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A whisky rebellion at Longbow Pub

(From right) Frank Ayoub and chef Kert Eggers show off the classic meatball sandwich from Polpette, the meatball shop next to the venerable Fornino restaurant.
for The Brooklyn Paper
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Forget about turkey and mashed potatoes — get your weekly whisky fix at Longbow Pub and Pantry in Bay Ridge, your monthly taste of smoked seafood at Shelsky’s in Cobble Hill, and your overall fill of openings, closings, bits and bites from all over Brooklyn!

Everybody’s drinking for the weekend: Why wait for Friday when you can whet your whistle during “Whisky of the Week” at Longbow Pub and Pantry every Thursday? Bay Ridge’s favorite Welsh drinking house features a new top shelf spirit (Penderyn Aur Cymru! Glenn Fiddich!) for rock-bottom prices each week (think $8 a pop). We’yll rayse a glayss to thyat!

Good taste: Peter Shelsky will also hold discounted tastings at his eponymous Smith Street appetizing shop one Monday a month — and you won’t have to contend with a hangover the next day. As Pardon Me For Asking reported, a $20 ticket buys a host of noshes, such as smoked salmon bites, whitefish salad canapés, sugary rugelah and slabs of homemade chocolate babka, plus a salmon slicing demo and lesson, and discussion about pickling and smoking. A perfect date for you and your bubby!

Out of the fire, into the frying pan: Cochinita in Clinton Hill drew raves right of the gate for its tasty tacos on homemade tortillas — but was sadly devastated by fire shortly after its opening. Here’s an early Christmas present for pibil aficionados: Grub Street reports that the tacqueria-that-could will be back up and running by early December.

Adieu Abistro: It’s closing time for the original outpost of French/Senegalese institution, Abistro, one of the pioneers of Fort Greene’s now-flourishing foodie scene. Although an expanded, pricier, and BYOB-less version of Abistro lives on a mere five blocks away, owner Abdoul Gueye acknowledges that breaking up with his first baby was hard to do. “It meant a lot to me, it meant a lot to a lot of people,” he told Zagat, “but it was too much to run two businesses.”

Spam-alot: According to Here’s Williamsburg, residents can soon satiate cravings for poke and poi (along with that other, other white meat) at 84 Havemeyer St. — the location of an upcoming Hawaiian-themed restaurant. Although the borough is hardly saturated with fare from the 50th state, Bay Ridge alone is home to two new contenders — Aloha Grinds and the upcoming Ho’brah tacos. Do we sense a trend on the horizon?

Konditori continued: What do you think of when you think of Sweden? Fish? Meatballs? Particleboard furniture? Political neutrality? How about coffee bars? Park Slope just got a little bit Swede-r now that a Seventh Avenue outpost of Konditori has joined the original location on Fifth Avenue near Sackett Street. Both serve French-press coffee and traditional Swedish cardamom bread, cinnamon rolls, and coco balls — so good, they’ll make you want to go bork bork bork!

Meatball moment: Like wood-fired pizza, organ meats, and hamburgers before them, meatballs are now having their moment in the bun. The latest men with balls are Fornino owner Frank Ayoub and his chef Kert Eggers, who have turned the generally excellent restaurant’s lackluster takeout counter into Polpette, a meatball sandwich shop. Standout Dagwoods include the pork meatball with fennel sausage on a potato roll and Josphine’s Famous, featuring classic beef balls on a hero. The turkey meatballs were a bit disappointing, but you can’t have everything.

What happens in Greenpoint: Chef/restaurateur John Fraser got plenty of attention for his experimental What Happens When, a temporary Lower East Side restaurant (don’t call it a pop-up!) that changed menus — and décor — each month. He got even more attention when it abruptly shuttered in June over complications obtaining a liquor license. Why do we care? Grub Street reports that Fraser is steps away from signing a lease in Greenpoint — albeit for a much less avant-garde eatery.

Updated 5:28 pm, July 9, 2018
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