Maison Premiere has been the Belle of the Brooklyn Ball since it opened in 2011– the Williamsburg oyster bar is perpetually brimming with enraptured guests and hovering, perspiring would-bes waiting for a seat at the horseshoe bar. Earlier this month, their off-the-chain booze operation earned them the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Bar Program.” I mean, where else can you find a classy, non-diabetes-forming answer to the tiki trend, an unrivaled selection of absinthe drips, and a $20 martini that looks worthy of Macaulay Culkin’s character in a sorely needed Richie Rich Redux?
The opening date of Coney Art Walls has been bumped up from Saturday to Friday this weekend, and we’ve learned there are some special activities planned for Memorial Monday. Natalie Lamming of D’Savannah Bar & Lounge in Flatbush says “shhh…”, but we’re going to tell you anyway that “Brooklyn’s Best Kept Secret” is bound for the one and only Coney. The live music event will include Carnival-esque performances by Lyrikal, Patrice Roberts, Kerwin Dubois, Voice and Farmer Nappy. Doors open at 1 p.m. and the soca starts at 6 p.m. $65 tickets are still available online for those who like to chip and whine.
In March we sounded the word that a spanking new Equinox is in the cards for the Whole Foods territory on North 4th Street and Bedford, likely opening in October. That whole building is so full of chains, what with Levi’s, G-Star, Scotch & Soda, a Citibank, and a WeWork, it’s pretty much Brooklyn’s answer to an average suburban strip mall. It’s no surprise Equinox would want to get in on the free-flowing $$ from health-conscious folks with cash to burn (perhaps tapping their day away over a laptop at WeWork?).
A replacement for the flash-in-the-pan Latin fusion cantina Lorenzo’s has arrived at the Jefferson stop in Bushwick. Daniel Cipriani, the proprietor of Sea Wolf, who also owns a pair of dining establishments in Williamsburg– Lodge and Urban Rustic– as well as the Playland Grill in Rockaway, told us that the surf-n’-turf corner spot has been krilling it, so to speak, since it officially opened a few weeks ago.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes checking out one of those boutiquey hair salons can feel like a walking into a staid Chelsea art gallery– the kind of place where you could hear a pin drop, and so would the girl with ungodly, shiny/straight hair who’s glaring at you from the back.
It was a long, hard winter which, honestly, now that I’m looking back on it, I managed to block most of it out. But dare I say that spring has perhaps been worse, and not necessarily because of the fits-n-starts weather that teased all of us into thinking life was about to go our way (yeah right). Instead, it was the uncertainty of whether or not the Barge Bar was ever going to reopen along the Greenpoint waterfront.
Plenty of upscale diners have hit the food scene as of late– for one, there’s Juno, the Bushwick restaurant that John Barclay (founding dude at Bossa Nova Civic Club) recently pulled out of– and there was even a short-lived spot called Amancay’s Diner that was, well, a bit more of a downscale kind of place, with a spin-the-bottle setup and an owner who was better known for throwing jello-wrestling parties than his food.
But Hail Mary– a new Greenpoint restaurant that opened on Wednesday night in the former home of 68 and then subsequently (briefly too) Hook & Cleaver which was run by Chopped chef Diane DiMeo– is pushing the diner concept even further with their avant-garde take on the American everyman classic.
I’m not on many models’ speed dial, so I was surprised when New York-based Brazilian model Andressa Junqueira called me to tell me about a new restaurant that she and her husband chef Carlos Varella just opened in Rockaway last week.
Called Beach Bistro 96, it’s taking over the space previously occupied by Anna Bow (and before that occupied by Veggie Island) to offer “Brazilian internacional fusion” fare, with dishes ranging from Brazil’s national dish feijoada (black beans with pork meat, rice, kale, orange slices and farofa), served on Wednesdays and Saturdays, to ratatouille and temaki sushi hand rolls.
Behind an old-school bodega-like awning Josh Ku and Trigg Brown are putting the finishing touches on Win Son, their brand new Taiwanese-American restaurant, officially opening on Thursday. The place has an unassuming facade (I almost walked right past it, actually), but is home to a relatively spacious neighborhood eatery awash in natural light. Win Son lies somewhere between upscale and approachable, but with an angle on one Asian cuisine that’s surprising enough to turn all sorts of heads.
Brooklyn Brewery today announced plans to roll out their barrel program to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in a big way. The Williamsburg-based beer operation already has a warehouse at the yard where they’re aging 2,000 barrels of wine, bourbon, rum and mezcal by way of experimental processes. But come 2018, the company will open their new “primary headquarters” to the public inside Building 77 at the center of the yard, where they plan to produce 50,000 barrels of beer annually.
Williamsburg already has its share of oddities: soaps that look like cupcakes, budding taxidermy museums, and, of course, Pat Kiernan. But one thing it doesn’t have is cheesecake in a cone. That’s about to change. Signage indicates T-Swirl Crêpe is planting its flag on North 7th, right down the block from the Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, and right across the street from 16 Handles.