New Bushwick restaurant Okiway dishes out savory Japanese pancakes

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1006 Flushing Avenue (Morgan Avenue)
Bushwick, Brooklyn
718-417-1091
okiwaynyc.com

Recently opened in Bushwick, Okiway is a new restaurant serving up Japanese okonomiyaki :

Pronounced OH-KOH-NO-ME-YAK-I, okonomiyaki is a savory grilled pancake that translates literally to “grilled as you like it”. Though the earliest records of Japanese pancakes date back to the 17th century, okonomiyaki is attributed to the World War 2 era, where this creative and inventive dish sprung from a rice shortage. Today there are many variations of Okonomiyaki, but we focus on the Osaka (our traditional) and Hiroshima (includes yaki-soba noodles) styles. We want you to enjoy your okonomiyaki ‘as you like it’ (with lots of kewpie mayonnaise). [Read more...]

Bill Baker’s craft beer gastropub now open in Williamsburg

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Bill Baker’s (credit: DNA)
364 Grand St. (at Marcy Street)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
718-734-8890
BillBakers.com

A new gastropub with a great craft beer menu just opened on Grand Street.  Bill Baker’s menu features lots of small plates including deviled eggs, duck pierogis, creole shrimp and grits, steamed clams, mac & cheese, squash blossoms, and something called bacon puffs (bacon brioche and mushroom cream). For dinner, they have the obligatory burger, a roasted duck, and chili cheese dog. But, we’re primarily excited about the beer menu. They have twenty drafts including four they make themselves. Sure, they have the most hipstery website we’ve seen in years, but we’ll cut them some slack. This is Williamsburg after all. From Epoch Taste:

Named after one of the owners’ grandfather, a banker and sportsman with a reputation for being forthright, Bill Baker is a new restaurant and bar in Williamsburg that takes a page right out of his occupation and time. An antique banker’s clock and glass teller’s counter complement the marble bar top and brick walls, which date back to 1887. [Read more...]

Restaurant openings: Kings County Imperial, Freehold, & The Federal Bar

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Kings County Imperial
20 Skillman Avenue, Williamsburg; 718-610-2000
kingscoimperial.com
Credit: Gothamist

It’s the summer, so as always there are lots of restaurants opening in Williamsburg and North Brooklyn. We hear that Brooklyn Barge Bar will FINALLY open the weekend of July 24 in Greenpoint. Until then, there are a few other new places to try including Kings County Imperial – an inventive Chinese restaurant with soy sauce on tap:

Kings County Imperial has a ramshackle charm, and on any given night you might find yourself seated in a rickety metal chair seemingly salvaged from some 1970s classroom; or at a plush circular red banquette, complete with built-in Lazy Susan; or at a table in the back dining area, a space that feels like you’re eating inside the hull of Chinese junk; or perched happily on a stool (and probably chatting with beverage director Richard Murphy) at the extra-wide, antique mahogany bar. [Read more...]

El Cortez: Commodore alums open Mexican restaurant in Bushwick with Tiki-style cocktails

El Cortez 17 Ingraham Street, 347-599-2976 credit: Melissa Hom, Grub Street

El Cortez
17 Ingraham Street, 347-599-2976
credit: Melissa Hom, Grub Street

Tex-Mex gets a bad name in this town, but with the opening of El Cortez in Bushwick that may begin to change. From Eater:

The Commodore’s Stephen Tanner and Chris Young have a new big space called El Cortez. The team sort of intentionally ignores any notion about what a Mexican place “should” be, and rather includes dishes and ideas from what Tanner calls “all three Mexicans,” reports Grub Street. Those three include American Mexican, “hot plate Mexican,” and “Mexican-Mexican.” [Read more...]

Where to watch the 4th of July fireworks in Brooklyn, 2015

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This year, Macy’s will be having fireworks at two separate locations: 1.) a double barge barge just south of the Brooklyn Bridge, and 2.)  at a series of barges between East 23rd and 42nd Streets. Unlike last year, where it was hard to see much of anything from North Brooklyn, the Williamsburg and Greenpoint waterfront will be ideal places to see the big show.

WHERE TO SEE THE FIREWORKS

DUMBO & Brooklyn Heights

As always, DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights will have fantastic views and most waterfront locations, including Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1 and the Promenade, are open to the public. You can also head the Brooklyn Bridge Garden Bar if you don’t mind shelling out $125. [Read more...]

Bushwick Bar Old Stanley’s backyard opens next week

oldstanleysOld Stanley’s has been my go-to bar since it opened about eighteen months ago. There’s nothing gimmicky about it like a lot of the other watering holes that have opened in the Bushwick/Ridgewood area over the past year or two. It’s staffed by and frequented by friendly folks who are down to watch hockey and, judging by the posters on the walls, dig B-level Rodney Dangerfield movies. Jets to Brazil, Government Issue and Mercyful Fate records are in the jukebox. Their cheap bottle is Labatt Blue. If there’s Bushwick bar that the late, great “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes would drink at, it’d be Old Stanley’s. I almost don’t want to write about it because I don’t want to ruin it.

But I am, because I’d be remiss to not FINALLY give them a long overdue Free Willy shoutout, and I’d be doing everyone in the outdoor drinking-deprived DeKalb and Myrtle/Wyckoff area a disservice by failing to share the fantastic news that their backyard is finally opening next week.

If you’ve never been, Old Stanley’s is located at 226 Wyckoff Avenue, in between Menahan and Grove. Protip: stop by Cholula Deli next door for some of the best tacos in the hood, sans the crazy crowds typical of Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos.

Photo via Facebook.

Joe’s Pizza, yes THAT Joe’s Pizza, coming to Bedford Ave in Williamsburg

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It’s slotted to open at 216 Bedford Avenue (corner of North 5th) in the former home of that douchey shithole, The Plank. It joins other local favorites, Vinnie’s and Rosa Maria’s, as well as The Charleston, though the latter can only compete in price.

Joe’s Pizza will open at 216 Bedford Avenue, owner Joe Pozzuoli Jr. tells Eater. Joe’s has a storied history dating back to 1975 on Carmine Street, and is widely considered one of the finest examples of the NYC slice joint. [Read more...]

Oleanders, the retro-preppy fern barn in Williamsburg, opens Friday with poolside dining

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Oleanders; credit Grub Street

Bring on the Clams Casino, Coq au vin, and oysters Rockefeller! Oleanders will be in the old The Elm space, inside the McCarren Hotel.

Typically, the food menu at fern bars featured a grab bag of classic, turn-of-the-century dishes like lobster thermidor and more contemporary American comfort foods (a lot of cottage cheese, too). [Read more...]