Kings County Distillery-Brooklyn’s Bourbon 


Kings County Distillery is Brooklyn’s very own distillery crafting Bourbons, Whiskey and Moonshine. Their Gate House just as you enter the Navy Yard acts as a bar/retail outlet. 

While I love Bourbon when I saw Grapefruit Jalepeño infused Whiskey on their menu my decision was made for me, my bud opted for the Honey Moonshine.   While they offer a number of cocktails including Juleps, Manhattans, etc which I like, I wanted to go old school so we manned up and sipped them straight up with water on the side. They were both remarkably smooth.

The interior looks like a really cool farmhouse and is just as suited for a date at a corner table as it is to sip beverage at the bar with the boys. There is also a bar in the back with picnic tables to chill out at. This is a very cool spot and well worth the hike out to. Of note, they also give tours up the block at the actual Distillery in Bldg 92.

Kings County Distillery is located at 299 Sands Street
P.S. Hit Rooftop Reds to check out their Vineyard on a rooftop right up the street at Bldg 275. 

@RooftopReds A Vineyard Grows in Brooklyn  


Do you enjoy going to Wine tastings at Vineyards? Ever been to one in Brooklyn…on a Rooftop? Yes, you read that right, Rooftop Reds is a Vineyard on a Brooklyn rooftop. Of note, it’s the first commercially viable one anywhere.

Rooftop Reds will produce Bordeaux Red varieties that are currently being grown and due for release 2017-18. In the meantime they are working with Finger Lakes producer Point of the Bluff for the tastings and events.

I got together with a group of fellow travelers/local experts from Gogobot see the place for myself while sampling their goods. The event was hosted by Rooftop Reds partners Devin Shomaker and Chris Papalia. They are both very knowledgeable about their craft and what I liked in particular is how they nailed the notes and flavors of the wines simply and to the point. If they said jammy for a Rose or lemony for a Bone Dry Riesling that’s what you got.

We tasted four wines from Point of the Bluff wines along with a couple of bottles Rooftop Reds are doing in the Finger Lakes. We enjoyed the following Vino’s…

Point of the Bluff Bone Dry Riesling – lemony finish, almost Lemoncello like


Point of the Bluff Semi-Dry Riesling -Tangerines, need I say more *


Rooftop Reds Chardonnay – Green Granny Apple, subtle


Point of Bluff Chardonnay – more Green apple-ly(Wine Spectator I hear you calling:)


Point of Bluff Rose – Jammy. If you need a wine to go with your French Toast at Brunch this is it.


Rooftop Reds Cabernet Franc – Cherry, this would make a very good BBQ wine with swine*

 

I love asking people “what’s new and exciting?” How many respond, “I hit a wine tasting at a vineyard in Brooklyn…on a rooftop” It’s only Monday and I already lost count of “you did what, where? ” Add this to your things to do Summer of 2016 list.

Rooftop Reds is located on Bldg 275 at the Brooklyn Navy Yards

*My favorites

P.S. Before you leave the yard, check out Kings County Distillery  for Whiskey, Bourbon and Moonshine

#Brooklyn ‘s Crown Heights Franklin Ave to #Berg’n Foodfest 


I remember when Crowns Heights was a hood that you kept away from. It was a movie class via ThinkOlio held at Berg’n that made me venture forth into the unknown(Read: Asked a friend in my office If he knew of the Beer Hall Berg’n…he “responded cool spot, hood is fine these days”).
Over the course of the last couple of months(and classes on Mulholland Drive and Kill Bill, check ThinkOlio for upcoming classes…shameless plug:) I’ve found a number of spots to grab a coffee and/or a bite before, during or after my movie class.


Cafe Forte (619 St Johns Place) I took a peek inside, loved the Pop Art up on the walls, they had plenty of seating, some tasty looking baked goods and I saw tins of Brooklyn Roasted Company coffee. I ordered an Espresso which was pitch perfect. My go to spot if I have free time to sit down and sketch.


Bagel Pub (775 Franklin Avenue) Great selection of Bagels, Bagel spreads, sandwiches, baked goods, and smoothies etc. I love the Banana Peanut Butter smoothie and their Lox and Scallion Cream Cheese.


The Pulp and the Bean
(809 Franklin Avenue) Tasty coffee along with hot and cold beverages. Baked goods to go with your beverage. I like the special Hot Ginger Tea with Lemon, Honey and Cinnamon.



Rosco’s Pizza
(685 Franklin Avenue)Large selection of slices and pies of traditional Red sauce and Mozz, Grandma style and White Pizza with a wide variety of toppings. Heroes and salads as well. To drink bottled sodas and a nice selection of Craft Beers on tap or just pour some ice water from the pitcher. I had tasty slices of Red sauce and Mozz with carmelized onion, hot pepper and bacon, and a slice of their White with Escarole.



Reservoir Dogs
(717 Franklin Avenue) Great hot dogs and sausages available in a number of varieties and huge selection of toppings. Choose one of their crazy combos, make your own or just go classic:)


Berg’n
(899 Bergen Street)Great selection of Craft Brews at their full stocked bar and far superior food vendors like Mighty Quinn’s BBQ make this a great spot to grab your dinner for your movie. Two other vendors I really enjoyed from recently are

Lumpia Shack(main pic above) offers tasty  Filipino food that you put together in a bowl with a number of bases and proteins to choose from. Of note, hot is hot here.

El Meat Hook is a great spot in Berg’n to grab some grub. Their burger is one of the best under $10 buck burgers I’ve had. I hear the Burritos are tasty as well.

I’m going  to continue to explore this up and coming Brooklyn hood and either add new spots here or create new pieces. If you know of any great spots in Crown Heights please feel free to share them…

#Filaga Sicilian Style Pizzeria


Chelsea Market just opened up a new space with a great selection of vendors. The first one I hit was Filaga located all the way in the back, a great spot offering Square Sicilian style pizza by the slice(think Grandma). These slices are loaded with toppings, making them well worth the $5 each.    

With nine choices to choose from it’s not an easy decision. For me it came down to the to the Crudo or the Speck(on top of radicchio, Mozz and red sauce), I went Crudo which is topped with prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, fried onions and arugula over Mozz and sauce. Ingredients are fresh and of high quality making a delicious slice. 

To drink they offer a number of Italian sodas and bottled water. If you want to eat in there is bar top seating right in front of the mouthwatering pies or community high tables. Mangiare bene! 

Filaga is located in Chelsea Market at 75 Ninth Avenue

#Snacky ‘s Asian Tapas Joint


While continuing to explore more of the southern end of Williamsburg by Grand Street I came upon Snacky a kitschy Asian Tapas spot decorated with Japanese Animae and Icons with Godzilla, Transformers and Japanese masks adorning the walls and shelves. 

The menu here is huge, a mix of Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean small plates, dumplings, Noodle and Rice dishes. It’s so big I grabbed the the beverage menu for drink to help me work my way through it. 

The Sake selection intrigued me, but when I saw they had a Lychee Nut Saketini so I had to try one while . It was tasty, maybe a bit sweet so I saved the lychee marinating in the drink for desert. Just of note, it’s Sake and Lychee juice (no Vodka or Gin) so it’s not packing much of a punch. 

Food wise I decided to start with the Peanut Chili Wonton’s (which turned out to be Chinatown style chengu pork Wonton’s topped with a tasty Thai peanut sauce) and for my entree I choose the Snacky Sauté bowl. Rice makes up the base and its topped with veggies and roast pork topped with spicy mayo. I added a fried egg on top for some more protein. Both were tasty and hit the spot. 

Service at Snacky however can use some work. My Entree not only arrived before the appetizer, the Wonton’s never come out, I had to request them. I was never asked if I wanted another drink, I needed one, or desert and when I finally got the check, I was told no Amex…and then they just walked away. I had to waive the waitress over again to use my Visa. 

Any place can have an off night. I just hope for their sake that’s what this was. I like the Asian Fusion/Tapas menu and do think it’s a fun little spot. 

Snacky is located at 187 Grand Street in Williamsburg

#Zibetto Espresso Bar @1221 Ave of Am 


I’ve been going to Zibetto’s since a friend of mine turned me onto their location downtown years ago. So when I saw they have a new location at 1221 Avenue of the Americas I was psyched. 

This is by far to the best of my knowledge their largest location. You can still have your beverage served Italian style at the counter with a small glass of water, or at the stand up island which is over 30′ long, but I love that this location has tables and plenty of them. 

I drank my glass of water at the counter while waiting for my Americano. Took a look at their selection of baked goods and sandwiches for another time. Took my Americano to my table and worked on a sketch while taking in some people watching. A little taste of Italian cafe culture on the Avenue of the Amercas.


Zibetto Espresso Bar is located at 1221 Avenue of the Americas 

#Korilla ‘s Killer Ko(rean BBQ)Mex(ican) Food


Looking for something a little different, very tasty  and will still be gentle on your wallet and fill you up? How does some Ko-Mex, the oh, so damn good combo of Mexican classics with Korean flavors and ingredients sound to you? 

To start, you choose a bowl, burrito, or salad as your base, then a protein, and top with a sauce. In the case of bowls and burritos choose a rice and if  you go bowl you also get some very tasty veggie sides to pick from. 

I went spicy pork over bacon kimchee fried rice (yes you are that right:) with beet and yams and the Kale and Kimchi cucumber. My cuz went spicy pork with kimchi bacon rice in a burrito. To drink Korchata is good though a bit heavy on the cinnamon. I went Green with Kale, Apples and Cucumber. 

What started out as a very good Food Truck is now a great little Brick n Mortar spot to satisfy your I want something good, but different fusion food cravings.  


Korilla is located at 23 3rd Avenue at Saint Marks Place  

#Whynot Coffee or Tea…Maybe a Cookie?

Looking for a great spot for coffee that’s spacious with plenty of seating, Third Wave Coffee and tasty Baked goods, cool Art up on the walls, an Old school record player cranking out the tunes, and very good people watching? Check out Whynot Coffee on Orchard Street. They use Toby’s Estate roasted beans for their coffee beverages and they have a have large selection of teas as well.

Hungry? Whynot has a great selection of baked goods that include peanut butter with pistachio nut cookies, banana bread, and white chocolate orange loaf among a number of non usual suspects. Need a bit more, Avocado smashes and Croissant sandwiches. If you live or find yourself in the LES often this could be your new spot. 

Whynot Coffee is located at 175 Orchard Street

#Momosan Morimoto’s Murray Hill #Ramen Joint  


Murray Hill finally gets a destination restaurant. One that people will travel to, where a couple in a long distance relationship will meet in New York and this is where they choose to go(more on this later). Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s new Ramen and Sake joint Momosan is an instant hit. At 1pm on a Saturday afternoon the place was packed with a wait. Luckily in less than 10 minutes some seats opened up. At a table for four. With a couple sitting next to each other on the same side of the table(let’s get to the food first)

I ordered up a SingleCut from Queens IPA on tap and my bud an Ashahi. They have a number of appetizers, but the Zuke Don, Momosan’s spin on New York’s latest infatuation Hawaiian Poke was all me. The Tuna was fresh and I liked it had a little heat to it. The portion is enough to share unless you are really hungry. 

Momosan offers four Ramen soups to choose from, the Tan Tan his riff on a Malaysian coconut curry topped with the Japanese ground pork namesake was delicious. I love traditional Japanese Tan Tan and Malaysian Laksa, this spin marrying the two is unlike anything you are likely to find in even you better Ramen joints. It was rich and spicy at the same time, but just the right amount to complement without overpowering each other. 

Now as for seating, they have a number of tables for four, seating by the window, the bar and a community table. So when the hostess asked if it was ok to sit at a table with others and we saw a couple sitting on the same side we figured it was a Japanese cultural thing, like at business meetings. Turns out that was not the case. Their computer has the seats numbered, thus if they seat two at a table for four, it works out that you sit on the same side of the table. While I found this odd, it does open up more seating… and maybe you make some new friends. 

I’ll be back to work my way through more of the food menu and start hitting the Sake. 

Momosan Ramen and Sake is located at 342 Lexington Avenue

#ChocolateWorks of Brooklyn Heights 

  
As I was walking down Montague Street I came upon a Huge Chocolate Bar/sign for Chocolate Works, being a choco-holic I’m immediately drawn in. Their speciality is Made in Brooklyn Chocolates along with a number of high quality bars from other brands, some non-chocolate sweets and Gelato.

They have Indoor and outdoor seating plus a chocolate fountain! This place would be perfect for a kids (or big kids:) who love chocolate) party. 

  

Chocolate Works is run by Joe Whaley who grew up on chocolate in the family business 5th Avenue Chocolatier creating Chocolate Works as a franchise business. I purchased some of their by the pound chocolates to test out 

   
 

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter cups – Yum:) 

White Chocolate Dipped Cherries- A great twist on the classic 

Coconut Snowballs- Caramel and nougat wrapped in milk chocolate covered in coconut. Just go get some…

  

I also had a cup of coffee which was just average, but it came with a free chocolate truffle. They have over two dozen flavors to chose from, I went Bananas for the Banana. This is a great spot and if you love chocolate, add it to your must go Chocolate and Local lists.

   
 

Chocolate Works is located at 110 Montague in Brooklyn Heights