Abigail Hitchcock — chef-owner of Greenwich Village’s 10-year-old French-American bistro, Camaje — will open a cafe and wine bar on May 9 on the border of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights.
Serving over 50 varieties of wine and beer as well as a seasonal menu that will include “smoked mac ’n’ cheese,” sauteed Arctic char with tomato sauce, peas and cranberry beans, and homemade syrups the new restaurant at 807 Classon Ave., Abigail, is a welcome addition to the area.
Hitchcock’s bi-level cafe will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch. With its combination of free wireless Internet and long hours — it will stay open till midnight — locals are encouraged to lounge.
“I had never been to Prospect Heights before, besides to the [Brooklyn] museum, but the landlords that were building out the space asked me to see it and the rest is history,” said Hitchcock. “What I’ve noticed in coming here is that it’s certainly up-and-coming, and that as long as we’ve been in the neighborhood, the desire to have more places that serve good food has increased — even people who’ve lived here for years and years are excited.
“We’re going to be serious about food, but it will be cozy, comfortable and inviting,” continued Hitchcock. “There are some cute places nearby, but there’s not a loungey place nearby and people really want that.”
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Elsewhere in Crown Heights, Matthew Roff (Southpaw) opened the doors at Franklin Park, his 2,000-square-foot bar and beer garden, on April 25 at 618 St. Johns Place at — surprise! — Franklin Avenue.
“We’re going for a beer-garden-meets-bar vibe,” Roff told GO Brooklyn. “We have a great selection of beers — we have 12 on tap and five or six in the bottle. We have this huge outdoor space, and it’s big enough to have 12 tables outside. It just feels good — the entire place feels like an outdoor space even when you’re indoors. That’s what we were going for.”
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There are plenty of tour buses around the borough, but none have as tasty an itinerary as Scott’s Pizza Tours. Beginning Sunday, May 18, owner Scott Wiener will shuttle slice-seeking sightseers by school bus to some of Brooklyn’s best pizzerias, including L&B Spumoni Gardens in Bensonhurst.
“I’ve always been into pizza, and for a while, I was touring with my rock band, the Bikini Carwash Company, and eating a lot of pizza. One of my friends joked that I needed to keep a pizza journal, and I laughed it off, but she made me one,” Wiener told GO Brooklyn. “Since then, I’ve filled three journals with notes on every pizzeria I’ve tried.”
Now his expertise is yours for the all-inclusive price of $55. And while that sounds like a lot of dough for a pizza tour, his trips through other boroughs — where Brooklyn pizza isn’t an option — sell out well in advance. And if you find yourself doubting Wiener’s pie smarts, don’t.
When GO Brooklyn asked what his perfect pie would be, he gave an almost perfect answer: “If I could somehow mix Grimaldi’s [in DUMBO] and DiFara’s [on Avenue J], that would be my perfect pie. No toppings, just basil.”
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Despite the recent boxed-waffles kerfluffle, the Brooklyn Flea — which is held on Sundays at Bishop Loughlin Memorial HS (on Lafayette Avenue between Clermont and Vanderbilt avenues in Fort Greene) is moving ahead with an impressive new array of food vendors. Beginning Sunday, May 4, Pilar will serve smoked ham and cod croquettes, Cuban sandwiches, empanadas and guava-cream cheese pie made by Ricardo Barreras; a group called Local Labels will sell Brooklyn-made products like Brownstone Beans and Wheelhouse Pickles; starting May 11, Blue Marble Ice Cream will dish out three flavors (plus one sorbet); and later in the month, Hot Bread Kitchen, helmed by a Boerum Hill-based baker, will sell its international selections of breads at the weekly market.
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Drop into the BAMCafe on Wednesday, May 14 to get “uncorked.” New York and Long Island vineyards and breweries — including Sixpoint and the Brooklyn Brewery — will be doling out samples of their hooch at “Brooklyn Uncorked,” and local eateries such as Smoke Joint, Stonehome Wine Bar and Flatbush Farm provide the snacks. Tickets for the four-hour event are $50 and available at www. brownpapertickets.com/event/26417.