Coco 66 bistro now open in Greenpoint, headed by restaurateur Michael Callahan of Republic and Indochine

Coco 66 at 66 Greenpoint Avenue

Given their historic lack of business finesse, we were dubious when we heard that Coco 66 was reopening. We were even more dubious when we heard they were opening a bistro on one side of the enormous space. That said, we stopped by for Coco 66’s opening on Wednesday night and were very pleasantly surprised.

Despite a few kinks — the heat was apparently not working, the staff was friendly but a bit green, and the dishes staggered a tad too long — we were delighted with the food. We started with steamed clams, which were flavored to perfection with small fatty pieces of pork. Equally enjoyable was the pork chop, which we were informed was likely to become their signature dish. It was flavored with sea salt and a blend of peppers which gave it the right mix of sweetness and spiciness. It was delicious and enough for two.

Coco 66 also has a small bites menu with a $5 burger — more of a serviceable slider – olives, cheese, and smoked bluefish with hardtack crackers. Headed by Michael Callahan  (his resume includes Indochine, Bondst, and Republic) Coco 66 is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Grub Street has more details:

Restaurateur Michael Callahan, whose experience encompasses well-known, celebrity-friendly Manhattan places Indochine, Bondst, Republic, and Kittichai, is heading to Brooklyn for his next project, which seems a bit more low-key. Callahan has taken over the old dimly lit hipster bar that was Coco 66 at 66 Greenpoint Avenue, where he’ll reopen as a bistro serving a menu focused on local food. Joe Capozzi, who cooked at Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk and previously served as chef de cuisine at the Fat Radish, will be in charge of the kitchen at the soon-to-open restaurant.

Capozzi’s menu will feature grilled oysters with smoky bourbon butter and a variety of homemade pastas. Mains include grilled double-thick pork chops with cherry peppers, escarole, and Benton’s bacon, and a greenmarket-forward plate of braised beans with kale, leeks and turnips. He says that house bread will be served with goat’s-milk butter.

Expect the venue to keep its distinctive red-neon signage and low-lit interior. “People in Greenpoint and Williamsburg know and like the space, so we probably won’t change the name,” Callahan says, adding that the relaunched venue, which should be open by the end of the month, will have 74 seats.

And yep, the bar is still open on the other side with live music on most nights.

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