Northside restaurant update: openings, closings and four Michelin stars

le-fond

Le Fond, credit: Urban Daddy

First, the bad news. Free Williamsburg favorite Potlikker has shuttered. Maybe it was the prices — they could be a tad spendy– but we loved the food and vibe. We hope Liza Queen (who previously ran Queen’s Hideaway in Greenpoint) finds a new home. We miss her food already.

The generally well-received Potlikker on Williamsburg’s Southside appears to be closed for good. The phone number for the Bedford Avenue restaurant is disconnected, Open Table is no longer facilitating reservations, the establishment was locked up tight over the weekend, and the reliable neighborhood Thai restaurant Khao Sarn has announced plans to relocate into the space in November.
Liza Queen, a talented chef and restaurateur known for her trailblazing Greenpoint restaurant Queen’s Hideaway, opened Potlikker in 2012 with high hopes and a 14 year lease. The reviews were mostly positive, though some felt the menu was overpriced. (It wasn’t cheap.) Queen has not responded to our email requesting comment about the closure, but this hilariously strange Yelp review suggests Potlikker’s been closed since July.

Le Fond, a so-called “Neo Bistro” (whatever the hell that means) is now open in Greenpoint. You can take a peek at their menu here. Urban Daddy has more pictures and we can’t wait to try it. Greenpointers was impressed:

The menu features good-looking starters such as marinated mussels with white beans, tomato confit and fennel, and rabbit terrine with apple mustard, hazelnuts and toast. Mains include a daube de bouef with red wine glazed vegetables, and hake with sherry caper vinaigrette and black lentils. There’s also a griddled burger with dill relish and French fries if you’re in line for something a little more American.
When I visited at the weekend I tried the skate with carrot browned butter puree, fennel and lemon parsley sauce. It was superb, with the anise flavor of the fennel playing deliciously against the sweet carrot and the slightly salty, perfectly cooked skate wings. I also had a beautifully moist almond cake with poached pears and a salted caramel sauce.

In other news, four Northside restaurants were awarded Michelin stars! [Read more...]

Esme – now open in Greenpoint

Esme, credit: Greenpointers

Esme, credit: Greenpointers
999 Manhattan Avenue

We miss the margaritas and chips at Papacitos which shuttered last year. Thankfully, a new bistro called Esme is now open:

Following months of renovations, Esme opened softly last Tuesday on the former site of Papacitos (999 Manhattan Avenue). The venue has been totally transformed and now offers a bright sunny welcome by day and a cozy low-lit intimacy by night. Long wooden pews accompany individual tables along one side of the restaurant, whilst tables on a raised platform at the front of the space look out onto Manhattan Avenue through two huge picture windows.

The mouth-watering modern American menu is devised by executive chef Paul Myers, whose impressive career includes time under Wylie Dufresne at wd~50 and a James Beard nomination for his Montana restaurant 515. In creating the dishes, Myers collaborated with Adam Volk of Williamsburg’s Gwynnett Street (now Lachlan), who will run the kitchen on a daily basis.

Here’s the menu, via Bedford and Bowery: [Read more...]

White Castle, Lokal and Sel De Mer close, Maison Premiere to expand

maison

It’s not much of a shock — it’s been listed on Trulia for months — but Graham Avenue’s popular fish shack Sel De Mer closed last week. It will be missed.

Just around the corner another “restaurant,” White Castle closed too. We’d be happy to see it go if it weren’t being replaced by more bullshit condos.

The terribly mediocre Lokal shut down too. In it’s place, Greenpointers will soon have an Maison Premier outpost, which is NOT a bad trade-off:

The many, many fans of Maison Premiere’s oysters and absinthe will be excited to learn that owners Joshua Boissy and Krystof Zizka are opening a new restaurant in 2015, at 905 Lorimer Street in Williamsburg. Details are scarce, but considering the success of their first project, this is a big deal. [Read more...]

Bar/restaurant finally opens at Bushwick’s Flushing and Forrest triangle

forrestpoint

[photo via Facebook]

Haven’t you all always wondered what the hell that mysterious triangle-shaped plot of land was on Flushing Avenue across the street from Life Cafe 983? It always seemed to me that it’d make a sweet spot for a bar and/or restaurant. Well, I guess I wasn’t alone; Forrest Point opened its doors a few weeks ago at 970 Flushing Ave:

Darin Rubell of East Village spots Boulton & Watt and Ella has long admired the triangular plot across the street from his other place, 983 — Bushwick’s Living Room. “It’s the most unique, special space in Bushwick, in my eyes,” he told us. The onetime Flushing Farms property has sat conspicuously fallow for the past five years but still boasts grape vines, rose bushes, and apricot trees from when an artist tended a garden there.

Now Rubell and his partners in 983, David Rotter and Mark Trzupek, are poised to revive it as what Rubell says will be “a neighborhood bar and restaurant in this little oasis in Bushwick.”

On the bar side, Dustin Olson of Ward III has created a cocktail list that includes milk punches served by the glass or in a fishbowl. And on the restaurant tip, Rotter has contributed an “eclectic” 12-item menu that’s dotted with Mediterranean and other international touches. (See both below.)

Obviously, the place’s allure is its 70 outdoor seats, but the airy interior (which holds another 60 seats) is appealing as well: hanging lightbulbs are dramatically enclosed in gigantic birdcages and the walls are splashed with art by Ben Angotti, who also painted the building’s exterior.

All of that — plus a square bar that lends itself to mingling — should make for vibey evenings and late nights. For daybirds (and for the hungover who don’t mind returning to the scene of the crime), there’ll be lunch as well as a takeout window serving coffee, breakfast and pastries starting around 8 a.m. [Bedford and Bowery]

I checked out the bar the other night for a few pumpkin ales (where did summer go?) and a quick bite. They’ve done a remarkable job with the space. Good stuff. The burger was cooked perfectly and was reasonably portioned (and only $7.) The waffle-fries were well-seasoned and enough to share. I can’t wait to go back for the tuna tartar tacos. All in all, a very welcome addition to a hood in dire need of decent late-night eats.

Check out the menu here.

Taste Talks All-Star BBQ = food coma

Chefs at the All-Star BBQ, courtesy of Taste Talks

Chefs at the All-Star BBQ, courtesy of Taste Talks

This past weekend cult-status chefs descended upon North Williamsburg, taking over the Wythe Hotel, Kinfolk Studios, Colossal Media and the East River Park for Taste Talks Brooklyn.

Saturday, I was lucky enough to grab a seat at Mario Batali’s panel on “What is Buzz?” with Christine Muhlke, Executive Editor of Bon Appétit; Kate Krader, Restaurant Editor at Food & Wine magazine; Ken Friedman, Co-owner of several restaurants, including theThe Spotted Pig; and Craig Kanarick, CEO of Mouth.com. All of the panelists have years of curating and influencing tastes. [Read more...]

10,000-square-foot MP Taverna coming soon to Williamsburg

mt01

Michael Psilakis credit: Joe Hume

The opening date is still TBD, but celebrity chef Michael Psilakis will open his latest version of MP Taverna at 470 Driggs Avenue. We sure miss the days when the closest thing we had to a celebrity chef was Andrew Tarlow.

Often referred to as the “Godfather of Greek Cuisine,” [Michael Psilakis] made his name at upscale restaurants like Onera and Dona; he’s received James Beard Award nominations, as well as Chef of the Year distinctions from Bon Appétit and Esquire; he’s published a top-selling cookbook, and has banked enough television appearances (BBC America’s No Kitchen Required, Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate) to cement his status as a bona fide celebrity. [Read more...]

No. 7 Sub set to reopen on Wednesday as a bar

sub

931 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 389-7775
no7north.com

 

We already love the food. Now we’ll be able to get boozy there too. They’re set to reopen this Wednesday.

The place is a mashup of the sub shop and the team’s Fort Greene restaurant No. 7, explains co-owner Tyler Kord. “We’re just trying to do a nice neighborhood bar where you can come and have broccoli tacos and a bunch of simple cocktails and feel really good about everything that’s going on in your life.” Read on for the full menu, which still has some subs, but also a whole lot more.

In addition to those double decker broccoli tacos, the menu includes a grilled Caesar salad, steak frites, and some tricked out “altered beast fries” topped with pickled peppers, mozzarella, feta, and roasted tomato mayo. A list of sandwiches ranges from No. 7 Sub classics like the zucchini parm (with fontina and barbecue potato chips) to a cheeseburger topped with muchim pickles and grape jelly mayo. The drinks menu offers borough-themed cocktails and some updated classics, along with three boozy desserts drinks like a root beer float made with Bailey’s and vodka. Plus, Kord adds, “we have a sweet pool table.” The shop will be open starting at 11.a.m. Wednesdays through Mondays.

Here’s the menu: [Read more...]

LOVEGUN – Williamsburg’s newest gay club opens tonight

lovegun
LOVEGUN opens tonight at 617 Grand Street

We already love Metropolitan and This & That and tonight, the Coop’s boyfriend Benjamin Maisani is opening Lovegun on Grand Street.

From the owners of Eastern Bloc, Bedlam and Atlas Social Club comes LOVEGUN, a brand new gay bar slated to open on Grand Street next week, September 12. With two main floors, a sunken lounge area and two full service bars, LOVEGUN is clearly set to carve its place out in the Brooklyn queer scene.

LOVEGUN will open with a bang, with NYC promoter Frankie Sharp kicking off his new party “GIRLS” on the first night of business.

Maisani says LOVEGUN is “Studio 54 meets Cruising

At Eastern Bloc, Maisani and Dryden noticed that many of their customers were making the trek across the East River to party, so they decided it was time to bring the party to Billyburg. “We thought we could do something cool out here,” Dryden says.

“Even though Brooklyn has exploded in the last few years, there’s not as much being offered for the community here, as opposed to somewhere like Hell’s Kitchen, where you have 19 bars in a very small radius,” says Raimondi on a hot late-summer afternoon over the sounds of construction going on inside the bar. “That was definitely one of the things motivating us to make the move.” [Read more...]