Emmy Squared, Detroit Style Pizza

waiting for emmy squared to open at 12

You know a pizza place is good when David Chang and his camera crew decide to feature it in an upcoming episode of Lucky Peach. That’s what we stumbled upon when we stopped by Emmy Squared, the new pizza restaurant in Williamsburg run by Emily and Matt Hyland, the duo behind the very popular Pizza Loves Emily in Clinton Hill,  for brunch. There were cameras in the back filming Chang and someone else digging into a plate of what looked like a very delicious and immense spicy chicken sandwich. With the Chang stamp of approval, expectations were sky high.Read More

Ichiran Ramen

flavor concentration booth for one
flavor concentration booth for one

Remember the world in the movie Her, where people walked around blissfully by themselves in their high-waisted pants talking to their operating systems? Had they been born centuries earlier, perhaps they would have frequented Ichiran Ramen, the new restaurant in Bushwick famous for its solitary ramen experience. Customers sit in solo “flavor concentration” booths designed to totally automate the whole ramen ordering and eating experience so that human interaction is unnecessary. There’s an order form that lets you check off how you want your broth and noodles, and all you have to do is slide it across the table, where a faceless server will pick it up for processing. If you have any questions about how different options will affect your ramen flavors, there are detailed flyers hanging in your booth that will explain all of that. And if you want some extra water, all you have to do is press a button and show a card that writes out what you want.Read More

Faun, Another Brooklyn Farm-to-Table Restaurant

Brooklyn, Brooklyn. The farm-to-table gift that keeps giving. The list of charming, neighborhood restaurants serving solid seasonal classics in a nice outdoor courtyard keeps growing. The newest addition is Faun in Prospect Park, run by the former executive chef of Vinegar Hill House. The menu is very edited and skews mostly Italian, but it’s a little more cerebral than your typical tagliatelle and wood-fire oven pizza. There are exotic pastas like quadrucci and mezze maniche that I have never heard of making their debuts here. And meats are a little more wild and adventurous, things like squab and boar are roasting and braising in the nearby kitchen. Maybe that’s how the name Faun plays in. The restaurant is in a familiar neck of the woods, but the food that pops out is a little more interesting and unusual like the mythical creature itself.

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tripe, ‘nduja, parmesan, poached egg

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Battersby

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Battersby is one of those esteemed Brooklyn institutions like Franny’s and Al Di La that everyone should go to at some point. It’s now overshadowed by newer and trendier Brooklyn restaurants like Lilia, Maison Premiere or Roberta’s, but this classic has staying power. Over the summer, some of our friends moved to Cobble Hill, which gave us an excuse to finally try Battersby. We called ahead, expecting some sort of egregious wait, but it was only about half an hour for a table outside. I suppose the crowds were a little thin due to the summer holidays and the fact that this restaurant’s moment had passed, but in my opinion, all those chasing the next big thing were missing out.

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Brunch at Reynard

dining room at reynard
dining room at reynard

Hotel restaurants are not my first choice for having brunch. Brunch needs to be in a place that has some character with a lot of locals mingling about, and the somewhat staid environment of a hotel lobby doesn’t really offer that. I would, however, make an exception for Reynard, the restaurant at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. When you enter, you do feel like you are entering a very corporate version of what a nice Victorian-themed bar and restaurant should be like, and you wonder if you’ll find people wearing flannel shirts and raw denim jeans eating good old Americana-themed dishes like bacon-fat brussels sprouts or flap jacks.Read More