norman

The Best Greenpoint Restaurants When You’ve Got Kids

Lifestyle changes happen when children enter the picture and “family time” becomes the new thing. As far as dining out goes, parents need to either get a babysitter for the occasion or find some haunts that are child-friendly. Most of us that live in Greenpoint (and New York City in general) can’t quite get enough of the cuisine this city has to offer, so it’s good to be in the know about places to take the kiddos.

Babies under 6 months or so usually are very portable and can easily slide into a booth with you in a cozy carrier or right next to parents snoozing away in a stroller. But once your kids are a little bit older, the dining challenges begin to present themselves.

This list isn’t for entertaining children (i.e. kid-themed or places with kid menus, etc) as most of those restaurants are in Manhattan and also have a specific vibe. It’s for when you need a restaurant you’d like to go to with little ones in tow and not worry about whether or not everyone will be welcome. Continue reading

Category: Eat & Drink, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Stroll Down Historic Norman Avenue

Danish restaurateur Claus Meyer and Swedish chef, Fredrick Berselius. Photo by John Taggart for The New York Times

Things have changed a lot over the years on Norman Avenue, but Scandinavian influence remains. It is highly ironic that two Scandinavian cutting edge entrepreneurs have just opened their modern, ultra trendy, design center-restaurant Norman (29 Norman Ave) on a street named for the first Greenpointer, fellow Scandinavian, Dirck Volckertszen, the Norwegian immigrant who built the area’s first house nearby in 1645, more than three hundred and fifty years ago. Recently opened by Danish restaurateur Claus Meyer and Swedish chef, Fredrick Berselius, Norman is another chapter in Greenpoint’s long Nordic heritage. Volckertszen is too hard a name to pronounce, so the Dutch called him Dirck the Norseman, Dutch for Norwegian, which got shortened to Norman, hence the name of the street.

Norman Avenue was not always called by its present name. It was once Third Street and then Union Street. Volckert Dircksen, the oldest son of Dirck Volckertszen, built his house near Bushwick Creek on Norman Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and Lorimer Street about 1700. The house is long gone, but near where it once stood is one of the prettiest houses in Greenpoint, 61 Norman Avenue, a cute wood- frame house set off the street with a gorgeous garden in its front yard. Before the street was created Norman Avenue was part of the beautiful Meserole Orchard, and the trees remind me of the ancient orchard. Continue reading

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For An Ever-Changing Menu From a Noma Vet, Head To Knightshift at Meyers Bageri

Knightshift, inside Meyers Bageri

Bike-lane infrastructure notwithstanding (because…c’mon, NYC. You’ve still got a LONG way to go), North Brooklyn and Copenhagen aren’t so different these days. Both areas feature a beyond-solid outerwear game, both combine the charms of a tight-knit neighborhood with the benefits of urban living…and both North Brooklyn and Copenhagen are key destinations for prestige Nordic cuisine.

We’ve got Aska (47 S 5th St), the austere and ambitious tasting-menu spot from Fredrik Berselius (a veteran of Noma, the Copenhagen spot that’s a permanent fixture on ‘best restaurant’ lists all over the world). We’ve got Norman (29 Norman Ave), a collaborative effort from Berselius and Claus Meyer, the co-founder of Noma and the chef/proprietor of the Great Northern Food Hall and Agern in Grand Central Station. And, of course, Mr. Meyers also helms Meyers Bageri (667 Driggs Ave) in South Williamsburg, where outstanding Danish rye loaves and insanely-delicious cinnamon twists can always be found.

But that’s not all you’ll get at Meyers Bageri. From now through the end of the year, Meyers is hosting an evening pop-up called Knightshift, which features a menu from Mads Refslund, formerly of Acme in NoHo and an alum of (you guessed it) Noma. Refslund’s gearing up to open his own Williamsburg restaurant in 2018 (with the badass, ‘Game of Thrones’-esque name ‘Fire And Ice’), and he’s using Knightshift as a test lab for recipes, techniques, and presentations. Continue reading

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The Great Greenpoint Dive Crawl 2014

Fancy bars and restaurants with all sorts of sexy food and drink (Tørst, Beloved, Nights and Weekends) are all over Greenpoint these days, but let’s face it – sometimes you just want get hammered on a budget, pay homage to the neighborhood’s longtime establishments, or just check out something different and new (or old). Greenpoint definitely has no shortage of dive bars, but where to begin?

This weekend I hung out in some of these dives (a.k.a. “old man” bars) in the neighborhood and got to know them and their clientele a little better. I scoped out the drink specials, watched Jeopardy with the regulars, and relaxed in some sweet backyards. And now I present to you, along with my little rating system, some of the neighborhood’s best kept secrets:

Irene’s Pub (623 Manhattan Ave)

Irene's Pub

Despite being so centrally located, Irene’s is somewhat of a mystery. Perhaps most Greenpointers are unfamiliar with the bar’s philosophy:”it’s happy hour all the time,” which I verified as TRUTH. Irene’s prices are actually equivalent to happy hour deals, all the time – we’re talking $2 drafts and dirt-cheap mixed drinks. I repeat: all day and night long. Continue reading

Category: Community, Culture, Eat & Drink | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments