03/06/17 2:18pm
Photo: Georgia Kral

Marie Tribouilloy and Mike Fadem | Photo: Georgia Kral

Good. Simple. Made by thoughtful people. These are the criteria that come into play in nearly every facet of the operation at Ops, from the local, farm-fresh ingredients, to the rotating natural wine list, to the ethos of the place.

Marie Tribouilloy and Mike Fadem opened this petite and homey spot next to Variety Coffee in Bushwick, in October of 2016. It’s quickly become a neighborhood restaurant where locals converge for pizza, salads and meat and cheese plates. The centerpiece is the wood-burning oven, sparkling with colorful blue tiles behind the rustic bar.

The pizza is different at Ops, too. Fadem makes it with sourdough, which he lovingly tends to and feeds twice a day.

“We wanted it to be like a classic pizzeria,” Fadem said. “People can’t get enough of pizza.”

The pair wanted a restaurant that was both welcoming and inviting.

“That’s why we do everything ourselves,” Tribouilloy said. “We have a relationship with the customers. We’re both here and on the floor.” (more…)

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09/26/16 12:50pm
Photo: Seth Piracci

Photo: Seth Piracci

Typically when you read about a new bar, the review lingers over the carefully crafted cocktail list, the house-made bitters, the collection of rare mezcals the owner traveled to Oaxaca to get. There’s no shortage of exotic concoctions lit by Edison bulbs in Brooklyn. But the neighborhood bar, the place you go to run into people you know, with solid drinks, a good happy hour, and a comfortable vibe, those we could use a few more of around these parts. Welcome to The Starliner.

Opened in January of 2016 in a former tae kwon do studio a short walk from the Myrtle-Wykoff train station in Bushwick, the well-appointed space is roomy enough to comfortably accommodate big crowds on weekends, but warm enough that you’ll feel just as comfortable settling in for a quiet early evening cocktail. The Starliner’s interior design could be described as fifties diner-meets-Brooklyn-hipster, with oversized red leather booths–including one built into the bar–against tiled walls and clean hardwood floors and matching ceilings. The spacious backyard area has ample seating in the open area as well as a converted garage boasting a giant American flag wall mural which signals Starliner’s work-hard, play-hard ethos. (more…)

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03/17/16 12:13pm
How about a refreshing Lawnmower Man cocktail to go with a double feature? Photo: Kenneth Vanhooser

How about a refreshing Lawnmower Man cocktail to go with a double feature? Photo: Kenneth Vanhooser

Now that Bushwick has Syndicated, its very own restaurant-slash-movie-theater, there’s no reason to ever leave Bogart Street.

Right across from Roberta’s Pizza and steps from the Morgan stop on the L train, Syndicated has taken its cue from Williamsburg’s beloved Nitehawk theater (which was inspired, no doubt, by the Alamo Drafthouse theater, which is due to arrive in Brooklyn later this spring), and gone a bit flashier in attempts to keep you there for dinner AND a movie AND cocktails. First conceived of by former location scout Tim Chung, Syndicated resides in a massive converted warehouse space that boasts a dining room and bar area with 20-foot ceilings, recently packed wall-to-wall on Oscar night for a viewing party that was Bushwick’s answer to the Vanity Fair afterparty (ok, maybe not *quite*).

Chef Bret Marcis of Campanile and Rose Water has created a menu of upscale American comfort food, from greasy favorites like beer-battered mushrooms ($8) and loaded tater tots ($11) to proper meals like braised short ribs with horseradish creme ($26). Cinema-inspired cocktails like the Red Rum, with aperol and Peychaud’s bitters and The Lawnmower Man, vodka, green juice, carrot juice and chili syrup, are $13 apiece. (more…)

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03/07/16 12:49pm
There is an actual shipwreck in the Shipwreck Lounge. Photo: Shipwreck Lounge

There is an actual shipwreck in the Shipwreck Lounge. Photo: Shipwreck Lounge/Bryan Sargent

The Shipwreck Lounge is not the only tiki bar in Brooklyn. Nor is it the only late night speakeasy. But it just might be the only watering hole that plunges you so deeply into its carefully constructed world that your reality shifts before you even take a sip of drink.

Tucked behind an unremarkable set of tagged-up gray steel doors on an industrial section of Troutman Street in Bushwick, the Shipwreck Lounge doubles as part of the set for The Grand Paradise, the new immersive theater and dance experience by Third Rail Projects, the masterminds behind Then She Fell. Neil Patrick Harris and Jon Hamm have both been out to Bushwick to experience it, and the show has garnered attention from NPR and The New York Times. (more…)

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02/22/16 1:08pm
Part of the design of Foster Sundry was inspired by fonts and mottos from vintage New York State milk bottles. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

Part of the design for Foster Sundry was inspired by fonts and mottos from vintage New York State milk bottles. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

“I don’t believe in omens,” says Aaron Foster, owner of Foster Sundry, Bushwick’s new specialty shop. “But it did feel like a fateful moment.”

During an especially rough phase in the build-out of the store last fall, Foster happened to run into his neighbor, Paige Lipari, owner of Archestratus, the food-focused book store and café in Greenpoint. They got to chatting about his plans for Foster Sundry, and she realized that the location, on the corner of Troutman and Knickerbocker, had been home to her grandparents’ cheese shop, Lipari & Sons Latticini, half a century earlier. (more…)

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01/18/16 2:10pm
At Yours Sincerely the cocktails come out of the tap and into a beaker. Photo: Yours Sincerely

At Yours Sincerely the cocktails come out of the tap and into a beaker. Photo: Yours Sincerely

The newest chapter in New York’s continuing obsession with all things boozy is the draft cocktail. They’re pre-mixed and then poured, either straight up or over ice, from a tap system, quickly delivering a fancy cocktail that has also had ample time for its flavors to mingle. Yours Sincerely, a booze-forward venue that opened next door to its sister bar/restaurant Dear Bushwick on New Year’s Eve, has cornered the market on this prep-intensive style of bartending, and while the conceit may seem a wee bit precious, the prices are definitely not.

Your Sincerely offers a mind-boggling array of high-octane cocktails on tap–close to two dozen–along with cocktail shots and build-your-own concoctions, all for $8 or less. The Morgantown speakeasy isn’t the first Brooklyn bar to feature draft cocktails, you can find them at Loosie Rouge, Donna and King’s County Imperial, among others, but it is the first to showcase pre-mixed poison as its main draw. Though a ton of work goes on behind the scenes to make this happen, draft cocktails mean a short turnaround time between order and first sip. But it can also mean a hangover if you’re not careful. (more…)

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10/26/15 9:46am
IMG_2759

Octopus corn dog, anyone? Photo: Molly Crossin

Four years ago on Valentine’s Day, my best friend and I decided to treat one other to a fancy meal out and made the trek to midtown to much-lauded Yakitori Totto. Roughly translated to, “skewered grilled chicken,” yakitori has become shorthand for just about anything, with an emphasis on meaty bits, on a stick, grilled over charcoal. There might be a little soy or salt brushed on prior to grilling, but really, it’s all about meat and fire. I fell for the simplicity of the preparation–what a welcome contrast to a food scene where almost everything comes wrapped in bacon, topped with foam or sauced to death. Plus, there was something awfully fitting about eating skewered chicken hearts on the holiday of love.

So, when I heard that the owners of Bushwick standby Momo Sushi Shack had opened a yakitori bar called Moku Moku, I was beyond excited. I called the same friend and prepared for a serious case of the meat sweats. (more…)

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10/12/15 8:00am
Vegetarian pho that is as rich and delicious as the beef variety, thanks to loads of aromatics. Photo: Elaheh Nozari

Vegetarian pho that is as rich and delicious as the beef variety, thanks to loads of aromatics. Photo: Elaheh Nozari

It doesn’t take more than a scroll through Seamless to realize that pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup traditionally served at breakfast, is just as ubiquitous in New York as ramen, it’s just not as trendy. This oversight has less to do with the inherent deliciousness of pho than the level of fame behind the chefs who make it. The best bowls of pho in New York have traditionally been found at nondescript restaurants with laminated menus, and Lucy’s Vietnamese Kitchen in Bushwick carries on this tradition–with a few upgrades.

Located in a hole-in-the-wall space on a block off of Myrtle Avenue, Lucy’s opened in March and specializes in both dishes that Vietnamese cuisine is known for in New York: pho and banh mi. The four-dish menu, written on a chalkboard, is focused and inexpensive (prices range between $8 and $12). Aside from pho noodle soup, there are three types of banh mi sandwiches served on crusty baguettes: the pho banh mi made with 16-hour smoked brisket sautéed in pho broth and topped with hoisin sauce, sriracha, and Thai basil, as well as chicken and lemongrass options, both less complicated and sautéed in house-made lemongrass sauce. I had my heart set on pho though, made with their vegetarian broth and a choice of tofu, brisket, or chicken.  (more…)

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06/08/15 9:00am
El Cortez' tiki-infused entrance. (Photo: El Cortez)

El Cortez has a tiki-infused entrance and a Mexi-inspired menu. Photo: El Cortez

There are probably more authentic Mexican holes-in-the-wall to be found in Bushwick than in any other North Brooklyn neighborhood. The much-anticipated new El Cortez is, um…not one of them. A carefully crafted new nightspot from Chris Young and Stephen Tanner of The Commodore in Williamsburg, the vibe at El Cortez is less “I was inspired by an immersive foodie exploration to a remote town in the mountains of Puebla” and more “inspired by that rager my parents’ weird swinger neighbors threw after they redecorated their basement and invited everyone over for tiki drinks and taco salad.”

(more…)

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01/16/15 9:25am
Talib Kweli plays a show at Rough Trade NYC. Photo: Rough Trade

Talib Kweli plays a show at Rough Trade NYC. Photo: Andie Diemer

“You’re probably getting used to hearing news like this in Williamsburg,” Glassland Gallery began its self-penned obituary last year. “So we’ll cut right to the chase: this New Year’s Eve will be Glasslands’ final night of music.” The closing of the legendary performance space capped a brutal year for live music in Brooklyn, as it joined nearby Death by Audio and 285 Kent on the list of DIY venues that bit the dust in 2014.

None of these establishments specified reasons for closing, but one need only glance at the plans for the neighboring Domino Sugar Refinery, and Vice Media, to see that developers were involved. The fear that real estate may have finally defeated nightlife in the battle for the borough’s soul manifested itself most clearly last month when a group of artists held a dance party funeral for Williamsburg.

Of course, Brooklynites are nothing if not enterprising. For every cherished dancehall that falls, two more take its place. And while Glasslands has no immediate plans to reopen, there are plenty of other venues to be excited about in 2015. Here are five places to catch live music in North Brooklyn this year, from DIY spaces far from the high-rise land rush, to more easily accessible venues in prime areas. We’ve included as much info on their leases as the venue owners would divulge, so you can time your visit accordingly. (more…)

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