Since opening in Carroll Gardens in 2008, Buttermilk Channel has been one of Brooklyn’s most consistently acclaimed eateries, winning best new restaurant awards, a star review from the New York Times, national media attention, and even visits from Beyonce and Blue Ivy. For most local restaurateurs, success like that would be carte blanche to start building an eatery empire (see Frankies, No. 7), moving on up to Manhattan (like Mile End and Brooklyn Fare), or expanding into everything from 10-course tasting menus to frozen pizza (that’s you, Roberta’s). But Buttermilk owner Doug Crowell and chef Ryan Angulo have been content to run the borough’s best neighborhood restaurant, a homey, comfortable outpost where the menu rarely changes but everything is always excellent. With that in mind, the focused team took more than five years to debut their follow-up restaurant, the just-opened French Louie.
Set in the Atlantic Avenue space that was briefly home to Hopeland, French Louie is named for Louis Seymor, a 19th-century French-Canadian lumberjack who, as legend has it, ran away to the forests of the Adirondacks, periodically emerging from the woods to drink and paint the town red. This bit of folkloric flair points to the fact that the menu is “French-accented contemporary American fare,” or as one staff member explained it, “we wanted to open a French restaurant, but a Brooklyn-style French restaurant.”
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