152 Driggs Ave., Greenpoint
Nestled along a busy street in Greenpoint, Selamat Pagi is Indonesian by way of the Van Lueewen brothers (those of ice cream fame). The atmospheric laid-back vibe alone—high ceilings, natural wood, neon-pink signage, and luxurious potted plants—is worth the trip, be it for breakfast (turmeric tonic, sambal scrambled eggs, coconut-toasted kale) or dinner. Every dish explodes with flavor; there’s lots of lemongrass, galangal (part of the ginger family and a mainstay in herbal medicine), turmeric, coconut and chili oils, and kaffir lime. The curries come in fish, beef, and delectable vegetarian options; everything from the fritters and deviled eggs to the short ribs and rice noodle bowls is crafted with the freshest, local, sustainable ingredients. The drinks menu, too, is next-level: The non-alcoholic Kaffir Limeade is tangy and refreshing and the alcoholic cocktails are all spiked with soju, a Korean alcohol made from rice or barley, and uniformly delicious. (The Kaffir Limeade mixed with a dash of soju—omg.)
18 Bedford Ave., Greenpoint
While Five Leaves is tucked into a particularly cute corner of Brooklyn, it mimics the café culture of Paris to really good results. The tables outside are packed, no matter how cold it is, with friends sipping on wine, coffee, and splitting orders of perfectly crispy fries. This is not a get-in, get-out kind of place—you’re here for the long run. Get the spicy coconut broth mussels and finish with the rosewater Pavlova. We also like to drop in alone for an affogato at the bar—the most perfectly creamy caffeinated snack to tide you over until dinner.
95 Commercial St., Greenpoint
Perched on the northern tip of Brooklyn, and housed in a former glass factory, this is inarguably Greenpoint’s most notable new opening—which says a lot, as it’s a burgeoning culinary scene. Chef Elmdad Shem Tov’s heritage influences the menu significantly, as flourishes from Israel and the Middle East dot the contemporary offerings.
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