Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or getting your ohm on in an ashram, you know that Brooklyn is the place to be. Artists, artisans, and intelligentsia alike are blazing a trend-making trail in fashion, art, and food. I knew I had to make the trek over the bridge to see what all of the fuss was about.
Serendipitously, my friend and assistant lives in Williamsburg, and selflessly offered to be my tour guide through this gauntlet of culinary delights.
We started at the Bedford Cheese Shop which is one of the longstanding mainstays of this community. The second I walked in I felt like I was transported back to Paris; the aroma, the knowledge of cheesemongers, and the quality of the pungently delicious fromage. They also carry locally made pickles, mustards, and bitters, oh my! Everything you need for that perfect cheese plate.
Just a few steps down Bedford Avenue is the shop Whisk. It has everything any epicurean could ever want. Seriously, it is packed to the gills with pots, pans, mixers, and of course whisks.
Hipster Meal Break
After doing some serious window shopping in the Williamsburg boutiques, we made our way to Juliette, a charming French bistro in Williamsburg’s Northside. I had eggs forestiere – 2 sunnyside farm eggs on top of a bed of wild mushrooms, creamed Tuscan kale, artichokes, garlic, and of course frites. One bite and I felt like I was back in Rive Gauche.
With such a rich luncheon it hardly seems possible that I would have room for dessert, but when the Mast Brothers are close by, I can manage to make an exception. The Mast Brothers are the definition of the artisanal food movement. They have tours of their facility hourly which is where I learned that they use a sailboat to go to Costa Rica to get their fair trade cocoa. The also use sustainable means to make their all organic, and truly rich and delicious chocolate. Plus the packaging is so chic!
As if I couldn’t have anymore treats, I broke down when I got to Odd Fellows Ice Cream Shop. Sam Mason is the executive chef and mastermind behind this ridiculously good, and thoughtful ice cream shop. With the help of Michael McCarey and Marjorie Mann they pasteurize their own dairy in-house, and from there create the most insane flavors like their famous pretzel ice cream. The flavors change daily, so be sure to have a sense of adventure when trying out this truly magical ice cream.
A Flavorful Exhibit
After some overindulgence, we wandered along the waterfront, passed the Brooklyn Brewery (another early tenant of this neighborhood), through McCarren Park where we came across the Museum of Food and Drink. Yes. Please!
I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but MOFAD is incredible! There was a fascinating exhibit that was an in-depth look at how flavors are made, the history of flavors, and the science behind it all.
There’s a smelling machine which immediately made me think of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s really a fun and informative museum. Totally worth checking out if you are a lover of food, or have a little one that wants to learn more about what they are eating.
I have to say I was not disappointed by my day trip to Williamsburg. I know it was only the tip of the iceberg as to what Williamsburg, and Brooklyn have to offer. I may have to make it a once monthly occurrence. If you have a favorite spot in Brooklyn, let me know where and why, and I will have to check it out.