Tag Archive | "Brooklyn"

Brooklyn Winery – Williamsburg


Brooklyn Winery gives the traditional wine bar a DIY Williamsburg twist. The big draw is the Brooklyn Winery Wines, hand-crafted small batches made by the resident winemaker Conor McCormack. The bar offers ten or so tap, including “The Bruno” Chardonnay, made without yeast or sulfites, and the “Brooklyn Noir” Pinot Noir, with its cherry and vanilla notes. They are available in half pour, full pour, or 750ml carafe. A number of these wines can also be purchased for $30 to $40 per bottle.

You can also order from a huge list of bottled wines, curated by Elizabeth Esqueda and Paul Brady, as well as plenty of craft beers for those less grape-inclined.

The servers are friendly and generous with their wine knowledge. Ask someone whether he prefers the Maiden or F.B. Riesling and expect a thoughtful and extensive answer, which steers clear of the snobbishness that can often be found in wine bars.

The space includes several long wooden tables as well as seating at the bar and near the windows, making it a welcoming spot on warm spring afternoons and winter evenings.

Adding to the camaraderie are the many events held at the restaurant, from Mad Men viewing parties on Sundays to live music performances on Fridays. Oenophiles can take wine tasting classes, tour the distillery, and packages for wine blending sessions are also available for groups. Those looking for the best deal in Brooklyn might also pencil in $20 Bottle Wednesdays onto their calendar.

The Winery also offers an extensive food menu, including small bites like red wine glazed Medjool dates and baked brie that go great with a glass of wine. An antipasti menu lets diners mix and match from a selection of almost 20 items, including a daily selection of cheeses, housemade pickles, and white anchovies. Those looking for something more substantial can try one of the house flatbreads, including the duck confit one, which includes crimini mushrooms, caramelized shallots, and fresh Parmesan.


Brooklyn Winery
213 North 8th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(347) 763-1506


The Perfect Nothing Catalog – Greenpoint


The Perfect Nothing Catalog is a store & space for art & non-art by local artists and non-artists dealing summer supplies: knives, bathing suits, rocks and herbs, ceramics, records and surf and skate stuff. Set in an abandoned shack in a garden in Greenpoint, The Nothing will be hosting artists and non-artists in a series of micro-residencies throughout the summer. Offering small work space, garden access, and event opportunity.

216 India Street
Wednesday-Saturday 12-8

Photos by Heather Culp

The Hill Cafe – Clinton Hill


Just off Fulton St. in Clinton Hill is an intimate restaurant perfect for a date or catching up with good friends. The Hill Café has a speakeasy feel, with its exposed brick wall, candlelight and wooden tables, but none of the pretention. A backlit bar sits in the center of the restaurant offering all the basic drinks as well as its own homemade pressed ginger juice.

The restaurant offers French cuisine with an American twist, or American cuisine with a French twist, depending on how you approach it (with a little Italian mixed in). Overall this works exceptionally well.

At first glance the menu looks pretty traditional—burgers, pasta, salads, seafood. But a closer look, and taste, reveals far more complex and satisfying fare. For starters, there’s the crab and shrimp fritters, a crispy, salty treat with just enough sweetness from the mango and avocado salsa. The moules frites are delicious (Prince Edward Island–mussels, white wine and garlic), but if you feel like something a bit more rich, definitely go for the moules gratinee—New Zealand mussels with crème fraiche, butter and garlick Persillade.

The roasted Cornish hen may be the least expensive meat entrée on the menu, but it was one of the standouts, hitting just the right balance of moisture and flavor. The side of fennel coleslaw and apple Calvados sauce helped to bring the flavor out completely. The pork chop with apricot sauce is also exceptional, with a chipotle glaze and light chestnut flavor.

But there is plenty here for vegetarians as well. Reading the description of the vegan ravioli on the menu, filled with asparagus, squash and tofu, with tomato olive sauce, had me very skeptical at first, but I came around to it after the first bite. The pot pie of red wine stew with wild mushrooms and root vegetables was hearty and delicious, and ideal for colder nights.

The Hill Café also boasts a wonderful back garden and an extensive brunch menu, both of which are certainly worth a try.

The Hill Café
17 Putnam Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 230-3471

Bluming Studio – Williamsburg, Brooklyn


Bluming Studio, located in a beautiful warehouse in Williamsburg, has achieved the trifecta of wellness, by aligning body, mind and soul. Upon entering the Pilates studio for the first time, I instantaneously felt a sense of calm and centeredness, and knew that this was a place I could come to release stress and tension, while simultaneously strengthening my whole body.

One of the primary benefits of a regular Pilates practice, is that its movements by nature, result in a lengthening and stretching of the muscles, as opposed to other forms of conventional exercise which often have the undesired effect of creating bulky muscles.

My instructor Elisa, owner of the namesake studio, is a true Pilates expert, with over a decade of experience in the industry. Her patience with me, as a beginner, is unwavering. She explains every movement with precision, and encourages me to get each part of the sequence just right, before moving on to the next task. After just a few sessions I’ve noticed visible results in both my posture and my physique. My skinny jeans seem to slide on easier and I definitely feel tighter and more toned overall.

Although it’s often challenging work, and some days my burning muscles are begging to be put out of their misery, I thoroughly enjoy it. Knowing that I’m getting killer results is enough to keep me coming back! It doesn’t hurt that the studio has an amazing vibe…light, bright and airy, with top-notch equipment and instructors with the most positive and encouraging attitude. These are just a few of the things that set Bluming Studio apart from the rest.

Not limited to merely Pilates, other forms of exercise movement are offered at the studio. Gyrotonics, as well as MIGUN massage make great additions to a well-balanced and restorative training program.

After an hour on the Reformer machine, I walk out of the studio feeling as though I’ve actually grown a few inches taller… core tight, body aligned and mind focused… ready to take on the world!

Elisa Bluming Studio
118 North 11th Street 3rd Floor
Williamsburg, Brooklyn


Caracas – Brooklyn


For too long, the Arepa has been one of the lesser-known Latin American staples in New York City. Caracas, a hit restaurant in the East Village and now with a location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (not to mention another location in Rockaway), is doing much to change this. Staying true to the street-food roots of the ground cornmeal patties, Caracas manages to elevate the dish to impressively creative and delicious heights.

Each Arepa combines ingredients to create a devastating combination of flavors and textures. The De Pabellon mixes shredded beef, white salty cheese, black beans, and sweet plantains to create a delicious mix of savory and sweet. La Mulata, with grilled white cheese, jalapenos, and sautéed red peppers, is perfect for those looking for a vegetarian option with plenty of kick. The dough is made from scratch daily and it comes across in the taste of the Arepa itself.

While visitors could find a fully satisfying meal by sticking to the dozen or so types of Arepas on the menu (and additional daily specials), the “Sidekicks” are not something to pass up. In particular, the croquetas, deep-fried cakes of yucca potato with chorizo, corn, and cilantro, are phenomenal. The “guasacaca” (guacamole with homemade chips) is made fresh daily and manages to make this staple of Latin American dining taste like something totally new.

The colorful dining area connects to a large patio that’s a great place to settle on a warm day. While the menu is identical to the Manhattan original, the Brooklyn outpost is thankfully much less crowded. Groups will have little trouble scoring a table and enjoying some top-notch Arepas without having to wait 90 minutes to do it.

But Caracas Brooklyn has another advantage: Roneria Caracas. This rum bar, located inside the restaurant, boasts more than 30 sipping rums from the Caribbean Islands, Central and South America. A range of rum-based cocktails are also on offer, including classic drinks and the bar’s own creations, such as the Romero Sour. For the rum purists, the bar offers several special rum flights.

Caracas Brooklyn
291 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 218-6050

Shooting Rockstars @ The Brooklyn Museum


Alex Palmer

Madonna, The Beatles and Elvis were three of the first pictures I saw on entering the “Who Shot Rock and Roll” exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. That they opened with such rock royalty seemed to say that we’d be dealing with the big names and their most iconic images in this exhibit. I was ready for a tour through the famous album covers, most memorable magazine shoots and famous tour photos that convey “rock and roll.” While in many ways I was right, the exhibit both presented but also enriched the most famous images associated with rock’s biggest names.

Promoted as “the first major museum exhibition on rock and roll to put photographers in the foreground,” the exhibit focuses on those who helped craft the look of rock, including Rolling Stone’s Annie Liebowitz, NME’s Pennie Smith, Anton Corbijn and Dave LaChapelle, with other names large and small mixed in. The images are categorized under several broad topics, such as “portraits” or live performances, rather than chronologically. This strengthened my sense of the universal emotions that this music taps into—sexual yearnings, rebellion, cool aloofness—and the parallels between the artists regardless of era or style, whether The Beatles and U2, Led Zeppelin and Henry Rollins or Elvis and Amy Winehouse.

While the exhibit presents some of the most familiar images in rock and roll iconography, it manages to reframe many of them in a way that appeared fresh. For the photos that were eventually used as album covers, the curator, Gail Buckland, has showcased the uncropped images without text, so we see more of the Greenwich Village buildings from Bob Dylan’s walk for “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” and a fuller focus on the live setting as The Clash’s Paul Simonon wields his guitar on what would become the cover of “London Calling.” The finalized album art does appear in the exhibit as well though—below the original photo, hidden under a flap to allow for a sometimes-surprising jolt of recognition (“Oh! That’s where I’ve seen this”).

Even better was the jolt of seeing familiar artists in unfamiliar contexts. Jimi Hendrix in tux and bowtie backing up Wilson Pickett, or Mick Jagger’s deflated posture as he leaves a stage full of audience members’ shoes in Lynn Goldsmith’s photo of an Anaheim, Calif. concert, tweaked the conventional perception of them.

In the same way, some over-familiar pictures seen on dorm room walls and T-shirts were enriched thanks to the addition of other photos taken in the same shoot and the stories behind the photographer’s choices. Seeing the full series of photos taken of John Lennon in his I Heart NY T-shirt made me wonder why only the one has stuck. Seeing a series of images of young Elvis just reminded me why he was such a pimp. The exhibit showcased works on where acts that were perhaps not on the same legendary level as the big names, but the images that accompanied them were as famous as anything in the room, a reminder of how intertwined the music and imagery is in rock and roll.

My favorite shot may have been Barry Feinstein’s picture of Bob Dylan at a press conference. Dylan looks frozen faced and mysterious holding a dummy in his hand as the crowd of cameras point at him (apparently during the conference Dylan had the dummy whisper in his ear before answering any questions himself). The photo captured the playful sensibility that’s associated with Dylan, but also said more about celebrity, musicianship and the media, which even his music would not be able to quite capture. In its best moments, this exhibit did the same.