Raise a glass — your gossip’s ready! This week we wine and dine in Bay Ridge, take tea in Clinton Hill, and grab a stein in Carroll Gardens.
Fine wine: We usually yawn at the word of wine bars opening in most neighborhoods, but a dedicated vino spot setting up shop in Bay Ridge? Now that’s a big deal! The Owl’s Head, which is currently under construction on 74th Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues, will be a oenophilic first for the flourishing foodie nabe.
The French connection: The building at 8303 Third Ave. has seen many (French) iterations over the last few years. First it was Provence en Boite, then it was Saint Germain, and now, well, it’s still Saint Germain, but with a new top toque. Vincent Tropepe — a former personal chef for celebrities as varied as Regis Philbin, P. Diddy, and Bill Clinton — will bring a taste of Southern France to the elegant Bay Ridge bistro.
Toasty tipples: Looks like Prospect Heights’ admirably divey, sideshow-inspired, whisky and beer bar, Minor Arcana, is jumping on the seasonal cocktail bandwagon. Instead of shots and suds, go ahead and “Wet Your Wand” (with Hendricks gin, St. Germain, lemon juice and club soda) or “Shoot the Freak” (with silver tequila, muddled jalapeno, pineapple and lime juice and agave nectar) this fall.
Biggest story ever: Jake’s Wayback Burgers, the “hometown” burger joint with a new branch on Livingston Street in Downtown, has just added house-made BBQ chips to its menu. They’re like regular house-made chips, but with zesty BBQ seasoning! Our minds — and taste-buds — are totally blown.
Tea-totalers: Putnam Avenue in Clinton Hill is getting the ultimate caffeine fix with Luv Tea, a cozy new spot serving Blue Bottle coffee, kombucha on tap, and 30 varieties of loose leaf tea. Don’t know your Ceylon from your Lapsang Souchong? “You don’t need to be an expert in tea to come here,” the owner assured Brownstoner. “We plan to be helpful with the menu and let you try the different types.”
Cool beans: Want some art with your espresso? The newly opened Whisk Bakery Café on Newkirk Avenue in Ditmas Park is a “community oriented space with a strong commitment to the highest quality food and drink.” Translation; caffeinated beverages, homemade pastries, and gallery showings from the Flatbush Artists Studio Tour group. How very Brooklyn!
Buschen-say wha? A new eatery called Buschenshank Brooklyn (say that three times fast!) is moving onto the corner of Court and Sackett streets later this month. According to Eater, the spot is the brainchild of James McGown (the owner of the mini-chain South Brooklyn Pizza) and will offer hearty fare from the largely German speaking Italian province of South Tyrol. Also on the docket — live German pop/rock music every week. This better mean David Hasselhoff cover bands!
Carroll Gardens coup: Another monster restaurant opening for Carroll Gardens — Joseph Ogrodnek, the former chef at Anella, in Greenpoint, and Walker Stern, formerly of The Vanderbilt, in Prospect Heights, are looking at a mid-October opening for their first solo venture, Battersby. Named after the Philadelphia street Ogrodnek grew up on, the eatery will offer the fairly requisite seasonal menu + chefs tasting menu + specialty cocktails/craft beer on tap/carefully curated wine list combo. Nothing earth shattering, but c’mon, the chefs from Anella and The Vanderbilt! Add in a no-reservations policy, and we’re looking at lines snaking down Smith Street.