Don’t even get me started on my love for Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Chloe and Dennis lured me there four years ago, promising it would change my life. They were right – it’s the only place I stay when I visit New York City. Chloe shares the details on this gem of a Brooklyn neighborhood that’s just a little weird and entirely perfect. -Maggie
Greenpoint, Brooklyn is a neighborhood we love. Maggie stays here each time she visits New York City, and Dennis and I have lived in this special spot for four happy years. A huge Polish enclave, it’s now gentrifying at an astronomical pace… and we can’t say we don’t like the results (as long as the Polish butchers stay, we’ll always be happy to welcome more quality coffee shops to the neighborhood). We’re huge fans of this little corner of Brooklyn here at Eat Boutique, and we think there’s no better place to start a stay in Brooklyn. Here’s our favorite way to spend a summer night in this amazing part of New York City.
First things first: apéro
Over the past year, Greenpoint has received a lot of attention and many famed restaurateurs have been opening outposts in the area. We’re not talking Food Network chefs (although a few do live in the neighborhood), but rather some smaller-scale business owners focused on local, sustainable food. Andrew Tarlow is one of them, and his Achilles’ Heel is delighting the locals with the same natural wines, cocktails and snacks one usually had to find down in Williamsburg (Tarlow owns Marlow and Son as well as The Wythe Hotel, among others). The space and the menu are pure Greenpoint minimalism, with rough-looking, mostly original décor, providing customers with a sense of place and history which often gets lost in gentrifying areas. While a drink here will allow you to experience the uber-hipster local culture, you’ll also be reminded of how this used to be a tavern for early 20th century shipyard workers, explaining why the bar still has beer on its breakfast menu. HBO’s Girls was filmed right around the corner but the crowd here is much more mature so don’t worry too much about not knowing what the cool kids drink these days and simply order to your mood. We recommend sampling some of their great natural wines, possibly a Muscadet with oysters or a barn-yardy red for the meat plate. Achilles’ Heel, 180 West St (between Huron St & Green St), Brooklyn, NY 11222.
Local must: catch the sunset
We told you we’re biased, but we think that Greenpoint boasts some of the best sunsets on the East Coast. The neighborhood offers the best of both worlds, with classic views of Manhattan across the East River as well as great Brooklyn views (think water towers), making you feel like you’ve truly stepped off the touristy path. The best place to enjoy this is obviously a rooftop, but if the place you’re staying at doesn’t allow roof access, try Transmitter Park and its pier at the end of Kent street. The park is a hidden gem and if you’re lucky, you might even see the local fishermen make a catch! Transmitter Park, Greenpoint Ave and East River, New York, NY, 11222.
Dinner: summer is for whole fish
Once the sun has set, stroll up Greenpoint Avenue to another newcomer to the area, The Bounty. This new seafood restaurant is owned by young entrepreneurs who already run a fantastic bar in another part of Brooklyn (The Drink in East Williamsburg). You’re definitely in good hands here, as chef Eric Mann used to cook at Prune and Craft, and baker/bar manager Kevin Ang is a vet from Roberta’s. Together this team whipped up a simple menu, perfect for summer, focusing on seafood and sustainable, wild-caught fish from the northeast. We say go for the whole fish, try the cocktails and stay awhile. The Bounty, 131 Greenpoint Ave (between Franklin St & Manhattan Ave), Brooklyn, NY 11222.
Not ready for bed? Try some people watching
At the intersection of Greenpoint Avenue and Franklin Street, you’ll see a non-identified bar with inviting sidewalk tables. If one’s available, grab it as fast as you can. Walk to the bar to get a nightcap and settle in for the best bedtime story ever: late-night people watching. This corner is the hotbed of nightlife activity in Greenpoint and you’ll see locals walking their dogs cross paths with the coolest, most fashionable in Brooklyn, including the makers of many of our favorite foods – Bellocq Tea Atelier, Ovenly and Greenpoint Honey are right around the corner. Beyond food celebrities, it’s the characters that make Greenpoint so charming. Keep an eye out for them, let your imagination go wild and you’ll see them: the man walking Jimmy the elderly beagle (proudly telling everyone how his Jimmy is bilingual); the odd loner who never goes anywhere without a pile of obscure vinyls under his arms; the little boy who rides around on his scooter between bar goers until late at night when his mom shuts down the deli across the street; the hip European couples who have relocated to the area, and so on. Sit down, relax, and take it all in – we’ll all be there until at 4 AM. The Pencil Factory, 142 Franklin St, Brooklyn, NY 11222.
All photos by Chloe Mathieu Phillips, Amy Feiereisel, Maggie Battista, and Dennis Phillips.
Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in the Eat Boutique Shop. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest.