Dziupla is a cozy, no frills restaurant on Bedford Ave in Williamsburg. The casual, brick-lined space takes up 2 storefronts on the busy avenue and attracts a crowd especially for brunch. The menu is comprised of Polish comfort food re: this is not diet food, it's all heavy carb & meat bombs (whatever). All of the Eastern European homey classics are represented like borscht and a large selection of doughy pierogies stuffed with cheese, sauerkraut and even duck . Entrées are very generous and include stuffed cabbage covered in tomato sauce, a spicy kielbasa, and grass-fed beef goulash. They offer happy hour specials all week and a bottomless brunch on weekends.
Duck into the space labeled Antica Pesa and you are transported into the type of elegance that rarely exists in an area like Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The space is sexy and hip with dim lights and high ceilings. The wait staff loves the restaurant and they are thrilled to tell you all the history of the space and the menu. Food here is Italian, with simple presentation and few ingredients or fuss. You'll find homemade desserts, imported cheeses & olive oils, and farm-to-table ingredients. Pasta is the star here- try the cacio e pepe or the schiaffoni all’amatriciana with guanciale, tomato, pecorino. Great for groups or a romantic date.
Fornino has opened its third and largest location, this time in the developing Williamsburg waterfront area. The casual, rustic space features a grab-n-go area for sandwiches, a sprawling dining area, and a large open kitchen with wood fired pizza ovens. The large menu offers a vast range of food great for sharing like antipasto of roasted vegetables, cured meats and salads. Pizza is the star and it takes the form of Neapolitan style. In a city with a lot of pizza competition you better come correct, and I'm happy to say the pizzas were great with chewy, perfectly charred crusts. Two of the best are the classic margarita or the tartufo white pie with 3 cheeses and black winter truffle. Great place for groups or just a neighborhood staple you can visit frequently.
Breakfast lovers rejoice- the palace of eggs has opened a Brooklyn outpost of their original concept. This particular location is easily 3x the size of the original, which at times can be uncomfortably cramped. Don't anticipate that making it any easier to get in, but it is worth the wait for some breakfast comfort food served all day. As the name would suggest, the menu focuses on everything egg. You'll find creative sandwiches the best of which are a massive fried chicken sandwich and an everything seasoning biscuit with smoked salmon, dill & horseradish cream. Much of the popular items have carried over from the original menu but Brooklyn-only items include a breakfast burrito with french fries and BEC tacos.
I love this place. No really, I fucking love it. Reunion is a corner café is located in Williamburg. The floor to ceiling windows flood the space with light so that it feels relaxed and airy. You can choose to grab a coffee from the counter or be seated at the casual wooden round top tables. The inviting space is great for brunch or working on your computer for the afternoon. The owner hails from Israel and his menu is charmingly Mediterranean. The colorful dishes are flanked with flavors of sumac, tahini, halva & spices. Their sabich bowl with fried eggplant made me die all over myself. The mixture of soft and crunchy textures with deep rich flavors of tahini made it one of the best brunch dishes I’ve ever experienced. I cannot wait to go back.
Randolph Beer might be one of the most visually interesting spaces in New York. Every inch of the interior has been painstakingly choreographed to have visual appeal. The casual interior has floor-to-ceiling neon murals, antique televisions stacked high, and neon installations. Running half the length of the space is a "beer wall" from which you may take as many pours as you like from the 20+ choices. It is an extremely unique & fun experience for all you beer lovers. The menu is craveable bar food in generous portions. Think shrimp tacos, burgers, fried chicken & warm soft pretzels. They recently introduced Friday brunch so you may get that menu 3x weekly. It's a great place for groups to congregate, drink beer & get loud.
Loosie Rouge is part cocktail bar, part restaurant, and part all day cafe. Each element could stand on it's own; very unique and all being done very well. The bar is quite large and rustic while the restaurant is small with white washed brick and thoughtful trinkets throughout. For the dining menu, food is New Orleans & southern inspired with classics like shrimp po boy & blackened catfish. Their sun-drenched cafe next door (Loosie's Cafe) is like an LA summer oasis. You'll find all day breakfast ranging from super healthy (charcoal detox tonic) to super gluttonous (croque bacon). It's a comfortable place to bring a computer during the day or meet friends in their large bar for great cocktails in the evening.
Sometimes, every once in a blue moon I take a break from eating giant mounds of meat. My body appreciates it, although it is certainly confused when introduced to the occasional vegetable. Modern Love is a newish vegan restaurant in Williamsburg that is comfortably loud and very casual. Definitely need to call out the service here. The staff was kind and patient, attentive but not overbearing. They make it a lovely experience. The food takes influence from comfort classics like chicken & waffles, biscuits & gravy, and shrimp n' grits; all veganized. The plating style is rather elegant and the use of spices elevate the flavor of each dish. Portions are large, you certainly won't leave hungry. Definitely a nice spot if you are looking to satisfy the non meat eaters in your life.
FRIED ARTICHOKE HEARTS WITH RANCH DRESSING
Mac & Cheese Bites
EGG SHOOTERS WITH PICKLED PEPPERS & OLIVE OIL MAYo, FRIED OYSTERS
ROCK. AND ROLL. FRIESWITH CHICKEN GRAVY, CAJUN SPICE, PROVOLONE & CHEDDAR
VEGETABLE FRITTATA - PEPPERS, ARTICHOKE, MUSHROOMS, ONIONS, TOMATOES, POTATOES & CHEDDAR
STANWICH - SCRAMBLED EGGS, BACON, ONIONS & CHEDDAR. SERVED WITH FRIES & MIXED GREENS
JUMBO BAKED BUTTERMILK PANCAKE with fried chicken SERVED WITH PURE MAPLE SYRUP
Poppy seed donuts
THE CURE - crisp rice, duck confit, cilantro, hoisin, sriracha, poached egg
AVOCADO TOAST - poached egg, za'tar, grapefruit
HOTEL LOBBY - 2 eggs, sausage, potatoes, toast
BREAKFAST SANDWICH – bacon, egg, cheese, mayo, home fries
LEMON + FENNEL DONUTS - crème fraiche
BIG BABY DONKEY - scrambled eggs, chorizo, black beans, avocado, cabbage, green chile, flour tortilla, sour cream
LOX FRIES - potato wedges, cream cheese, salmoriglio, capers
CRAB CAKES BENNY - poached eggs, bernaise, greens salad
Pinenut Sticky Bun
Southern Italian Benedict Pepperoni, Pane Siciliano, Pizza Hollandaise
Eggs al Forno, Calabrian Chili, Mozzarella, Grilled Bread
Baba au Rhum French Toast Rum-Raisins, Guanciale, Organic Cream
Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes Toasted Pine Nut Butter, NY Maple Syrup
Graham Avenue Pizza - Duck Egg, Bacon, Tomato, Grana
Sunday, Bloody Sunday / Mezcal, House Bloody Mix, Sambal, High Life Nip
Charred Avocado Toast, Wheatgrass, Preserved Tomatoes, Pickled Onion, Sprouts
The Elvis, Charred Banana, House Fluff, Sun ower Butter, Sour Apple, Whole Wheat
Egg & Sausage, Gochujang Aioli, Crispy Potato, Cheddar, Brioche
Steak & Eggs, Scrambled Eggs, Ribeye, Hot Sauce Hollandaise, Long Island Style Home Fries
House Smoked Salmon & Pastrami Black Cod, Rye Sour Cream, Red Onion, Pickled Green Tomato, Sourdough
Malted Pancakes, Hazelnut Maple Praline, Brown Butter
Maplebrook Buratta - broccoli pesto, white anchovies, sunflower, rye
Acorn Squash - red rock, sage, ‘nduja, pepitas
Roasted carrots, beets, radish
Grilled Cheese - three cheeses, red wine onions, cup of tomato soup
Mushroom Flatbread - harbison, soy, garlic, scallion
Assortment of Cheeses
BACON, EGG & CHEESE
ITALIAN CURED MEATS - w/ ham, Olympia Provisions salami cotto, mortadella and capicola, Bunk marinated peppers, & provolone piccante
GRILLED TILLAMOOK CHEDDAR
CARNE ASADA FRIES - w/smoked chili salsa, crema, guacamole, cilantro
BLACKBERRY-LIME ROSEMARY AGUA FRESCA
There seems to be a lack of good Chinese food in Brooklyn. It seems odd, because there isn’t a lack of people in Brooklyn looking for this cuisine type. The owners of Kings County Imperial solved that problem for me. The place was opened not by Chinese immigrants but by NYC restaurant vets Josh Grinker and Tracy Jane Young, of Park Slope’s Stone Park Café.
The interior is modern with two dining rooms and a picturesque patio in the backyard for seating when weather permits. The décor reads more hip than your average Chinese food restaurant. The food is traditional but elevated slightly and modernized. You’ll get your fix of noodles, dumplings, stir fry and rolls. There is no shortage of Szechuan peppers in the food. The chef has created excellent takes on dan dan noodles, shrimp shumai, and ginger congee with poached egg. On weekends they have one hell of a dim sum brunch to soak up your hangover and set you straight. They know what they are doing. Here’s what we had:
Ginger Congee with Poached Egg
Pork & Shrimp Shumai w/ hot water mustard
Szechuan Cucumber Salad
Chicken Dumplings w/ cinnamon red oil
Wok Seared Long Dumpling - Berkshire pork, garlic stems & black vinegar
Chicken Bun w/ orange hoisin
Bok Choy Potsticker w/ bean thread noodle, mushroom, water chestnut & carrot
Hot Copper Well Street Noodle w/ shrimp & poached egg
Cold Sesame Noodle garden cucumber, peanuts, chili oil
You’ll find Delaware & Hudson tucked away from the craziness of Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, on North 5th street. It is a welcome respite from the ultra casual dining you typically find in the area. Chef/owner Patti Jackson has been cooking in New York for 20 years so she knows a thing or two. Her long, narrow restaurant is decorated with minimalist design elements so that you can pay more attention to the artwork on the plate I assume
D & H is open for lunch, brunch, and dinner. The dinner menu is one of the most affordable tasting menus in New York coming in around $58 for 4 courses. Food is farm-to-table American fare. Ingredients are locally sourced and you will get appetizers to share, a pasta course, an entrée, and dessert at an obscene value. For brunch they have crave worthy dishes to sooth the massive hangover I have inevitably given myself. Try the plump Maryland crab cakes with salty capers and velvety hollandaise. If you have a sweet tooth, tear into the funnel cake. Don’t expect to share it, you wont want to. Here’s what we had:
House-smoked Pennsylvania Trout - baby mustard greens, creme fraiche, horseradish
Miss Rose's Baltimore Crab Cakes -poached eggs & hollandaise with capers
The Moose - Egg, Bacon, Mushroom, Onion, Cheese, Special Sauce, Hard Roll
After Church Breakfast- 2 eggs any style, choice of meat, potatoes, and toast
French Toasted Pudding - strawberry rhubarb compote, whipped cream
Buckwheat Pancakes - blueberry syrup and bacon
Funnel Cakes - maple syrup, sage breakfast sausage
Black Tree is my kinda jam. The food is killer and the atmosphere is unpretentious. They have two locations, in Williamsburg and the Lower East Side. The dining room is dark and boasts colorful murals. Everyone is young and here to let loose. The vibe is optimized by the chef-owner, Sandy Dee Hall, who is as laid back and passionate about his food as they come.
The menu can be described as urban American. Hall didn’t go to culinary school so he isn’t constrained by conventional cooking methods. His inspiration comes from many cuisines. Every time I go to Black Tree there are new dishes with huge flavor. They pride themselves on souring local, and proudly display all of their vendors on their website. Their brunch is insanely inventive and covered with eggs. I’d highly recommend the breakfast ramen loaded with bacon. For dinner, go ahead and throw yourself into a meat coma with either the Cuban or the short rib sandwich. Most recently they even added a chef’s table to the Williamsburg location. Go & have a hell of a time. Here’s what we had:
Chorizo Egg Roll
Double Benedict – scrapple, spinach asparagus, brioche, poached eggs, cilantro-ginger hollandaise
Egg Sandwich – cheddar/scallion biscuit, fried egg, cheddar, chive oil, Market Greens
Breakfast Ramen – mazamen ramen, poached egg, cheese, bacon
Short Rib Sandwich
Ice cream collab – goat milk maple and bacon chocolate twist soft serve in bourbon konery cone, truffle honey, cocoa pebbles, bacon rose & chocolate magic shell
You know when the craving comes along and nothing else will hit the spot like red sauce Italian food. Patrizia’s is where I would go to satisfy that hunger. This type of food tastes like childhood to me. I grew up in Pittsburgh and there weren’t a ton of diverse culinary options. One thing that was readily available was good, solid Italian food. New York is of course no different.
Patrizia’s has multiple locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. The menus are similar but I prefer the Brooklyn location for the ambiance. The inside of the space is an expansive Italian trattoria with brick walls, red table clothes, and a wood burning oven. Outside there is a large patio with gorgeous views of Manhattan and the Williamsburg Bridge. The staff is exceptionally kind and makes you feel like family.
On the menu you will find great interpretations of Neapolitan cuisine. Most dishes are large and made for sharing. You start with antipasti of roasted vegetables, fresh mozzarella, and baked clams. They will bring you sweet and salty prosciutto, shaved paper thin. Don’t skip the huge fried calamari with cherry peppers. For both pizza and pasta, the options are nearly endless as they should be. The Margherita pizza, straight out of the wood burning oven was hot & glossy with a perfectly chewy crust. If you still have room, I recommend the juicy grilled lamb chops. I can’t wait to return. Here’s what we had:
Mozzarella di bufala alla scapece - buffalo mozzarella with marinated zucchini & tomatoes
Grilled baby polpo alla fuorigrotta - grilled baby octopus
Vongole alla positano - mediterranean clams with garlic and olive oil
Calamari toscana - fried calamari in a cherry peppers spicy sauce
Seafood Misto- lobster, clams, mussels
Pizza Margherita - tomatoes, mozzarella and basil
Spaghetti all’ amatriciana - pancetta and onions in a marinara sauce
Fioretti alla boscaiola - stuffed pasta in a mushroom, prosciutto cream sauce
Address: 35 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11249
After the wild success of Pizza Loves Emily, husband and wife team Matt & Emily Hyland have opened their second restaurant, Emmy Squared. The two met in college and bonded over a shared love of pizza. Prior to going off on his own, Matt spent years in NYC kitchens. He is a veteran of The Smoke Joint, The Breslin, & Pizza Moto. In 2014 the couple opened their first restaurant, Pizza Loves Emily, serving some of New York’s best pizza & burgers. The restaurant has received wide acclaim from everyone who is anyone in the food world. In a city that pumps out more burgers and pizza than anywhere else, it’s an insane accomplishment to stand out in any way.
Emmy Squared can be found on Grand St in Williamsburg. The new space is easily 3x the size of their Clinton Hill restaurant. The space features a large bar and two floors of table seating. It is casual, great for groups, and comfortably loud. With a larger space also comes a larger menu with more selection.
Unlike Pizza Loves Emily, Emmy Squared features Detroit style pizza. In a city full of Sicilian & Neapolitan slice joints, this was a new concept to me. The pies are square, with an incredibly crunchy crust and thick doughy center with sauce layered on top. It’s unbe-fucking-lievable. If I were a betting man, I’d say they just sparked a new trend. The namesake “Emmy” pie comes with mozzarella, banana peppers, onions & ranch. My favorite of the night was the Roni Supreme with sauce, mozzarella, lots of pepperoni, & calabrian chiles. The pepperoni curls up and creates decadent little grease pools of heaven. There are 10 red & white pies to choose from.
The rest of the menu doesn’t disappoint. You can gorge yourself on giant cheese curds or waffle fries topped with bonito. If you need to get your sandwich fix, as I always do, there are ample choices. Check out the spicy meatball, the chicken parmesan, and the newly introduced burger. This is the kind of comfort food that’ll satisfy all of your naughty cravings. Here’s what we had:
Crispy Cheddar Curds — tomato sauce and Sammy Sauce
Wild Fries — Salsa Pico, crema, bonito
Roni Supreme — sauce, mozzarella, lots of pepperoni, calabrian chiles
Classic — sauce, mozzarella