The group of Pratt alums who opened Pokito were tired of the typical Williamsburg look — “it’s all the re-claimed woods, steel, dark, all the Edison filament bulbs,” said Alex Kleinberg — so they opened a spot on South 4th Street that has a clean, sleek, tile-and-marble dining room where LED lights emitting a rainbow-like glow.
Kleinberg is a former graphic designer who owns Summers juice bar and whose family runs several restaurants in the city, including Clinton St. Baking Company. He’s half-Dominican, his partner is half-Japanese, and the chef is half-Mexican. “We call it Mutt food, we’re a bunch of mutts,” Kleinberg said jokingly. True to their backgrounds, the Pratt alums serve a mix of Latin American, Japanese and Chinese fare. (The name Pokito puts an Asian spelling on the phrase “un poquito,” which means “a little bit.”)
The menu, heavy on daily and weekly specials, offers dishes such as yuca fries, mozzarella-stuffed empanada, unagi eggplant, shrimp congee, and crispy rice complete with papaya, green grapes, Chinese broccoli and wild salmon.
This week there’s a chazuke dish made from red snapper wontons served with brown rice and green tea dashi broth. “This is a soupy, healthy, clean, and tasty full bowl,” Kleinberg said. They also have inarizushi, i.e. fried tofu skin stuffed with brown rice, wakame seaweed, scallion and sesame seeds.
Open for dinner during weekdays and on Saturdays, Pokito turns from night owl to early bird on Sundays and offers traditional brunch fare with a twist: think sweet potato “corncakes” with tangerine and honey syrup. Oh, and their beer-mosa looks like a gourmet version of the Shandy.
Speaking of booze, there’s also a burgeoning cocktail list: the bloody mary comes with olives stuffed with queso fresco and is garnished with Spicy thai chili peppers. “Sage and sour” is made with gin, sage, ginger, egg white and is a“foamy, fizzy” cocktail. And the Dominican-style Morir Soñando contains sweet milk and orange, vanilla, rum, and is garnished with nutmeg.
Pokito, 155 S. 4th St., bet. Bedford and Driggs, Williamsburg