This past weekend I made a trip up to New York City to visit family and was once again amazed at just how much the city has to offer, especially food-wise. Although I usually go directly into Manhattan and stay, my cousin recently bought an apartment in Brooklyn, so we decided to try out new things in that part of the city. Brooklyn has become a hot spot for young fresh thinkers and the restaurants here mirror its transformation.
After sitting for hours in standstill traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike we arrived and immediately stopped for dinner at a place called Brooklyn Fish Camp, which sounds unappealing, but it serves fantastic and unique fresh seafood (try the red snapper, Thai style, or the pan-roasted golden tile filet (above) with a side of shoestring fries). We ate out on the back patio, which was decorated with white lights and old coffee containers retrofitted as flowerpots. When it started pouring rain a tent seemed to magically appear over us and provided an even cooler atmosphere as the sound of water pounded above, and light chatter and a warm glow of lights surrounded us.
Saturday we traveled to Williamsburg, Brooklyn an area that is still in the process of being gentrified, right near the heart of one the largest Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods in the world. As the area has increasingly become more urban and young, great food has followed.
Walking through Williamsburg trying to decide which pizza place to stop at was difficult, but after asking locals where to go we chose the restaurant Forninos. Pizzas are made in a coal oven and cook fast because of the intense heat, so five minutes after ordering it was time to chow down. My favorite was the spinach pizza with garlic, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and fresh baby spinach leaves on top. People on the street also had good things to say about Vinnie’s, a small fast-food type pizza place right up the street from Fornino’s.
Another place necessary to try (if you’re a steak lover), is the classic Peter Luger Steak House.
After eating here ten years ago my family still talks about how the steak just melted in your mouth. However, the price for this quality of meat is high and it’s one of those “once every five years” type places.
There are hundreds, and I mean, hundreds, of restaurants that all looked delicious in this area of Brooklyn and after visiting the website FREEwilliamsburg, I can’t wait to go back and try places like Egg, Giando on the Water and My Moon.
What’s your favorite Williamsburg dining haunt?
Photo: Kate McCormack