COLUMBIA STREET WATERFRONT DISTRICT- Once considered a burgeoning foodie destination, Columbia Street has undergone some changes with the departure of Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen, Toby’s Public House, and Pok Pok. However three restaurants may help bring the hype back to the neighborhood.
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Krok, 117 Columbia Street (at Kane Street)
The corner space left vacant after renowned Pok Pok shuttered in September is now home to another Thai eatery. Krok debuted last Saturday, January 12, Eater reports, serving up Esan dishes from Northeast Thailand. The restaurant is owned by the husband-and-wife team Krit Ploysomboon and Jeerathinan Ranthom who previously worked at Land Thai Kitchen on the Upper West Side.
Along with a variety of papaya salads, the menu features grilled Thai street food, $14 to $20 (Aahaan Esan Yang); fried Thai street food, $10 to $14 (Aahaan Todd); and rare Thai Esan street food (Aahaan T-Ded) including Pla Meauk Bod, $14 (grilled dried squid with peanut plum sauce) and Koong Chae Beer, $16 (beer-fermented shrimp with spicy seafood sauce).
There’s also soup, curry, and dishes served family-style with rice, $12 to $18. Click here for the menu.
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The Longshoreman, 215 Columbia Street (between Sackett & Union Streets)
Named after a bar at the same location that served Brooklyn dockyard workers in the 1940s and 50s, The Longshoreman is a new “neighborhood-friendly modern Italian restaurant” that debuted in November.
Owners Michelle Ewan and Lisa Detwiler offer brick oven pizzas (ranging from $16 for a Margarita to $24 for Prosciutto e Arugula) as well as fresh pastas made in-house ($20-$22) including Tagliatelle Cacio e Pepe (sea urchin, black pepper, pecorino); Pappardelle (sausage, shiitake mushrooms, bolognese); and Gnocchi (parsnip, brown butter, kale, pistachio).
Popina, 127 Columbia Street (between Kane & Degraw Streets)
Though opened by James O’Brien and Chris McDade in the summer of 2017, Italian/Southern eatery Popina will introduce brunch next month with hopes of attracting more diners over to Columbia Street.
A number of Chef McDade’s popular dinner dishes will be offered on the brunch menu, including Hot Chicken Milanese, $24 (with radicchio and ranch dressing); Arancini, $9 (Carolina gold rice and saffron honey); Brussel Sprouts, $15 (with Caesar dressing and breadcrumbs); and Pappardelle, $18 (with ham hocks, shishito peppers, and collards).
New brunch items include Grits & Greens, $15 (with a poached egg and ‘Nduja gravy), a nod to McDade’s Georgia roots; a Breakfast Sandwich, $15 (Taylor ham, egg, cheese, and pepper relish); and pastries from Bien Cuit. Wine, beer, cider, and brunch cocktails will also be offered.
Brunch will be served at Popina on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3pm starting February 2.