Travel

Brooklyn Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Leuca
111 N. 12th St., Williamsburg
Andrew Carmellini, the same chef behind Tribeca’s impressive Locanda Verde and Little Park, doesn’t disappoint with his new southern Italian spot located inside Brooklyn's fast-growing William Vale hotel. In the bright, wood-paneled space, you’ll find a selection of wood-fired pizzas, dips (including one with ricotta, hot honey, and garlic), and pasta offerings that include sea-urchin spaghetti and Pugliese penne with rabbit. Also of note: an affogato-syle ice cream sundae called “the Sophia Loren for Two” that involves caramel crumble, meringue, and rum granita.
Olmsted
659 Vanderbilt Ave., Prospect Heights
Olmsted, which opened last summer on an unassuming block of Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights, is one of those restaurants that people talk about months after visiting. (GP says she had her best meal of 2016 here). Chef Greg Baxtrom (formerly of Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Alinea), teamed up with horticulturist Ian Rothman to create a veggie-centric menu (there’s even a 25-seat garden out back) of kale-and-crab rangoon, charred onion chawanmushi, and a sweet pea falafel that is wonderfully light. There’s a solid selection of wines under $40 a bottle, too. When the check arrives, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how full-in-a-good-way you feel, and how reasonably priced it is. Photos: Evan Sung
Xixa
241 S. 4th St., Williamsburg
The name of this restaurant is actually pronounced "shiksa," a nod to (Jewish) chef Jason Marcus's (non-Jewish) wife Heather Heuser, with whom he owns the restaurant. Located under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in a cozy, dimly-lit space scattered with several bar-height tables, the casual vibe is a bit deceiving, as this is a serious foodie destination. While the menu is somewhat Mexican-inspired, Marcus takes a lot of liberties, with dishes like grilled carrots "elote," a corn flan "tamale" with blue crab and poblano-garlic cream, and grilled quail with cantaloupe, pomegranate-walnut salsa, herbed yogurt, and arbol chile. It's the kid of place that's worthy of a trek from Manhattan.
Tilda All Day (Closed)
930 Fulton St., Clinton Hill
This Clinton Hill spot serves a brunch-like menu from early in the morning until late in the afternoon, seven days a week, led by chef Claire Welle—whose background is mostly on the savory side of the kitchen, although she did clearly get some pastry chops while working at Tartine in San Francisco. The space, designed by MP Shift (who was also behind the redesign of Acme), is exactly the kind of place you'd want to hang all day. It's modern and clean with bright, white-tiled floors and white walls with cutouts for potted plants; wrap-around banquettes and warm-wood bar stools; gold accents on the hanging light fixtures. Also a place you can just pop into for a coffee (from Brooklyn's Parlor) and pastry, though.
Lilia
567 Union Ave., Williamsburg
It’s still pretty hard to nail down a reservation at Chef Missy Robbins’ first solo venture, an Italian restaurant set up in what used to be an auto garage. Pasta is the move here, but people also love the grilled seafood—the menu is separated into big fish and little fish, but the truth is, they’re all standard mains size-wise. Should you find yourself in this part of Williamsburg during the day, go to the takeaway Lilia Caffé attached to the main dining room for strong espresso and house-made pastries in the morning, and delicious soft serve gelato and focaccia midday, both good for a quick refuel. Photos: Evan Sung
You may also like