Leuca: Carmellini is now the bread of the sandwich that is the William Vale in Williamsburg. Up on the roof, there is Westlight, for cocktails. In the foundation: this warm expanse of Italian fare.
Miss Paradis: A French restauranteur and his daughter came here, found a corner, and had Philippe Starck, probably one of only a handful of industrial designers you could name, build a restaurant there.
L: Carmellini’s places are, by and large, pretty vast by New York standards. But in Brooklyn he’s working with even more real estate. This particular real estate looks like the pseudo-subterranean spawn of Lafayette and Little Park, with vast expanses of light woods, ornate columns, very distinct bar and dining areas, and a shocking amount of natural light for a place that’s half-underground (for your breakfast/lunch consideration).
MP: It is truly one of the more interesting designs we’ve seen this year. We’ll describe it as a futuristic, bi-level lunch counter with a small second floor gallery. It’s our best shot. There are beautiful photos later.
L: Kind of a Locanda Verde vibe going on here, food-wise, but with more of an emphasis on the sharing restaurants want you to do so badly nowadays. Wood-fired pizzas and pastas are front and center (menu here), spicy sea urchin spaghetti being a particularly savory example. For dates, or for deep depressions, there’s a dessert called the Sophia Loren for Two—a monster of a sundae with espresso gelato, chocolate sauce, caramel, rum granita, and whipped cream, topped affogato-style with a shot of espresso.
MP: “Healthy Mediterranean.” And it is. A pescatarian menu that includes activated charcoal bread with preserved garlic and a sesame-eggplant spread (they call it the Piaf spread). Seafood paella for two. A butternut steak with curry. That’s right—squash as steak.
L: A typically well-thought-out list of Italian wines and cocktails that skew toward Italian liqueurs. You could easily just come here for a pre-whatever Williamsburg drink or two and leave happy.
MP: This is a classic case of not having a liquor license yet gone right. Elderflower-infused rosé sounds like something someone you’re dating would enjoy. Soju and sake cocktails also feature prominently.
L: Your 2016 Williamsburg mixture of the neighorhood folk, the visiting Manhattanite, the international hotel tourist, the foodie and the generally attractive. None of those being mutually exclusive.
MP: Mix one part Sunday crowd at Cha Cha Matcha with two parts that crowd on its way to a Fashion Week party. Sprinkle older European couples on top to taste.
L: Large black and white photos of a small Italian girl making funny faces at you.
MP: A cutesy menu format (see here) and a giant silver apple on the roof, pierced, presumably, by a giant William Tell, by an arrow.
Right here for both.