Welcome back to another roundup of the latest food news, the Brooklyn edition. Some good places to get artisanal cheese and fancy pork, ponderings over unionizing at mom-and-pop shops, and some food-related events in Park Slope and Bay Ridge to enjoy this weekend. Have a good one.
Jaffa, an indoor-outdoor seafood restaurant, raw bar, and cocktail lounge, opened on May 19 in Williamsburg’s Hoxton Hotel (97 Wythe). Same owners as K’Far downstairs and Laser Wolf up on the roof. BK Mag visited and liked it.
Radio Bakery opened at 135 India Street in Greenpoint, offering good Italian fare – from citrus maritozzi (fluffy rolls with whipped cream) to focaccia, bread sandwiches. Go in the morning.
On offer are six milk-based gelatos and three plant-based gelatos, each $6, featuring flavors like Rosemary Fior di Latte & Fig Marmalade; Chocolate, Green Cardamom & Marshmallows or Strawberry & Tunisian mint. Stop by Wednesday-Sunday, from 3-9:30 pm, with expanded daily service by the end of June.
Sugarfish, a Los Angeles sushi chain of sit-down restaurants, opened in Williamsburg at 157 Wythe Avenue last week. Greenpointers previewed.
Sailor, a seafood restaurant by Gabriel Stulman and April Bloomfield, is expected to open this summer at 228 Dekalb Avenue, the old Black Iris spot at the corner of Clermont Avenue in Fort Greene.
Daily Provisions will open a 1,500-square-foot store-cafe at 151 Court Street, near Pacific Street in Cobble Hill, sometime this summer.
Frost, the Italian restaurant that opened 64 years ago at 193 Frost Street, at Humboldt Street, is closing at the end of service on Sunday, several employees told Eater. The family-owned spot is known for its chicken Siciliana, pasta al forno, warm service, and Jeopardy! on TV in lieu of a playlist, the outlet reports.
For mom-and-pop businesses, succession is always a big concern: what happens when there's no one in the family to take over the business? A pizza shop, a bakery, or a diner closing is a hit to a neighborhood, especially when nothing like takes their place.
They are, or were, cheap places to get a meal, started by folks trying to make it in America – just like a new wave of immigration has brought us Mexican restaurants seemingly on every block (and increasingly award-winningly good ones). New York Slice will remain, but we may get a New York Taco to go with it.
Pheasant will host its last dinner service on Graham Avenue on June 24 to become "an extension of our catering arm, serving as an event venue for small weddings, cocktail parties, rehearsal dinners, baby showers, you name it! "
Cheese Plate in Park Slope (400 7th Avenue) is the best place for some "grab and go" cheese in all of NYC, Grubstreet declares. With some 200 different kinds of cheese stocked, you'll probably need to ask the cheesemonger for help (or a taste), but you won't need to wait for it to be cut and wrapped. Of course, they also offer cheese plates, that can be picked up or delivered.
"The chef Silvia Garcia-Nevado had just launched into a description of the jamón Ibérico at Bar Vinazo, a new Spanish wine bar in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood, the other night when a cook came by and tapped her on the shoulder," starts this NYT story on specialty cured pork. It also name-drops & Sons Ham Bar in Prospect Lefferts Gardens (447 Rogers Avenue
at Lincoln Road) that "turns out plates of country ham as nuanced in pertness and smokiness as any collection of fine wine," before diving into the latest food trend.
Barboncino Pizza is a wood-fired pizzeria-bar-gelato spot that opened in Crown Heights in 2011. It has one location, and about 40 employees, the majority of whom have decided to unionize with Workers United, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) affiliate behind the Starbucks union drive, Jacobin reports.
Staff at Barboncino want a raise (from $10 an hour plus tips to $15 an hour plus tips), disciplinary protections (no more 'at will' firing), and input on the restaurant’s employee handbook on handling sexual harassment by customers, the leftie magazine writes. Currently, the minimum wage in NYC is $15 an hour, and for tipped workers, it is $10 plus $5 in tip credit, coming out to the same $15 plus tips beyond $5 an hour.
Back in October, some staff at Oddly Enough, a bar in Bed-Stuy that at the time employed just nine workers, attempted to form a union, unsuccessfully, and nationally, few food service workers belong to unions.
“What's been happening over the last year or so is that workers, millennials and Gen Z-ers, most of them college-educated, have gotten the union bug and they're organizing in a lot of different businesses,” Ruth Milkman, a sociologist of labor and labor studies at CUNY, told Gothamist at the time.
Whether mom-and-pop stores can manage such workplace relationships, outlast their eager-to-unionize staff, or choose to close their doors remains to be seen.
Tastes of Park Slope - support Seeds in the Middle, a worthy nonprofit working on improving access to healthy food across Brooklyn, while enjoying some of 5th Avenue's best restaurants.
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