While most of you are still lamenting summer’s end, diners know that there’s no time like fall for eating in NYC. Autumn consistently sees the city’s biggest spree of new restaurant openings, and this year is no exception. Here’s a look at the 10 upcoming Brooklyn spots we’re most excited to sink our teeth into this fall.
10. Pickle Shack
Brooklyn Brine pickle shop will expand into the Gowanus storefront formerly home to Root Hill Burger, bringing a pickle-centric restaurant/bar collaboration with Dogfish Head brewery. All kinds of crazy pickle flavors will be served alongside a sandwich-heavy menu. Plus, Dogfish Head beers will be on tap, with a special infuser designed to add fresh hops and seasonal herbs to the draughts. (256 4th Ave., near President Street, brooklynbrine.blogspot.com, September)
9. The Rookery
Bringing even more flavor to Bushwick’s rapidly expanding restaurant scene, this husband-and-wife-run spot will merge West Indian and British pub cuisine at a 50-seat restaurant. Expect samosa burgers, goat shepherd’s pie and oxtail sloppy joes–plus cocktails and a front garden area–when The Rookery opens later this month. (425 Troutman St., near St. Nicholas, therookerybar.com, September)
After moving their popular Prospect Heights pizzeria to a larger spot just down Flatbush Avenue, the folks behind Franny’s have wasted no time converting the original space into the upcoming Marco’s. An eye-catching marble bar anchors the new restaurant, which is just about set to open. The menu will be a step more upscale than at the homey Franny’s, with a wood-fired oven turning out lamb chops and steaks, along with a classic Italian lineup of antipasti, primi, secondi and contorni. (295 Flatbush Ave., between St. Mark’s and Prospect, marcosbrooklyn.com, September)
7. Bar Chuko
By my measure the best ramen spot in Brooklyn, Prospect Heights’ Chuko will soon offer a second, less soup-focused option just across Vanderbilt. The Japanese-style izakaya will serve up cocktails and small plates, running the gamut from oysters to grilled chicken wings to octopus yakitori. (565 Vanderbilt Ave., corner of Pacific, barchuko.com, October)
But if Chuko doesn’t keep their ramen A-game, they may lose that “best in borough” title soon enough. Hot on their heels is Smorgasburg favorite Yuji Ramen, which will open its first brick-and-mortar spot this fall. The Williamsburg restaurant will feature a menu that changes nightly and expands on Yuji’s ramen offerings to feature fusion dishes like uni ravioli. (150 Ainslie St. between Leonard and Lorimer, November)
While not quite a restaurant, we’re still stoked for this Clinton Hill food shop from Theo Peck, whose grandfather owned legendary (and bygone) Lower East Side kosher eatery Ratner’s Restaurant. Peck’s new place will bring some of that Jewish grandfather cooking style in the form of to-go offerings like kasha varnishkes (a savory Eastern European noodle dish) and mashed potatoes with schmaltz, alongside more new-school Brooklyn eats including artisan cheese, craft beer growlers and La Colombe Coffee. (455A Myrtle Ave., between Washington and Waverly, facebook.com/pecksbrooklyn, September)
4. Budin NYC
In the eyes of serious caffeine snobs, New York still lags far behind Oslo and other global coffee capitals, but this new Greenpoint spot should go a long way toward shrinking that gap. The coffee shop/bar/design store will feature beans from Norway’s Tim Wendelboe and Sweden’s Koppi Helsingborg, two of the world’s more respected roasters. There will also be cocktails and snacks on hand from Iceland, Norway and Finland. (114 Greenpoint Ave., between Franklin and Manhattan, budin-nyc.com, November)
3. Grand Central Oyster Bar Park Slope
After 100 years at the epicenter of Manhattan, this legendary eatery is set to expand east with a spinoff at the heart of brownstone Brooklyn–the massive Fifth Avenue storefront formerly home to Fornino. While the restaurant that epitomizes old-school Manhattan business meetings seems like an odd fit for BK, the owners promise a family-friendly focus appropriate for the Slope, high chairs and all. Fresh fish will come in from Long Island and Connecticut, along with lobster, clams, sea urchin and of course lots of oyster options. (256 Fifth Ave., at Carroll Street, oysterbarny.com, November)
2. To-be-Named Battersby Spinoff
Now almost two years old, Cobble Hill’s tiny, critically acclaimed Battersby is still basically the hottest thing going in Brooklyn–the hours-long wait for seats shows no signs of easing up. So, it’s good news that Joseph Ogrodnek and Walker Stern will branch out with this 50-seat spot a neighborhood south, taking over the old Vinzee’s Magic Fountain space in Carroll Gardens. (412 Court St., near First Place, November)
1. The Water Table
Realizing there’s no reason why dinner cruises have to be stuffy affairs with dry cuisine, a team of Brooklynites have set out to put an east-of-the-East river spin on the waterborne meal. Sailing from Greenpoint in a repurposed 1944 Navy yard patrol craft, The Water Table will take up to 50 guests at a time out for a cruise down the river, serving a New England menu complete with lobster rolls, clam chowder and whoopie pies. Let summer never end! (India Street Pier, thewatertablenyc.com, September)
More eats on the horizon this fall: Calexico brings their much-loved tacos to Park Slope…West Village chicken-and-waffle spot Pink Teacup opens a branch in Fort Greene…Saul completes its move to the Brooklyn Museum…borough-based chocolatier Jacque Torres debuts a giant factory and showpiece venue in Sunset Park…and our most-anticipated venue of 2013, Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, has been delayed but still hopes to open in Gowanus by December.
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