Sometimes it seems like there’s a new restaurant every day, and sometimes it seems like the best ones just disappear. Here’s a report on some of the latest that have come to our attention, as well as a few we’re sorry to see go.
Ice Cream Window
Here’s a weekend secret on Ridgewood’s Woodward Avenue that’s worth waiting for: ice cream from Lady Moo Moo over in Bed-Stuy, but delivered here, outside one of the ornately minimal windows of Karlssonwilker, a graphic design studio that moved to the neighborhood from Chelsea in 2018.
Their move into ice cream is newer and had started, briefly, for a few weeks last August. This year, it’s an ongoing affair on Saturdays and Sundays, and custom flavors are coming soon. For now, you’ll have to make do with rum raisin, Guatemalan “expresso” coffee, speculoos and mango sorbet.
The Ice Cream Window is located at 682 Woodward Avenue and is open this summer on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m.
Occupying the former Bushwick Coffee House & Juice Bar near the quietly bustling Halsey L station is Cafe Rum, which soft-opened its doors on June 11. A curious showcase for elegant eating on Wyckoff Avenue, it’s the kind of place where you can find a grilled rib eye for $38, a plate of grilled octopus for $21 and wagyu burger for $22. But check out some of the goodies the cafe has already put on the ‘gram: “a one and only” chorizo sandwich. That goes for $16.
Cafe Rum is located on 1050 Wyckoff Avenue.
Here’s a spot that’s been through some ch-ch-changes: formally Seven Sushi and then the Frida Kahlo-sporting Tacos Molly, it’s now Lunna’s Cafe, which Gothamist blogger Scott Lynch calls “instantly likable.” Gone, it appears, is the guitar hanging over the dining room and the array of colorful votive candles that marked the cafe’s last incarnation.
The menu at Lunna’s is also more “brunchy” than earlier residents of the ever-changing space on Central Avenue: there’s the traditional avocado toast ($11), of course, as well as their take on a “western omelette,” which goes for $14.
Lunna’s Cafe is located on 157 Central Avenue.
For the last few years, Fresh Pond Road has been known to foodies as home to Little Egypt, a family-owned Egyptian restaurant that the New York Times grandiosely likened to the Library of Alexandria. Little Egypt was known as one of the only places you could get koshary, a perfectly charming dish that dates to the 19th century. Like the library of old, unfortunately, it appears to have gone amid a recent calamity.
But in its place is Mum Mediterranean, a brightly lit newcomer to the neighborhood that is entirely unrelated to the former Little Egypt but, lo and behold, also has koshary on the menu. A plate of it will cost you $9.50. Also on the menu: an absorbing assortment of falafel sandwiches, which go for between $8.50 (“Classic”) to $10.50 (“Mum’s falafel,” which comes loaded with falafel, fried eggplant & fries.)
Mum Mediterranean is located at 66-28 Fresh Pond Road.
Just a block down from Mum, you’ll find a recently opened Italian grocery store that doubles as a lunch cafe and diner, serving everything from a laundry list of hot-pressed paninis to sweet Bomboloni rolls, which go around $2 a piece.
Pro-tip: the grocery story is also the perfect place to find eight-packs of those San Pellegrino-brand sodas that Rolo’s has been making a killing on.
Sofia Gourmet is located at 66-47 Fresh Pond Road.
Outerspace, the newest addition to the block—which already includes both Honey’s and the latest incarnation of the Michelin-approved Bunker—had opened briefly last year during the pandemic. While it got a recent reboot from the arrival of two pop-ups: Kreung Cambodia and Ha’s Đặc Biệt, the pop-ups left the space on Wednesday, July 7 amid allegations of misconduct by the owners and management.
Readers will remember the latter Vietnamese pop-up started over in Ridgewood before it was profiled by The New Yorker and made its sojourn over to Manhattan. But now it’s back, with a collaborative menu that includes everything from orders of grilled oysters ($16) to an oven-roasted dorade ($40).
Outerspace is located at 99 Scott Avenue, unit G.
Onderdonk & Sons
The local burger institution had opened with quite a splash less than a decade ago, but you would be forgiven for thinking the latest outpost from the pair behind the Pencil Factory in Greenpoint was around the corner for generations.
For one, the burgers rocked, and this is commonly understood in a way that few things are. Singularly unpretentious, their burgers fit in your hand, but you would savor each bite as if it were made of gold. And somehow they also had the neighborhood’s best fries too? They really had it all.
Onderdonk and Sons was located at 566 Onderdonk Avenue.
The project of Lisa Fernandes, a queer Toronto-born-and-raised chef who moved to Bushwick following multiple seasons of Top Chef and a run as executive chef at the Dos Caminos in midtown, Sweet Chili also had to call it quits last week. This means the end of both the brick-and-mortar on Flushing Avenue as well as the Thai and Vietnamese concept that she has helmed since 2013, initially as a food truck run out of “a ‘68 Chevy stick shift without power steering.” Here’s to hoping Fernandes’ next idea won’t take her too far out of the neighborhood.
Sweet Chili was located on 1045 Flushing Avenue.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Friday July 16. The two pop-ups at Outerspace have since pulled out of their residencies there.
Top image by Andrew Karpan
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