Bar Omar, a new addition to Williamsburg’s bubbling culinary landscape, is a French-Algerian restaurant that forgoes the stereotypical Moroccan-style lamps and ornamental plates in favor of what co-owner Yasmina Guerda says is a “Brooklyn aesthetic”: natural wood paneling, a well-stocked, speakeasy-type bar, and a window-paneled front looking out onto Grand Street.
Mentioning Gad Elmaleh’s residency at Joe’s Pub to my American friends was a weird experience. “He’s the most famous comedian in France!” I said, full of jingoistic pride. The embarrassed silence that ensued made me realize that my announcement didn’t quite have the expected effect. So I tried a different approach. “He’s like the French Jerry Seinfeld, you know. They’re actually good friends. He’s even been a guest on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”
“Oh… Really?” was the politest answer I could get. But I saw in my interlocutors’ perplexed eyes that they had no clue who the hell I was talking about.
“It’s sort of an unknown region in Southern France, very poor, with incredible food,” explained Henry Moynahan Rich, owner of neighborhood greats like East Williamsburg’s Fitzcarraldo and Rucola in Boerum Hill. He was talking about the inspiration behind Cassette, his new French Catalonian outpost in Greenpoint. “It’s simple, rustic, healthy food, because that’s how I like to eat.”
You’ll Be a Man is an indie French movie. “I know what you’re thinking!” says LES Film Fest director Tony Castle. “But it’s truly amazing—just a really captivating film about a 20-year-old boy. He becomes a live-in maid. The mother and son love him. The father hates him. Super weird and sexy!” It’s one of the hardest to market, Castle laments, but a brilliant film nonetheless.