With every block of waterfront flush with high-rise construction, several new restaurants are opening their doors this month to prepare for the rush. Leading the pack is the Naked Dog near the East River Ferry, an Italian restaurant led by Chef Amit Rabinovich, a sous chef from Mario Batali’s Babbo and former apprentice of the “true Tuscan chef” Cesare Casella.
A native of the seaside city of Bari, Italy, co-owner Cecilia Di Paola says she’s “excited to bring the flavors of her hometown to the Greenpoint waterfront.” With co-owner and luxury developer Akmal Muhamatkulov, the two have spent over two years building out a spectacular yet cozy dining experience that reflects both the new breed of Greenpointers yet retains a neighborhood feel for long-time residents.
Eagerly awaiting neighbors were not disappointed on the opening last Saturday, treated to house-made pastas like Linguine with mussels and cherry tomatoes and Maltagliati with white pork ragu and rosemary. For secondi, Italian classics alight the menu such as grilled whole Branzino and the porchetta-inspired Pancia di Maiale, served on fennel and cannellini. The menu is accompanied by a wide selection of Italian wines and cocktails crafted by award-winning barman, Francisco Mora, like the Keep Oaxacan, a curious blend of mezcal, vermouth, americano, aperol and orange bitters.
Other openings coming soon include a French restaurant one block away, adjacent to Kickstarter headquarters, a collaboration between long-time restaurateurs who also run Rucola in Boerum Hill and one of the Kickstarter founders, as well as a rebranding and reopening of the former Brooklyn Label.
With new restaurants, parks, ferries and booming waterfront, Greenpoint may soon find itself not just a tucked away neighborhood, but a destination spot for the Manhattan crowd looking for a night out and a skyline view.