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...]

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...]

Kilo Bravo: Williamsburg bar will serve 50 state-themed cocktails

kilo-bravo

Kilo Bravo
180 North 10th St; btwn Bedford & Driggs
kilobravobar.com

It’s the latest from the people behind Soft Spot and they open this Thursday, Sept 4.

From Gothamist:

Williamsburg’s densely packed nightlife scene welcomes a new player this week with the opening of Kilo Bravo on Thursday. Kate Buenaflor, proprietor of Soft Spot opens her new bar on North 10th between Bedford and Driggs—just down the street from her original spot—with business parter Richard DeVore. The duo tapped an “all-American” theme for the new joint, with touches of rock’n'roll on the walls, hearty sandwiches and an around-the-States cocktail menu to match. [Read more...]

New bar alert: Rocka Rolla now open in Williamsburg

rocka-rolla

credit: Gothamist

Rocka Rolla, 486 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg

Rocka Rolla is the latest establishment from the people behind Skinny Dennis. We checked it out last night and its like Skinny Dennis for the classic rock and hair metal set, for those who prefer Van Halen to Merle Haggard. Unfortunately, it won’t have live music like its older brother. That said, it does have food — sausages and fries — which is a plus and an outdoor space with a view. Well, a view of the BQE that is. [Read more...]

Blind Barber, Williamsburg, Brooklyn – Have a pastrami taco while you get a haircut

Blind Barber; credit: Vanity Fair

Blind Barber; credit: Vanity Fair

Also, one more reason to make fun of the neighborhood:

Instead of merging an underground bar/club with a couple of barber chairs out front (as they have on the L.E.S.), the Brooklyn shop puts its emphasis on the cuts, fades, shaves, and pomades that gave the company its name. The new space is still dual-purpose, divided between a French-bistro-style coffee-and-sandwich-shop in the front and a spruced-up, well-equipped, though still-macho barbershop in the back. And while the shop’s design and the quality of its offerings are fantastic as always, the scene is defined almost entirely by its employees—a klatch of talented Midwestern-nice hunks who—instead of kicking your ass or mocking your jeans—are exceptionally kind and helpful, providing top-shelf cuts and understated advice to a bizarrely diverse cast of customers.

From their press release:

“When we built the first two Blind Barber locations, we wanted guests to come for a cut and then be able to disappear from their 9-5 in the back for the rest of the night. With Brooklyn, we created a space that customers will also want to visit from the time their day begins,” said Robert Stansell, owner of Emporium Design. [Read more...]

“Professional party guy” opening Bushwick restaurant with permanent Spin the Bottle table

amancays diner

Because drunk, slobbering, college-aged PDA and scrambled eggs go hand-in-hand. And just like that Bushwick became a little bit dumber:

East Williamsburg and Bushwick locals will soon have a place to play Spin the Bottle — all day and all night.

Amancay’s Diner, a 24-hour restaurant and music venue, is set to open at 2 Knickerbocker Ave. next month with what they’re touting as “the world’s first dedicated Spin the Bottle” table, said owner Chang Han, 48.

The table, surrounded on three sides by a red leather booth, will have a bottle secured to the top, like a Lazy Susan, said Han.

“Everybody’s played Spin the Bottle at one time or another,” said Han, who recalled playing the kissing game with four college students every Monday at his closed East Village restaurant Gama.

Playing games at his businesses isn’t new for Han, who said he used to “get drunk with a lot of girls” and bowl with melons inside the grocery and deli he owned for 10 years, St. Mark’s Market.

At Gama, he wrestled with 21-year-olds in a kiddie pool full of jello. (“I was getting my ass kicked,” he said.)…

The neighborhood needed a sit-down place to eat after the bars closed — and a place for its owner to party for a while, he said…

“I’m a professional party guy,” he said with a grin.

The Chocolate House – Mast Brothers opens space “dedicated to the craft of chocolate beverages”

chocolate-house

Um, yum! From their Facebook wall:

We’re thrilled to announce the debut of our first Chocolate House, an establishment dedicated to the craft of chocolate beverages.

Now open at 105A N. 3rd Street in Brooklyn.

And more from Eater:

A tipster sends a photo of the full menu, which includes brewed chocolate, cold brew chocolate and chocolate soda, as well as the more standard chocolate milk. According to a staff member, the first is basically a pour-over made with cacao nibs instead of coffee, while the second similarly involves steeping cocoa nibs to create an unsweetened, tea-like brew.