It seems that Greenpoint is in the midst of an oyster invasion. The Bounty (131 Greenpoint Ave.) and other places now offer dollar oysters during happy hours. Northern Territory (12 Franklin St.) hosted an Oysterfest about a week ago. And The Brooklyn Barge (3 Milton St.) and Transmitter Pier is home to the Billion Oyster Project in the East River. But actually oysters are nothing new to New York or Greeenpoint. If you want the best history of this tasty mollusk read Mark Kurlansky’s book The Big Oyster. It seems before we polluted our New York waterways there were massive oyster beds. In 1860, 12 million oysters were sold in New York markets; by 1880, our oyster beds were producing a mind boggling 700 million mollusks a year!
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
It’s hard to believe now, but there was a time when New York’s waterways were teeming with oysters. They were not only great for eating but also served a very vital function in our ecosystem: they helped filter the water. Alas, they ended up being too good as food, were overharvested, and any beds that did survive were seriously harmed or killed by the extreme amount of pollution poured into all of our waterways over the past 300 years. But there is an organization trying to bring the oysters back (but no, not for eating): Billion Oyster Project (BOP). BOP serves two purposes; it engages students in STEM education programs while also working to restore our harbor. BOP was actually founded in 2010 as an extension of student projects at the New York Harbor School on Governors Island. Continue reading
Novelist Stephanie Danler’s favorite depiction of food in literature comes from the Seamus Heaney poem “Oysters,” which begins:
Our shells clacked on the plates.
My tongue was a filling estuary,
My palate hung with starlight:
As I tasted the salty Pleiades
Orion dipped his foot into the water.
Danler mentioned the poem in a panel discussion on food in literature titled “Food and Fiction,” one of the events at this year’s Food Book Fair, which was held at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg on May 1st and 2nd.
Danler, who wrote Sweetbitter, was joined on the panel by Jessica Tom, author of the novel Food Whore, and Helen Ellis, whose collection of humorous short stories American Housewife came out earlier this year. Cathy Erway, host of “Eat Your Words” on the Heritage Radio Network and author of The Food of Taiwan and The Art of Eating In, was the moderator.
The sensory richness of the Seamus Heaney poem that Danler cited—“my palate hung with starlight”—set a fitting tone for the Food Book Fair, which felt like a celebration of all that is beautiful in food writing and publishing. Continue reading
Since opening in August, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. (114 Nassau Ave.) has become one of the biggest local success stories of 2014. With a fish market counter at the front, and an eat-in bar at the back, it’s their focus on sustainably sourced, simply prepared seafood that keeps customers coming back for more. I live on the same block as the restaurant and it’s always packed whenever I pass by.
Owners Vinny Milburn and Adam Geringer-Dunn receive a new supply of ocean-fresh seafood each day and the menu changes depending on what they get in. Their collaborative group of talented chefs use simple, delicious ingredients to create dishes where the fish is always the star. There’s no freezer on site, which means that when an ingredient’s out, it’s out. “We’d rather be selling out of fish than wasting what’s leftover” says Vinny whose, family has been in the fish trade in Boston for five generations. As a result of his well-connected heritage, he gets first dibs on the best hauls in the area, meaning that there’s usually something spectacular on ice in the window or at the raw bar. Continue reading
Greenpoint has seen a whole host of new restaurants open over the past year or so. One of the interesting things about this is that we get to witness their growth and development as they evolve to meet local tastes and demands.
The Bounty (131 Greenpoint Ave) is a great example of this. The restaurant opened gently last spring as an evening spot with simple, good food, and has recently extended its offerings to include weekend brunch, a daily oyster happy hour, and a gorgeous outdoor space. Continue reading
Fifth generation fishmonger Vinny Milburn and co-owner/chef Adam Geringer-Dunn have opened the doors to Greenpoint Fish & Lobster (114 Nassau Ave), their much-anticipated raw bar and market offering seasonal, local, and well-sourced seafood in a quaint corner restaurant setting. Milburn and Geringer-Dunn are passionate about ensuring customers know where their catches come from, and that transparency is embodied in everything from the large, street-facing picture window where passersby can see their team at work to maritime maps hanging in the restrooms. It’s a little jewel box of a space and a two-fold great addition to the neighborhood – a reliable, quality seafood market and quite a nice new date night option.
How to Shell a Crab, Butcher a Bunny and Stay Relatively Sober after a Trillion Drinks: 15 Awesome Discoveries From the Greenpoint Grub Crawl
Last Saturday saw swarms of hungry foodies pounding the pavements as the Bon Appétit Grub Crawl landed in Greenpoint. I’m not usually a huge fan of group tours but made an exception for this one because it involved so many amazing local bars and restaurants. And I’m mighty glad I did. The day was phenomenal, with such an incredible array of food and drink that it just went to confirm what most of us already know: Greenpoint is so hot right now!
Here’s what we learned as we did the rounds of the the five fantastic venues taking part: Continue reading
“Do you always look for the longest day of the year and then miss it?” asked The Great Gatsby’s Daisy. Well there’ll be no missing it this year, not if you choose to mark the day by partaking in Bon Appétit’s Greenpoint Grub Crawl which, betwixt the hours of 11.30am-5pm, will take punters on a tour of some of the most exciting foody hotspots in the area.
Tomorrow evening, Brooklyn Brewery will host a fundraiser for Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG), during which staff from restaurants and bars all around North Brooklyn will go head to head in a shucking competition– oyster shucking, that is, along with cocktail crafting, and ladies’ arm wrestling.
NAG, in case you’re unfamiliar, is a local non-profit dedicated to affordable housing, development, and green space, among other noble causes. Continue reading