General Greene only opened last June, and already it’s won a major award from the epicureans at Time Out NY. As part of the unfortunately-named Eat Out Awards, General Greene was given props for being the “Best new neighborhood joint in Brooklyn.” We won’t argue with that: We’ve had two great experiences there and one slightly disappointing one, though some blame lies with us on that last one for not ordering more indulgently. But it’s not like the restaurant even really needs TONY’s attention: When we passed by Saturday in the middle of the day, the brunch line was spilling out onto the street. Other nominees in the category included Char No. 4, Five Leaves, Walter Foods.
Best New Neighborhood Joint in Brooklyn [TONY] GMAP
Spuyten Duyvil‘s Big Backyard
359 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg; (718) 963-4140
“Beer nerds, rejoice! The Williamsburg beer Mecca known as Spuyten Duyvil recently unveiled a patio roughly double its original size. The bar took over the backyard of the adjacent building and revealed it as part of their own back garden Wednesday of last week,” reports The Feedbag.
New Carroll Gardens Spot Blames the SLA
387 Court Street (at 1st Place), Carroll Gardens
Calpurnia, the new restaurant set to open in the old Hole in the Wall Video space on Court, has posted a sign that reads, “As you can see, the delay in obtaining our liquor license was not our fault.” Beside this message is a newspaper article about corruption in the State Liquor Authority. (Eater has posted a photo of the signage.) While we don’t recommend dissing the SLA, we’re into Calpurnia’s spunk. Any idea what kind of restaurant this will be? Tomorrow is opening night, and they’ll pour a free glass of wine for anyone who stops by.
Plus: Motorino in Williamsburg just got its liquor license, says Grub Street.
Spring Opening Report
Eater spots a Craigslist posting about available jobs at Fort Defiance in Red Hook, which will “open in May, serving coffee and lunch. Later, we’ll open for cocktails and light food at night. Staff will be trained by Counter Culture Coffee to make great espresso and coffee, and by Fort Defiance owner/food-and-drink writer St. John Frizell to mix drinks.” Eater also reports that Calexico‘s Union Street storefront “should be up and running in three weeks.” And Ditmas Park Blog says that Vox Pop is preparing to reopen.
After the jump: A human petting zoo at Brouwerij Lane, a fall in sales for Brooklyn Oenology, and food news from Park Slope, Crown Heights, and Adan Richman… (more…)
“This latest, most delicious chapter in Williamsburg’s history began in the early 1990s, as artists in search of large, cheap loft spaces near Manhattan continued to colonize the neighborhood’s abandoned industrial spaces. Two friends, Mark Firth and Andrew Tarlow, bought a rundown 1920s diner just down the street from Peter Luger and, in 1998, installed a neighborhood bistro. In a burst of imagination, they named it Diner. “I don’t think we had any grand vision of changing the neighborhood,” says Tarlow, who then lived in a 6,000-square-foot loft for which he paid less than $2,000 per month. (Just before the current recession hit, local real estate had been selling for $1,000 per square foot.) “You could stand outside the restaurant in those days and not see a single person walk by. But we fed the neighborhoodâ€”all these people like us who lived in lofts without kitchens.””
â€” “A Scene Grows in Brooklyn,” Bon Appetit, May 2009, Photo by roboppy
A new restaurant called Watty & Meg is scheduled to open at 248 Court Street at Kane later this month. Gothamist, which reports that the space (formerly occupied by Caffe Carciofo) will have 60 seats and feature an open kitchen, speculates that the food will be Scottish. Anyone heard anything more about it? GMAP
We’ve been highlighting a Restaurant of the Day every weekday since last summer, and we’ve really appreciated all the reviews you’ve shared. Now, we’re nearing our 200th write-up, but we’ve still got a ton of places to cover. If you’ve got a favorite Brooklyn restaurant that we haven’t mentioned yet, please let us know in the comments. (Little neighborhood spots and holes-in-the-wall are welcome — we’d like to cover all of the borough’s quality mom-and-pop shops that citywide publications may have overlooked.)
Photo by sugarcoma
Photo by Tejal Rao for Gothamist
Coming Soon: Umi Nom
We’re so excited that Kuma Inn, a great Filipino, Thai, and Southeast Asian small plates spot on the Lower East Side, is opening a sister restaurant at 433 DeKalb Avenue, on the border of Clinton Hill and Bed Stuy. Gothamist shares a first look at Umi Nom, which is scheduled to open on May 1, and reports that Chef/owner King Phojanakong “recently received some special sake pouring equipment to install at what will become a wood paneled bar where twenty sakes by the glass will be available.”
Return of the Red Hook Vendors!
Serious Eats says that the vendors will be returning to the Red Hook Ball Fields on Saturday, May 2. Cesar Fueuntes, executive director of the Red Hook food vendors committee, also told them that “We are close on signing up to be a part of an amazing festival in a very popular and historic Brooklyn location that will soon promise to be one of the most talked about events in NYC. Most of our vendors are planning to be a part of this festival and will be there weekends throughout the entire season. As soon as we secure our participation, we will make it official.” Any idea what he’s talking about?
Bahn Mi Bonanza
Today’s New York Times surveys the best bahn mi joints in the city, paying visits to Williamsburg’s Nha Toi and Silent H, as well as Sunset Park’s Thanh Da I and II and Ba Xuyen, a favorite in the Brownstoner restaurant files. Plus, Chow points out that you can also get your Vietnamese sandwich fix at Williamsburg’s “Mediterranean-accented” Simple Cafe (346 Bedford Avenue at S. Third Street), which “is temporarily rechristened Bep, or ‘kitchen’ in Vietnamese” every Monday — “when the cafÃ© crew takes a break, a Vietnamese-Parisian cook settles in.”
After the jump: Brooklyn cleans up at TONY’s Eat Out Awards, the best Sichuan in the city, and a first look at Williamsburg’s Rye… (more…)
Now Open: Unauthorized Obama Eatery
“In an apparent bid to stand out in the crowded fast food market, a Brooklyn business has rechristened itself ‘Obama Fried Chicken.’ Previously known as Royal Fried Chicken, the eatery, located at Rockaway Parkway and Rutland Road in Brownsville, unveiled its revamped name last Thursday afternoon when the business’s new awning was installed,” says the Smoking Gun. We can only wonder if this fried chicken joint will meet the same fate as Sixpoint’s Hop Obama beer.
Ditmas Park: Home of the City’s Best Hummus
1209 Cortelyou Road (Westminster Road), Ditmas Park; (718) 284-4444
The New York Times reports on the Israeli hummus parlors popping up around the city and says, “The newest of these hummusiot also happens to be the best. Mimi’s Hummus opened in February on Cortelyou Road, the Restaurant Row of Ditmas Park.” At this 8-table spot, owner Mimi Kitani — an Israeli with Moroccan-Kurdish parents — draws culinary influences from each culture and serves 5 types of hummus priced from $8 to $9.
Bloggers across Brooklyn are buzzing about two newcomer pizzerias set to open this week — Ignazio’s (4 Water Street, Dumbo; 718-522-2100) and Anselmo’s (354 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook; 718-775-5386). Time Out New York says that Ignazio’s “menu is mostly devoted to thin-crust and Sicilian pies. Special versions include toppings such as lobster or seasonal greens, like baby dandelion and chicory.” And Slice shares the story behind Anselmo’s: “[Jack] Stella, one of the joint’s three partners, runs a chemical business down the street. He and his colleagues in that business originally bought the building that would house Anselmo’s as a sort of clubhouse where they could take smoke breaks. While gutting it, he discovered the coal oven, and realizing he had the proverbial diamond in the rough, made plans to turn it into a pizzeria. Their loss of a smokers’ lounge is our gain as coal-oven aficionados.”
Photo by Here is Park Slope
A Big Change for Bierkraft
191 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope
While shopping at Bierkraft, Here is Park Slope “noticed that a couple rustic-looking picnic tables now occupy the front section, formerly home to the checkout area… Bierkraft has applied for an on-premises liquor license.” If and when it goes through, they’ll be offering sample sips and possibly pints — plus you’ll be able to enjoy their sandwiches, piled charcuterie and cheeses, in-house.
This Week’s Openings
The Brooklyn Standard Deli, a “bodega with a conscience… with a focus on local and sustainable organic goods,” is coming to 188 Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint, and NhÃ TÃ´i, a banh mi and Vietnamese summer roll shop that will serve dim sum on the weekends is coming to 160 Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, says Time Out New York. And at Vutera, “Molly Del Monte, who was a sous-chef at Little Giant,” is serving up “a Mediterranean menu with dishes like wedding soup with meatballs, and scallops with farro risotto” at 345 Grand Street in Williamsburg, reports the New York Times. Plus, in case you missed yesterday’s Busy Chef thread, Brooklyn Heights Blog says that Melissa Murphy of Sweet Melissa is looking to take over this Brooklyn Heights storefront and the adjacent Blue Pig space.
The Top 5 Brooklyn Dishes
In a fun messageboard thread, Chowhounds are listing their favorite dishes in the borough. There’s wide range of recommendations, from “the slow-rendered duck breast at The Grocery” to “Chicken Soup with Heavily Buttered White Toast at 7th Avenue Donuts (followed by a Boston Creme and Coffee).” What are your top 5?
After the jump: A new-ish South Slope spot gets a rave review, Old Brooklyn meets New Brooklyn at Bar Matchless, breakfast at Prime Meats, Tini makes a move, and the Times visits Vinegar Hill House… (more…)
The State Liquor Authority will be coming down to Brooklyn next week to try to rein in a wide-spread problem that’s particularly out of control in our fair boroughâ€”unauthorized BYOB policies at restaurants (particularly ones that have just opened and are waiting for their liquor licenses). We would look negatively at that, said the SLA Commissioner. While complaints will come in through the SLA, it’s the local police precincts that end up having to do the enforcement.
Closing Temporarily: Lobo
218 Court Street, Cobble Hill; (718) 858-7739
Grub Street reports that Lobo “is closing its Cobble Hill location for a month beginning March 23. The official reason given is ‘renovations,’ but you have to worry whether restaurants that take an extended break during this economy will actually reopen. There’s still plenty of people choking Lobo’s tiny hallway at night, so we’re hopeful.”
Many Openings This Week
Besides Zuzu Ramen in Park Slope, this week will also see the openings of Deniz (a Turkish restaurant at Fulton Street and South Elliott Place in Fort Greene), Anselmo’s Coal-Fired Brick Oven Pizzeria (on Van Brunt and Sullivan in Red Hook), and Lucky Shot Espresso (at 145 Driggs in Greenpoint), says Time Out New York. And according to New York Magazine, the Frankies are opening Cafe Peddlar, a “Viennese-style cafe” at 210 Court Street (near Warren Street, in the old Magaret Palca Bakes space), today.
Coming Soon: Purple Yam, Brooklyn Bowl, and Cherry Hill
Last month, we mentioned that the owners of Soho’s Filipino spot Cendrillon were preparing to open Purple Yam on Cortelyou in April. Now, Ditmas Park Blog says that Cendrillon has closed, but the new spot’s opening date still stands: “The concept of the new Purple Yam is to re-create a kitchen-centered home harking back to the Asian values of hospitality and generosity.” Plus, Down by the Hipster reports that Brooklyn Bowl is gearing up for a May 1st opening, and Gothamist says that the old Lundy’s space in Sheepshead Bay will soon be home to a “19,000 square foot gourmet market called Cherry Hill.”
After the jump: Hanco’s drops prices in Park Slope, Chef CÃ©sar Ramirez at a lunch counter in Downtown Brooklyn, and the O’Connor’s vs. Freddy’s rivalry… (more…)
Photo by Brewing the Perfect Beer
Sixpoint and Frankies to Partner Up?
Eater shares an “unsubstantiated and somewhat far fetched rumor” that “the Franks (of the Frankies Spuntinos and Prime Meats) are working in conjunction with Shane Welch of Sixpoint Craft Ales to open a cafe on Court Street and (yes and) a Frankies beer garden in the vicinity ofâ€”or perhaps even inâ€”the current space of the Sixpoint Brewery.” Eater also notes that neither Welch nor anyone at Frankies will confirm this rumor, “but it’s something to watch out for. ”
A Closer Look at Glass Shop
Last week, we reported on the new Crown Heights coffee house, Glass Shop. According to Grub Street, they’re open and serving “Australian-style espressos ($2.50) and lattes ($3 for 8 oz.). No drip for now, but there’s also a selection of PG Tips teas and simple sandwiches (ham and egg, sardine) as well as egg specials in the morning… and in warmer weather there’ll be a 600-square-foot garden in the back.” Has anybody been in yet?
Where to Wet Your Whistle
The bar at Prime Meats is officially open, and Time Out New York posted their “wallet-friendly” cocktail menu — but TONY also reviews the well-crafted cocktails at the less-hyped Jack the Horse Tavern in Brooklyn Heights: “the Robbie Robbie, a cockle-warming spin on the Scotch-based Rob Roy, which enlists Luxardo’s cinnamon-flavored bitter, Amaro Abano, to spicy effect. The Dos Amentes (tequila, mescal, Cherry Heering, dry vermouth, lime juice and cognac-almond syrup) is a rich tequila drink that allows the spirit’s aromatic, vegetal character to shine through.”
After the jump: Eating out in Clinton Hill, CSA news, beloved butcher closes up shop in Coney Island, Dom DeMarco hits up the Pizza Hall of Fame, and the Brooklyn Inn adds more seating… (more…)
Gerritsen Beach got the opportunity to take a tour inside of the landmark Lundy’s building, which is now being occupied by Cherry Hill Gourmet Market. You can check out the photo gallery of the tour here. Or you can see the place for yourself by attending the Sheepshead Bay Civic Association Meeting tonight.
When we first started gathering user generated restaurant reviews last summer, we weren’t too concerned about what the Restaurants section of the site looked like, since we knew it would be a while before we had the critical mass of reviews to make it useful as a stand-alone entity (as opposed to daily content on the home page of Brownstoner). But now we’ve got more than 150 reviews in the system, it’s time to start making it a truly useful resource for Brooklynites (and the people who want to eat here). In broad strokes, we want the Restaurants section to be more utilitarian and search driven and look less blog-like than it does now. But beyond that, we’re all ears. We’re also curious to know whether readers think there would be demand for some kind of print guide based on readers’ comments and ratings once we reach, say, 250 or 300 reviews. Fire away.
Brooklyn’s Three Million Dollar Dive
38-44 Washington Ave. (Alternate address: 200 Flushing Ave.)
“One of the city’s truly gritty watering holes, the Navy Yard Cocktail Lounge, may not have long for this world. Per a Douglas Elliman listing, the bar’s building (along with three others) is for sale for $3 million… If you plan to pay your first and last respects to J.J.’s, as it’s sometimes called, know that even professional degenerates who’ve ignored the ‘MEMBERS ONLY’ sign on the establishment’s front door have ended up fleeing (if only at having to pay the impromptu lap dancers).” [Grub Street]
Harding and Mamary Heading to Soho?
“According to a posting on a French Culinary Institute’s job board, Alan Harding and Jim Mamary are planning a new Patois in Soho and a restaurant and charcuterie shop in Brooklyn. It had been reported after the shutter that Patois would be moving across the street to 254 Smith St., so chances are that is the future home to the meat shop.” [Eater]
524 Court Street (at Huntington Street), Carroll Gardens
“Excellent Court Street newcomer, Buttermilk Channel has just launched brunch. It’s been proven that chef Ryan Angulo does wondrous things with pecans, so we’re looking forward to the pecan-pie French toast (says admittedly biased owner Doug Crowell, it’s ‘pretty insane’).” [Time Out New York]
After the jump: News from Vinegar Hill House, Draft Barn, Lunetta, NoNo Kitchen, Marlow & Daughters, Bar Great Harry, and South Brooklyn Pizza… (more…)
Brooklyn Restaurants Reviewed This Week
Gothamist‘s Danielle Sucher hits up Park Slope’s Bussaco and describes their maple creme caramel, pictured above: “It’s like eating the extremely delicious bastard child of a perfect pot de creme and a soft caramel candy.” Plus, the new Carroll Gardens spot Buttermilk Channel gets a whopping 5 out of 6 stars from Time Out New York. And Chowhound binkis calls Vinegar Hill House “a fantastic neighborhood place, similar to Noodle Pudding in quality.”
Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You
Chowhound squid kun got in touch with the Calexico guys via email and learned that their new restaurant in the old Shnack space is set to open in “about a month.” And an Eater tipster says: “Was walking down 4th avenue in park slope last night, and the plywood is down at the ramen shop from the Sheep Station people and they were having what looked like a friends and family dinner.” Plus, The Stong Buzz says that Red Hook’s beloved sandwich shop Defonte’s “is set to open a branch of their hero heaven in Manhattan at 261 Third Avenue @21st street, 212-614-1500.”
Closings: Patois, Bay Ridge Chip Shop, and Jill’s
“Alan Harding just called to say that Patois, the pioneer restaurant on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, that he opened in 1997 will close on Sunday. Brunch and dinner will be the last service,” reports Florence Fabricant for the New York Times. Plus, Eater reports that the Bay Ridge branch of Chip Shop was shuttered on New Year’s Eve, and Brunch Anytime says that Jill’s, the health food joint at 231 Court Street, closed on December 29.
Openings: Three New Bars
The East Village bar D.B.A. has opened a second location at 113 North 7th Street between Berry and Wythe streets, says Grub Street — and they’ve got 16 beers on tap, 3 hand-pulled real ales, and “artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, and other things that go well with beer.” Cornelius, a new cocktails-and-small-plates spot is set to open at 565 Vanderbilt Avenue at Pacific Street in Prospect Heights this Monday, January 12, Eater reports. And Brunch Anytime heard a rumor that “the owners of Bar Great Harry have put in papers to secure the spot across from the old Trout on Smith Street (which use to be an optometrist) for a new bar.”
After the jump: Roots Cafe, Five Leaves, Buttermilk Channel, Kelso of Brooklyn, and Morton’s vs. Peter Luger… (more…)
Pho Returns to Nicky’s Menu
311 Atlantic Ave. (btwn Smith & Hoyt), Boerum Hill; 718-855-8838
A Brooklyn Life snapped this picture of the pho at Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches — and claims that this satisfying soup is well-worth a long walk on a blustery day.
Now Open: Alta Voce
318 Fifth Ave between 2nd and 3rd Sts, Park Slope; (718-369-4899)
“Ten years to the day since opening the intimate Italian restaurant Sotto Voce (‘whispered’), the owners introduce the larger Alta Voce (‘loud voice’), with a multiregional menu.” [TONY]
Recently Reviewed: Eurotrip
667 Fifth Avenue (20th Street), South Slope; (718) 285-9425
“[The] kitchen serves Mittel-European comfort food in what might be called recession-era portions. Take the fried cheese ($10), a paperback-size slab of breaded Edam on a pile of crispy roasted potatoes. A gooey, crunchy, sizable mess, it gets surprising shades of flavor from the a tangy tartar sauce and pile of lingonberry jelly.” [NY Times]
After the jump: Caracas Arepas come to Brooklyn (!!!), a sausage shop gets ready for Red Hook, Ruby’s faces lease issues, and Gowanus is getting a new club… (more…)
An OrtÃn is “a small garden plot next to a farmhouse where farm workers grew food for themselves,” say the folks at Ortine, who plan to open their 35-seat localvore eatery at 622 Washington Avenue between Pacific and Dean tomorrow. It will be a cafe by day, with free wi-fi and granola or Belgian waffles available all day long. After noon, lunch fare includes seasonal greens with homemade creamy garlic or lemon dressing; marinated portobello mushroom and goat cheese sandwich; or sweet Italian sausage. Dinner: roasted Cornish game hen; mushroom lasagna; or braised short ribs. Perhaps this will be a boost to buyers checking out the glut of Washington Avenue condos nearby? GMAP
Photo by Set Speed Condo.
Earlier this year, Marco Polo, a Carroll Gardens Italian restaurant from “way back in the day” (how long has it been there?) opened a new take-out shop. But the big news there now has nothing to do with brick oven pizza or linguine. The owner, Joseph Chirico, reputed to be a soldier in the Gambino crime family, has been convicted of money laundering for the mob, but his sentence is surprisingly light: six month’s house arrest, with 10 hours a day allowed at his restaurant, writes the NY Daily News. The reason for the short, sweet sentence: friends in high places. The Beeps, current (Markowitz) and former (Golden) sent “glowing letters” of reference for Chirico. The judge said he was swayed by Chirico’s character. Maybe the linguine’s not bad, either.
Mob-tied Brooklyn Restaurateur Avoids Jail [NY Daily News]
Photo by indiamos.