345 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Cuisine: American (New), American Bistro
Our Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Cards: All Major
Hours: Mon-Fri 6pm-4am, Sat & Sun 11am-4am
Booze: Full Bar
Subway: G, L at Metropolitan Ave.-Lorimer St.
NY Mag says:
Designer John McCormick (Maison Premiere, Spritzenhaus) was training to become a yoga instructor and reading a lot about sacred geometry while planning this old-timey live-music bar. He appointed Joseph Mitchell’s Mazie, the kindly woman who looked out for local drunks, patron saint and filled the space with décor sourced from a range of symbolic locations. A vaultlike fridge from a Buddhist monastery stands on proud display behind the bar; the ceiling is adorned with belt-driven fans cast by Amish artisans; and the walls are flanked with wood salvaged from the nuns’ sleeping quarters of a Catholic girls’ school. Follow the narrow corridor that leads to an outdoor space draped with grape vines; descend a rickety staircase to St. Charles Cellar, the bar’s moody subterranean restaurant; or just stay put and take in the nightly schedule of genre-tripping live music, best enjoyed over a chilled bottle of Rioja ($44) or a classic Hanky Panky ($10).
Williamsburg has pretty much morphed into one giant brunch line at this point, but this lovely live music bar has a weekend breakfast that’s worth braving the trilby-wearing masses. First and foremost, the bar boasts a spectacular backyard, and though we’re winding down on outdoor season, take advantage of the al fresco dining while you can. Plus, on a recent visit, there was no wait, a rarity in the land of Egg and Rabbithole.
Vegetarians dining at St. Mazie will appreciate the BBQ eggplant sandwich ($9); pescetarians can enjoy the smoked fish hash ($14) made with mackerel and served with poached eggs, home fries, horseradish cream and toast. The St. Mazie breakfast BLT ($13) is also well worth a try, comprised of poached eggs, bacon and arugula served on two slices of French toast. And since St. Mazie is primarily a bar (with a restaurant downstairs), don’t skimp out on the drinks; you can score cheap mimosas and Bloody Marys to pair with your meal.
If you haven’t been to John McCormick’s Moto—basically a Jeunet-Caro ski lodge on a distant snow planet populated by sleepless, animatronic Berliners, conveniently nestled under the JMZ—well, you should go. The beautifully appointed Williamsburg cafe-bar is ancient by neighborhood standards—a decade!—and McCormick’s (aka Johnny Moto) attention to design detail is oft—and we mean oft—imitated in the borough, though few spots measure up. Except maybe St. Mazie, Moto’s latest offering to the people of Brooklyn (in collaboration with Jessica Wertz and Mike Lucena). Filled with beautiful, salvaged wood from a 150-year-old all-girls Catholic School in West Virginia(!), stained just so, along with the rain-washed remnants of a hundred abandoned Marseillaise cafes, St. Mazie’s is big on atmosphere: on any given night you’ll find live flamenco, New Orleans street jazz, tub-thumping banjo… Perhaps our favorite detail, though, is the source of the name, Joseph Mitchell’s eponymous tale of the kindhearted Bowery movie-house proprietor, Mazie Phillips. As Moto tells us: “After reading this story again and again, I decided that she was, indeed, a saint.”