently with its profile on Franklin Street’s The Diamond. The bar is definitely one of the best low-key spots in the neighborhood for good wine, great beer, shuffleboard, slot-car racing, and nibbles. Their eats are usually limited to Dub Pies and charcuterie, the easy stuff you don’t need a kitchen for. To switch things up food-wise, they’d periodically host pop-ups for an afternoon or evening, but nothing regular. Until now. Continue reading

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Grand Street Restaurant Week is Back 2/6-2/12!

If you’re in need of dinner or lunch plans, here’s some news you can use. Grand Street Restaurant Week, a project of the Grand Street Business Improvement District, is happening now until Sunday the 12th. This year, twelve Grand Street restaurants are offering two-course lunch specials for $15 or less, and three-course dinner specials for $30 or less. Notable participants include The Sandwich Shop, The Starlight, and Ryujin Ramen (that’ll be really good during the snowstorm). Menus can be found here.

Another one to check out is Pie Smith, a build-your-own pie and panini shop started by a long-time Brooklyn family. Also, if you Instagram your restaurant week prix-fixe meal with #DineOnGrand and @GrandStreetBID, there’s a chance to win a $25 gift card to your favorite Grand Street spot!

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Where to Cozy Up to a Fireplace This Winter

A roaring fire and some steaks at Achilles Heel  Image: Achilles Heel/Instagram

One way to lift your spirits during the gray days of winter—which have been disgustingly rainy, not beautiful snow-filled wonderlands—is by simply snuggling up to your honey with a nice hot toddy in hand, in front of a fire. And yet, most of us live in apartments where fires are decidedly not encouraged. Those silly building codes. Luckily, some of our favorite neighborhood bars are here for the nights where you have to fill that primordial need to get out of the cold and warm up by the fire.

Achilles Heel (180 West St) – If the staff of Achilles Heel loves one thing, it’s fire. Their fireplace keeps everything toasty through the night, but if you there in the evening, don’t be surprised if it’s being used for actual cooking.

Battery Harris (64 Frost St) – The cold can’t stop the beach vibes outside Battery Harris so they have a big fire pit to help keep you warm. It’s almost like a late summer beach bonfire. Almost.

Black Rabbit (91 Greenpoint Ave) – All the way at the back of the bar is Black Rabbit’s perfect make-out spot: on the bench in front of the fire. It’s preferred by 3 out of 4 couples.

Fire + Stout = Hygge  Image: Brouwerij Lane/Instagram

Brouwerij Lane (78 Greenpoint Ave) – Though your drink options are limited to what Brouwerij Lane’s is carrying beer/cider-wise, the fireplace and friendly company more than make up for the lack of hot toddies.

Greenpoint Beer & Ale (7 N 15th St) – To make up for all the drafty cold seeping through Greenpoint Beer & Ale’s huge glass garage doors is a substantial fireplace. Pro tip: you’ll want to sit at the bar, it can get a bit hot right in front.

Spritzenhaus (33 Nassau Ave)Our very own beer hall has one of the most impressive fireplaces. Open on three sides, you can usually get an adjacent table, but if not, you can also enjoy from a spot at the bar.

Union Pool (484 Union Ave) – The magical backyard of Union Pool is kept warm through the winter by their fire pit, so you won’t catch a chill while waiting for your tacos.

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