Rose’s Bar & Grill
295 Flatbush Ave, Park Slope
It’s odd to think that the now-shuttered Marco’s was too upscale for Park Slope. It’s Park Slope! Home to the very same potential patrons, who’ve never thought twice about spending 20 bucks on pizzas at Franny’s (most of the entrées at Marco’s were mere dollars more; the pastas, dollars less), or stocking their pantries with $30-pound wheels of cheese, $15 logs of salami, and $8 packets of crackers at Bklyn Larder, all owned by the same couple, Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg. So perhaps, the real problem was that the year-old, rustic trattoria simply didn’t stand out enough from its siblings (although, in many aspects, it was our favorite of the three) leading to its lack of profitability, which was the ultimate reason given for recently transforming it into Rose’s Bar and Grill. (more…)
MP Taverna Brooklyn
470 Driggs Avenue, Williamsburg
Michael Psilakis is an unusual sort of food celebrity. If you’ve seen him on TV, he was probably tracking wild, Polynesian boar or hunting iguanas with slingshots on the BBC’s No Kitchen Required, rather than as some preternaturally perky judge on Guy’s Grocery Games. And while he owns a couple of Upper West Side restaurants, it’s not as though he only serves the elite parts of this city; his low-key MP Taverna franchise also includes outposts in Astoria, as well as in Roslyn and Irvington on Long Island, where he lives—and since he spends a day each week working the line at each of his restaurants, he’d like to be able to get home to his wife and kids sometimes. (more…)
Eugene and Co.
397 Tompkins Avenue, Bed-Stuy
It’s an unfortunate but enduring fact: There are considerably fewer females than males at the executive chef level in the restaurant industry. And even fewer are regularly talked about, making spotlighting a new (or under the radar) talent an occasionally awkward proposition, as if you’re pointing out some form of rare, exotic bird. And yet, Savannah Jordan is a name worth knowing and thus, worth pointing out, as her food is well worth trying, at Bed-Stuy’s delightful 40-seat eatery Eugene and Co.
With a resume that includes a year at Le Bernardin and four more at Mary’s Fish Camp, it would be easy to assume Jordan’s menu would be heavily skewed towards seafood, and yet, she’s gone for an appealing brand of refined global soul. It’s proved a winning concept for the neighborhood, with an inclusive crew of locals frequently lining up for tables—a rarity at even the most successful local establishments. (more…)
336 State St, Boerum Hill
No matter that it’s barely been open a week: Grand Army is officially Brooklyn’s hottest new bar. It was a given from the get-go, considering the cocktails are devised by co-owner and star mixologist Damon Boelte, who also designed the well-regarded bar program at Prime Meats; the antique-y interiors come courtesy of American Construction League’s Matthew Maddy, who was recently nominated for a James Beard award; and photographer Daniel Krieger is a partner as well, all but assuring the Boerum Hill watering hole thousands of followers on its Instagram account, and regular mentions on Eater.
But when you consider how many Brooklyn restaurant bigwigs also have skin in the game, including Mile End’s Noah Bernamoff and Rucola’s Julian Brizzi, you’ll also know that there’s more to the food program than pub burgers and oysters—and we’re not talking the $1 Blue Points during happy hour kind. The second an establishment starts fleshing out its menu with uni, boquerones, and other fiddly, preciously priced plates of seafood, it becomes abundantly clear that it has much loftier aspirations than merely wooing the after-work beer crowd (although, it should be noted, there’s quite an interesting, sizeable selection of saisons and sours). Consider too that the executive chef is Jon Bignelli, who was last seen shaving pastrami onto mustard-sauced strands of rye pasta, and crafting oyster crackers from real oysters at Wylie Dufresne’s Alder. Which, actually, makes a post at Grand Army a bit of an odd choice for the master culinary manipulator—now primarily tasked with sourcing perfect shellfish. (more…)
455 Myrtle Avenue, Clinton Hill
In my house, our painstakingly balanced marriage threatens to topple over the most inane, frequently food-associated things; divorce is threatened over someone letting the brown sugar go hard, or who was the last to wash dishes. (Though, let’s not fool ourselves, I’m always the last to wash dishes.) But no matter how many similarly silly little battles have been presumably fought and won in the Nate Smith-Sophie Kamin household, the fact is that their partnership—forged in both life and work—spans over 14 years, spawning not just two children, but two impressive restaurants besides.
515 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill
Three-year-old Ganso has always been just a couple of steps behind four-year-old Chuko, which opened its first tiny slurp shop in Prospect Heights with the mission of raising Brooklyn’s ramen game. And the duo continues to maintain similar, staggered trajectories, with Bar Chuko jump-starting the borough’s Japanese small plates craze last summer, and Ganso Yaki debuting its own drinking snacks spot just last month. (more…)
238 Malcolm X Boulevard., Bedford-Stuyvesant
The techniques and traditions that inform French gastronomy are so equally entrenched in American food culture that we barely even register their presence anymore, whether we’re digging into a bowl of macaroni and cheese doused with béchamel or spearing bites of carrot cut into meticulous brunoise.
But as globalization goes both ways, there are also very few restaurants left in the city serving entirely unfettered French fare. You can currently find Spanish mackerel rubbed with charmoula on the menu at Café Boulud, and lobster and tarragon ravioli (a spin on classic thermidor) at La Grenouille. This makes Bed-Stuy newcomer L’Antagoniste—and its utterly faithful renditions of out-of-favor warhorses such as Blanquette de Veau, Tournedos Rossini and Duck á l’Orange—seem positively audacious. (Even more so because of its bathroom wallpaper, patterned with frolicking threesomes captured in various states of congrès sexuelle.) (more…)
53 Broadway, Williamsburg
We’ve always been wary of restaurants purporting to be all things to all people, and thus, have long avoided Chinese eateries selling french fries and Greek spots serving spaghetti. But in more recent years, the steady blurring of culinary borders and ensuing decriminalization of the term “fusion” has caused us to drop our guard just a tad, so that we no longer recoil at the thought of matzoh ball ramen, or tacos stuffed with Korean bulgogi. (more…)
East Wind Snack Shop
471 16th Street, Windsor Terrace
Chris Cheung has been a fixture in New York’s restaurant scene for many years now, serving on the opening staff of both Nobu and Jean-Georges, heading up the kitchens at Ruby Foo’s and the Monkey Bar, and racking up a number of stars and glowing accolades along the way. So it’s easy enough to forgive a more recent string of misfires, including stints at the Brooklyn and Staten Island branches of Fushimi, and the launches of the short-lived Walle, a “Chinoiserie chic” lounge in Midtown, as well as Cherrywood Kitchen in sparsely trafficked Hudson Square, which ended up closing after only six months. (more…)
162 5th Ave., Park Slope
When Charles Phan first opened San Francisco’s Slanted Door in 1995, his goal was to expose the city to the sweet-sour-salty-spicy wonders of Vietnamese food, popularizing dishes like clay pot catfish and shaking beef by making them with quality, California-approved ingredients, such as farm-grown vegetables, Niman Ranch meat, and Dungeness crab. His mission proved wildly successful: Not only did he increase local interest in Vietnamese fare tenfold, but he made Slanted Door one of the most iconic, consistently profitable restaurants in the United States.