Losing Jimmy’s Diner on Franklin & Calyer was a hard loss to take. It was definitely one of the underrated neighborhood spots and a great place for a casual meal. Thankfully, Jimmy’s closing wasn’t because of a landlord dispute or rent issues, it was simply time for a new look. Last month, Chez Ma Tante opened its doors and quickly became one of Greenpoint’s new favorite restaurants, as evidenced by the crowded dining room on a recent night.
Chef Aidan O’Neal, formerly of the Manhattan restaurant Café Altro Paradiso, helms the team behind Chez Ma Tante. The name is in homage to a famous hot-dog-and-French-fry spot in Montreal, where Chef Aidan lived before heading to the five boroughs. (He’s originally from Vancouver.) And though you might hear that Chez Ma Tante is a Quebecois or Canadian restaurant, it’s not serving up hearty poutine and the like. If anything, the food at Chez Ma Tante is very American, just slightly refined.Continue reading →
If you’ve exited the Graham Avenue L station recently, a tiny newcomer tucked away next to the corner bodega and behind a knockout set of art deco doors may have caught your eye. Little King (749 Metropolitan Ave.) has been quietly open for the past several weeks, nestled inside an elfin den that actually feels like it’s just the right size. It’s perfectly cozy, and to those nearby should become a favorite neighborhood spot. Given Graham Avenue’s recently changing landscape—late October saw the closure of Oak Wine Bar, soon Daddy’s is shuttering (and we hear Mother’s is not far behind)—in addition to a handful of empty storefronts, the area could use an additional post-work friendly local joint to wind down in and meet up with friends. Or even a good place to meet a Tinder date—Little King’s style is dressed to impress yet worn and approachable, so it fits the first date bill.
Inside Little King—the timeless vintage interior impeccably designed by partner Christina Salway—you’ll find a careful selection of all natural and biodynamic wines, a full bar with classic-sounding yet original cocktails (The John Henry, The War Horse, The Stoddard, among others), and a tight bar food menu. Continue reading →
I sat down at the bar at Cherry Point (664 Manhattan Avenue), trying to forget my post-election blues. I ordered a glass of wine and began to appreciate the decor and soft lighting that makes Cherry Point such a laid back, hip place. Suddenly I was seized by an urge for a cocktail. I asked the bartender Steve Walkiewicz if he had a personal favorite and a smile crossed his face and his eyes gleamed as he told me I had to try his very own creation called “A Sensitive Man.” Walkiewicz quickly went to work pouring the ingredients and then vigorously shaking them. He served it straight up, and the presentation was truly a thing of beauty—chocolate bitters on top of egg whites, looking ever so much like a barrista’s capuccino.
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 →
During the spring, 664 Manhattan Avenue changed hands again. Once the Polish-American restaurant CinaMoon, it transformed into “664 Wine & Dine” for a few months last year, and is now Cherry Point. The restaurant, which opened in May and named after the first published name for Greenpoint, is owned by The Spotted Pig alum Julian Calcott, artist Vincent Mazeau, and beverage director Garret Smith, each one contributing to Cherry Point’s distinct vibe. Wainscotting, exposed brick and an open kitchen create a warm and inviting space for dinner, brunch or after-work drinks. Continue reading →
Toby Buggiani describes his 4-year-old wine bar and restaurant as “a tiny, quirky space” where he gets elbow-deep in pizza dough and fresh vegetables on the daily. It’s a quiet little nook in Greenpoint (159 Greenpoint Avenue) where the things he loves can thrive: inventive art, plant-based cuisine, natural wine, and an ethos rooted in simplicity.
Adelina’s is a fairly young restaurant, but its story began back in the 1980s between the street art scene in Greenwich village and a humble kitchen outside of Tuscany.
“Most of what we do here is rooted in my history and what I believe in. Arthas a lot to do with that, actually,” Buggiani explains. “I was born in Italy, but we moved to New York City in the late 1970s for my father’s work as a painter, sculptor, and performance artist. I pretty much grew up in Greenwich village during the late 80s and early 90s surrounded by a lot of artists and musicians, friends of my parents and so on.” Continue reading →
When conjuring images of legendary bartenders, you might be reminded of Tom Cruise doing the Hippy Hippy Shake in Cocktail. While their scene is more chic and the cocktails are more artfully crafted, the bartenders at The Regal in Williamsburg are having no less fun (and are arguably no less charming) than Tom Cruise’s character in that film.
We stopped by on a Sunday night a few weeks ago to meet and drink with Adam Lipiec, one of The Regal’s star bartenders. Adam’s a native of Poland and had bartended in Europe—in his home country, Ibiza, and London—before coming to New York. Aside from immediately noticing that Adam’s a genuinely friendly tall drink of water, you’ll spot him mixing drinks with incredible flair. He gracefully tosses a napkin and twirls it around to have it touch down delicately on the back of his hand as if it’s a butterfly landing on a flower petal. Drinks get shaken with a vigorous flourish, and shakers flip in the air and get thrown behind his back with the ease of a master juggler. Some of the cocktails require use of a blowtorch; if you’re in a fiery mood, get The Spitfire—sotol, pineapple, lime, jalapeño infused agave, for $10. Continue reading →
In a different Brooklyn neighborhood in an era past, a Mr. Souvlaki restaurant built a loyal following providing Greek staples — the namesake souvlaki along with gyros, falafel and their famous salad dressing. Now, nearly ten years since the original Brooklyn Heights restaurant shut its doors, Mr. Souvlaki returns to Brooklyn (208 Franklin Street) with a new generation working the front of house and providing inspiration behind the grill.
The atmosphere is a mix of mythology meets modern. The décor has a casual modern feel with some Brooklyn elements—a cabin-like vibe with an open kitchen, a beautiful, reclaimed wood bar, wood tables and walls with accents of exposed brick. Cooper mugs hang next to the bar with phrases “living the dream” and “make every day count.” Large glass windows open onto the Franklin Street sidewalk, which we’re told will feature several tables for outdoor dining in the warmer weather.
Led by brothers, Stavros and Peter Skenderis, along with chef Michael Lettas, a Riverpark alum, the food at Mr. Souvlaki “2.0” honors the family’s enduring Greek style—respect for the ingredients, demand for freshness and a focus on spreads, sauces Continue reading →
‘Tis the season for new restaurant openings, and last week Greenpoint had three*. One of the tastiest additions to our burgeoning dining scene is a delightful French Catalonian eatery called Cassette, whose name roughly translates as ‘little box’. Don’t let the name mislead you though, as the space is anything but small. Positioned on the corner of Kent and Franklin streets, the front of the restaurant takes up at least a quarter of the block, which it comfortably shares with Ramona, Kennaland and the former Lulu’s.
Cassette is adjacent to the Kickstarter HQ on Kent, which is somewhat convenient since one of the partners is Kickstarter founder Perry Chen. In creating the new restaurant, Perry teamed up with Henry Rich, owner of Boerum Hill’s popular neighborhood Italian Rucola. Also hailing from Rucola is head chef Joe Pasqualetto whose passion for good, simple food means that Cassette’s veg-focused menu is primed for success from the word go. Continue reading →
There’s been a whole lot of comings and goings amongst Greenpoint’s bars and restaurants recently. Here’s a round-up of a few changes that are on our radar…
Brooklyn Barge Bar (3 Milton Street) – This novelty floating bar has been a long time in the making and it’s looking like they’ll miss the boat with the summer crowd if they don’t get things going soon. Time Out are throwing a ‘first look’ party ($25 for unlimited beer and oysters) on the barge on August 26th, so it’s quite likely that this will be their opening night. Let’s hope they don’t have to cancel like they did with their 4th July celebrations. But, if they do, at least it means that Transmitter Park will stay a haven of tranquillity for a little longer.
Brooklyn Label (180 Franklin Street) – A sign in the window of this popular brunch spot says ‘closed for renovation’, along with a request to renew their sidewalk liquor license. However, it’s just been confirmed by the owners that the business is actually being sold and will be re-opening as something different in due course. Continue reading →