March is barely over, the spring has started only a couple of days ago, yet Bushwick has been extremely busy with renovations, remodelling and tasting. Yes, at least 11 new restaurants have opened this month in our beloved neighborhood.
Before you get into the usual gentrification grumble, we have to note that we appreciate the fact that these are not just plain dive bars but actual lovely places with great concepts that serve original and truly delicious cuisines. Several of these places have been opened by Bushwick’s long-time residents as part of their life-long dreams, and we are truly happy about that.
So indulge yourself in these new flavors, and don’t forget that in the lifespan of a New York restaurant, the first six months are the hardest, so support these guys if you want them to stay in the neighborhood.
1288 Myrtle Ave
From our review: Opened just 8 weeks ago, as soon as you walk through the doors of Bushwick Public House, you’ll realize you haven’t entered just another Brooklyn coffee shop. This is an Australian-style cafe, mate. There are no single tables here: instead they have long counters and stools, big comfy chairs, a couch, a pool table, and in the middle of it all, a chatty and welcoming Australian barista. The espresso is probably the you’ll have in Brooklyn… (Read more here)
Try: Flat white–it is a drink similar to a cappuccino but with a higher ratio of coffee to milk and a more velvety consistency.
9-13 Wyckoff Ave, Ridgewood
From our review: While travel from New York to Havana is still a long way off and the trade embargo hasn’t been lifted yet, don’t worry—the Fonda has you covered with Celia Cruz tunes playing in the background and (according to the chef) a secret stash of Cuban olive oil personally delivered by a friend from his farm near Havana. (Read more )
Try: The Camarones Fonda is served sizzling, with the shrimp poached in a bit of lobster sauce.
887 Hart St.
From our review: Amaranto is the product of owner/manager Fernando Teco, who has worked in the restaurant biz for 25 years. His son, Fermin, is the brain behind the spectacular, surprising, delicious food. Inspired by Spanish chef Ferran Adrià of the famous El Bulli restaurant, Fermin is taking the foods he grew up with in Puebla, Mexico, and transforming them into gastronomic feats. (Read more)
Try: Cod a la plancha
254 Irving Ave
From our review: When the rustic Verde Coal Oven Pizza closed its doors back in January, Kristen North and Paul King, co-owners of Boobie Trap, saw an opportunity to expand. They moved into the space and began renovations, adding a bar, leopard-print booths, and filling the walls with action figures, comic books, and myriad other kitschy treasures. A month and a half later, the result is a wall-to-wall throwback that would make Wayne Campbell weep with joy. (Read more)
Try: “Can You Fig It!” Pizza–sun-dried figs with mushrooms, swiss chard, marinated chicken, and a green veggie sauce
2 Knickerbocker Ave
From our review: “It’s not really a diner,” says owner Chang Han, 48, the crazy, shady escapades of whom are well-documented. “It’s my diner.” With that, it’s easy to assume his new project would reflect his, shall we say, debaucherous past, but Amancay’s is full of pleasant surprises. There’s the infamous spin-the-bottle table, of course, the large size of which may deter an actual game, but we’re excited to see people get creative with it. But barring that table’s cheekiness, the dining space is almost… tame? (Read more)
Try: Hanger Steak
262 Irving Ave
From our preview: Lucy’s Vietnamese Kitchen is led by head chef Johnny Huynh who will bring fresh, delicious food to the neighborhood, in which he was born and raised. Huynh has honed his skills through years of working in Lower East Side kitchens and as well as at Smorgasburg. Mr Huynh is now opening his first restaurant and naming it after the woman who raised him — his grandmother, Lucy. (Read more)
Try: Bahn Mi “The Classic”– baguette sandwich with smoked head cheese, house pate, pickled carrots and daikon
259 St. Nicholas Ave
From our review: The June Bar does that perfectly by providing an elegant and minimal environment where each detail is spot on for a neighborhood bar drinker. In the combination with the friendly and nice service, June Bar might be your perfect neighborhood bar. (Read more)
Try: Any of their cheap drinks
159 Central Ave
From our review: Its cross-cultural cuisine is rooted in Basque flavors with a Colombia flair, wrapped up with a major Italian influence. On the first Sunday after their official opening I stopped by to try some signatures dishes and cocktails in the cozy, rustic restaurant, including Empanadas, Parpadelle, and Black Squid. (Read more)
Try: The head-on Shrimp in tangy, unexpectedly tasty Apple Cider Vinaigrette with radishes and braised onions
234 Starr St.
From our review: The Shop whose original location on Metropolitan Ave and Roebling St. in Williamsburg closed in 2012 has definitely stepped up their game in Bushwick. They have created pretty authentic yet modern atmosphere of “old juke and rock joints” from the South. And while their bar is extremely long, motorcycles are pretty badass, the most important element this Saturday was meat, and we’re happy to confirm that these guys truly know what they’re doing! The Shop is hosting a tasting every March Saturday 4-7pm and opens in April. (Read more)
Try: Beef sandwich!
9 Jefferson St.
From our review: The space has a positive energy when you walk into it. Bright words are painted on the wall. Upbeat music and voices of friends fill the room. People order tacos and eat messily at tables after grabbing their own silverware and jalepenos. It’s the perfect place to visit with friends to relax and enjoy great, affordable food and no frills. (Read more)
Try: Fish tacos!
436 Jefferson St.
From our preview: Kevin and Debbie Adey, owners of the upcoming Bushwick restaurant, Faro, have been involved with food for quite some time now – Kevin, long term Northeast Kingdom chef, has been a part of seven different restaurant openings and has been in the business for over 20 years. They hope to combine their experience and love of food to create a great comfortable, affordable neighborhood restaurant for the Bushwick community, a place where they have also been living and working in for the last 4 years. (Read more)
Try: Buckwheat Manicotti with ricotta and béchamel