378 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Our Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Cards: Cash Only
Hours: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm; Closed Mon
Subway: L to Bedford Ave. or Lorimer St.
Menu: Click Here
NY Mag says:
As opening chef at Williamsburg’s Diner, Caroline Fidanza watched the bootstrap operation grow from a small, quirkily restored Kullman diner into a five-unit restaurant group, with a boutique butcher and grocery, a staunch commitment to local and sustainable agriculture, and an in-house literary gastromag to which she contributed both text and recipes. Ten years later, in 2009, Fidanza’s starting small again — this time in a nearby storefront she and her partners, Diner alums Elizabeth Schula and Rebecca Collerton, have converted from a retail bakery into a minimalist eight-stool cafe with the help of local designer Joseph Foglia, whose distinctive work you might know from Dressler. They’ve named the space Saltie, which refers not only to an oceangoing ship, but also to the three chefs’ predilection for tempering sweet flavors with salty ones, and, says Fidanza, “for the personalities involved.” But Foglia’s design doesn’t deploy marine motifs as much as evoke the sea, with blue accents in a bright, modern, mostly white space, furnished with seats and counters crafted from white-powder-coated metal and maple.
Saltie will begin the day with goat-cheese-and-jam breakfast tarts and loaf cakes in flavors like ginger or olive oil, then segue into sandwiches with nautical names — “because it amuses us,” says Fidanza. The Captain’s Daughter, for instance, combines sardine, pickled egg, and salsa verde, and the Longshoreman is, contrary to whatever you might be picturing, cherry-and-pistachio-studded Israeli meatballs with herbs and yogurt. The chefs plan to bake everything in-house, from the focaccia, naan, and Parker House sandwich rolls to the lavender shortbread cookies and plum scones they’ll be previewing at this Sunday’s New Amsterdam Market. And their sourcing will be as meticulous as Fidanza’s was at Diner, with dairy coming from an organic Amish farmers’ cooperative in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and produce from Guy Jones at Blooming Hill Farm. Saltie is eschewing cupcakes but embracing ice cream in flavors like Eton Mess (blueberry ripple with meringue) and a salty-caramel ice-cream sandwich. One thing the place won’t have is a liquor license, which means that any real longshoremen (or neighborhood hipsters) will have to spin their yarns over watermelon agua frescas, peach lassis, or a house-blended herbal iced tea.
After elevating Williamsburg’s Diner and Marlow & Sons to destination-dining status, former chef Caroline Fidanze is starting small with her next venture. She and her partners have revamped the former Betty Crocker–chic Cheeks Bakery and turned the tiny shop into a sleek but inviting takeout spot. The nautically named eats (The Captain’s Daughter sandwich features sardine, pickled egg and salsa verde; the Ship’s Biscuit is a soft scrambled egg and ricotta) fit with the blue-and-white decor that evokes a maritime feel. If your sweet tooth still yearns for the former occupant’s baked goods, the scones, tarts and ice cream sandwiches should help you get your glucose fix. And the fair trade French Press coffee from Uganda’s Crop to Cup will take care of any caffeine cravings.