We generally use end-of-year roundups as an opportunity to give one last shout-out to the places we’ve come to know (and mostly) love during the previous 12 months. And while that in no way means we’ll stop stuffing our faces with whiskey bread at Gwynnett St. and shrimp po-boys at Pork Slope anytime soon, our fickle eyes are already fixed on the horizon, our stomachs anxiously awaiting a brand new crop of culinary masterworks. So, since Brooklyn has pretty much been a no-reservations zone for the last few years, these are the restaurants you’ll invariably be waiting (and waiting, and waiting) in line for in 2013.
Whiskey Soda Lounge
Tired of circling Columbia Street for an excess of two hours, waiting in vain for a tiny table to clear so you can finally feast on spicy duck laap and charcoal grilled-Niman Ranch pork neck at Pok Pok? Well come spring you can double your efforts, idling for a coveted barstool at Andy Ricker’s next PDX expansion, a temple of drinking vinegar-based cocktails and sweet/sour/salty snacks.
115 Columbia St.
Husband-and-wife team Kerry Diamond and Rob Newton are already Smith Street royalty, having kicked off the elevated Southern-fried foods frenzy with their refined restaurant, Seersucker, and then successfully expanding next door with the popular Counter Culture coffee and freshly baked pop-tart haven, Smith Canteen. They’ll add an entry to the all-encompassing Asian craze this February, with their highly anticipated Vietnamese eatery Nightingale 9.
345 Smith St.
Mathieu Palombino will reopen his beloved pizza shop (the last one practically sunk into the ground in his old digs at Graham Avenue) any day now. Fellow wood-burner, Forcella, has undoubtedly drawn in defectors during Motorino’s dark period, but we’re sure the hordes will return in droves for that signature mussel and mozzarella-topped pie.
Brooklyn’s BBQ Row will expand down to Red Hook this spring with Hometown, which will feature a 4,000 pound hickory pit and an 84-inch Lang trailer/ smoker. Like the recently opened Fletcher’s in Gowanus, they’ll be serving multi-influenced “Brooklyn BBQ,” and like their immediate next door neighbor, Brooklyn Crab, they’ll offer games like shuffleboard. If they simply manage to get the food out, they’ll probably get an overflow of poor, starving, sun-baked patrons from Crab too.
454 Van Brunt St.
Dirk the Norseman
Watch out, Brooklyn Brewery — a new brewery/beer hall from the owner of Brouwerij Lane in Greenpoint is making a serious play for your turf. The 6,000 square-foot complex should be up and running by spring, and will concentrate on Belgian-style sours, European IPA’s and saisons.
7 N. 15th St.
Butter and Scotch
Cutesy name, cutesier proposition — two Smorgasburg vets are scouting locations on Franklin Avenue for Brooklyn’s first dessert and cocktail bar. They’ll offer delectable baked goods (like Mint Julep Cream pie) paired with boozy libations (this one’s a gimme) as well as other similarly soused desserts (Old Overholt whiskey-spiked root beer floats) in late spring/early summer.
Franklin Ave, location TBA
Hot Bushwick opening…there’s a totally legit sounding Vietnamese street food restaurant opening in February on Harrison Street. Owner Henry Trieu was part of the opening team for San Francisco’s hallowed Slanted Door (that’s a serious name drop for transcontinental foodies), and his menu will reflect the French and Chinese influences on the food of Vietnam. Think pho, shaking beef, satay, and goat curry.
112 Harrison Pl.
Many Bay Ridge residents have predicted that this upcoming beer hall from the owners of Kettle Black and Ho’Brah, taking the place of the long-shuttered Bridgeview Locksmith, is a surefire sign of an impending hipster Armageddon. The more reasonable among us foresee a spacious place to drink microbrews that doesn’t involve sidestepping toddlers in the middle of Sunset Park.
9221 5th Ave.