Brooklyn, New York’s once industrial neighborhoods have been gentrified over the past decade and are now home to artists, designers, hipsters and celebrities. The bustling neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick are filled with action day and night. Called the “Epicurian triangle”, the neighborhoods are home to some of the best restaurants in New York City.
Best friends from Missouri, Justin Bazdarich and Chris Walton run one of the hottest restaurants in Brooklyn. The Greenpoint neighborhood’s Oxomoco’s menu features authentic Mexican cuisine cooked over a wood fired grill. The menu is inspired by the Yucatan peninsula, Baja, Oaxasca and Mexico City and features tacos, meat, seafood, vegetables, tostados and ceviches. Innovative fillings include vegan beet chorizo, fried soft shell crab, pork cheek carnitas and lamb barbacoa. Chef Bazdarich trained under Jean-Georges Vongerichten and helped the chef open several international restaurants. Oxomoco’s dining area includes a spacious 25 seat patio leading to an 85 seat main dining area with whitewashed walls, a high ceiling with skylights and tons of greenery. You’ll find Oxomoco’s exciting atmosphere popular for brunch and dinner.
Chef Polo Dobkin and his wife Stephanie Lempert opened Meadowstreet on Broadway near Bedford Avenue in 2014. The popular spot features a contemporary American menu and fresh ingredients. An herb garden hangs above the dining area and the kitchen uses produce grown at Chef Dobkin and Lempert’s upstate New York farm. The menu features seafood, beef, poultry, small portions, a 5 course tasting menu and delicious desserts. Chef Dobkin trained at the French Culinary Institute and worked as a chef at Gramercy Tavern, The Screening Room and The Dressler. Meadowstreet is located at the sight of the former Dressler. The décor is light and airy featuring white washed Kentucky pine.
Located in the Williamsburg neighborhood on Union Avenue, Lilia is in a former auto body shop. The space has been transformed into a spacious dining area with a lot of natural light. The décor is upscale yet comfortable. Chef Missy Robbins of Chicago’s Spiaggia and NYC’s Voce has created a menu filled with innovative Italian American dishes. Choices include wood fired seafood, hand crafted pasta, spring garden salads and Italian cocktails. Specials include Caio E Pepe Fritelle, Roasted Squash, Black Bass, Grilled Clams, Rigatoni Divavola and Veal Steak with peppers. The decadent dessert menu includes a delicious Olive Oil Cake.
Five Leaves opened on Bedford Avenue in the newly trendy Greenpoint neighborhood in 2008. The restaurant was backed by Heath Ledger. The corner café vibe instantly became a hipster hangout and remains a popular mainstay in Brooklyn for brunch and dinner. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the menu is a combination of Australian surf, Parisian bistro, Eastern and American dishes. The signature appetizer is Devils on Horseback, bacon wrapped medjool dates with habanero vincotta and almonds. Brunch includes Moroccan scramble and ricotta pancakes.
Di An Di
Di An Di is Brooklyn’s most popular Vietnamese restaurant. Located in Greenpoint, the owners, Kim Huang, Tuan Bui and Chef Dennis Ngo, have created a comfortable place to dine and indulge on traditional Vietnamese cuisine. The menu features Pho, a variety of noodle soups and rolls, and shared plates. The contemporary décor was designed by Huy Bui. Di An Di features three rooms transitioned with custom banquets lining the walls. The banquet seating includes white wood and a distressed timber floor. Di An Di is filled with plants that provide an airy tropical theme.
Located in Williamsburg’s The Wythe Hotel, Reynard is a popular Brooklyn restaurant and serves contemporary American fare in a casual atmosphere. Andrew Tarlow of Diner and Marlow & Sons opened Reynard and the restaurant was instantly a hit. Head Chef Christina Lecki, of The Breslin, creates an original menu cooked on a unique wood burning hearth. The savory specialties includes purees made from slow roasted pumpkins, roasted chicken, maple glazed ham, scallops, pork, steak, eggplant, sea bass, lobster and wild mushrooms. Brunch is popular at Reynard and features crepes, Dutch and French chickpea pancakes.
Chef Trigg Brown creates a variety of dishes using traditional Taiwanese street food and adding innovative flair. The menu is heavy on pork offers a variety of small plate appetizers and noodle dishes. Chef Brown’s specialty is sandwiches. Big and creative, sandwiches come with a sweet fried dough bun, often feature pickled pineapple and tofu mayo. There is even a huge vanilla ice cream sandwich served on a fried mantou bun. Win Son’s atmosphere is modern and fun. The sleek black banquettes allow diners to see through a subway tiled window into the kitchen to watch Chef Brown prepare meals.
Peter Lugar Steakhouse
Peter Lugar Steakhouse has a long history and remains a staple of Brooklyn. Peter Lugar opened Carl Lugar’s Café in honor of his uncle on the sight in the late nineteenth century. When Peter passed away in the 1950’s, businessman Sol Forman bought the restaurant, a favorite lunch spot and maintained the restaurant’s popularity while tuning it into a popular steakhouse. Peter Lugar Steakhouse remains in the Forman family. The traditional steakhouse menu includes appetizers, salads, desserts, steaks, lamb, burgers and more. The prime steaks are dry aged on site, and the restaurant offers a tour of the Dry Aged room. Known for its great service, the atmosphere is traditional and comfortable. The décor features elegant chandeliers with wood beams and floor and brass accents.
Williamsburg’s St. Anselm is a popular restaurant serving American fare with a modern twist. Popular appetizers include grilled eggplant with fried goat cheese, grilled artichoke hearts, and walnut bread with sheep’s milk butter. Popular entrees include Veal flank steak chimichurri, mackerel with lime peppercorn sauce, and bobo chicken in sweet tea brine. The decadent dessert menu includes rum sticky toffee cake and coconut cream cake with lime. Along with wine and cocktails, St. Anselm serves beer from local Brooklyn breweries. St. Anselm’s décor is cozy with an industrial vibe. Brick walls and dark wood create an intimate and inviting atmosphere.
Chez Ma Tante
Brooklyn’s Chez Ma Tante is a unique neighborhood restaurant that serves French and English inspired dishes in a simple style. The restaurant is owned by Canadian Aiden O’Neal and New Yorker Jake Leiber who were inspired to name it Chez Ma Tante after the renown Montreal Hot Dog and French Fry spot. The feel of Chez Ma Tante is like a pub, bistro and café. The menu includes appetizers like chips with garlicky aioli, starters like Pig’s head terrine with ravigote sauce and meals like sirloin steak with gorgonzola and beets, falafel with hummus and cucumber, and fennel sausage with butter beans and mushrooms. The desert menu includes chocolate cake and apple sorbet with Polish vodka. Along with wine and beer, the bar serves classic cocktails.
Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co
Adam Geringer-Dunn and Vincent Milburn opened Brooklyn’s Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. in 2014 and recently expanded with a Long Island location. The Company is part fish market and part restaurant. It specializes in local and seasonal fish and promotes responsible fishery management. At Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Company, diners can experience a variety of seafood including a kelp noodle salad, lobster rolls and oysters. The experience of eating in the sleek bar is educational. Diners sit at the marble topped bar with a view to watch the kitchen prep. Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. also offers learning events including an Oyster Taste & Shuck.