What with the recent implosion of Pacifico’s Fine Foods, AND Nine Chains (noooooo!) and a number of yet-to-be-confirmed but essentially inevitable shutters rapidly coming down the pipeline (keep your eyes peeled for further details), we’ve becoming increasingly convinced that by the year 2020, Brooklyn’s dining landscape will be entirely dominated by celeb chef-fronted, luxury hotel-based behemoths, and perhaps 10 new projects from the Major Food Group. But the announcement of two imminent openings have lightened our spirits somewhat, allowing us to hold onto at least a faint glimmer of hope for the future. And the fact that they’re fronted by a handful of the restaurant industry’s fiercest females certainly doesn’t hurt.
First on deck is Lilia, an Italian trattoria from Missy Robbins, who, despite consulting on a small plates menu for the Chelsea Market outpost of Corkbuzz, has remained a free agent since parting ways with A Voce last May. Expected to debut in early summer, the 70-seat-space is being constructed out of an old auto body shop in Williamsburg, and will feature a wood-burning oven, a menu focused on vegetables, fish and pasta, and a to-go-café component, facilitating impromptu picnic lunches at nearby McCarren Park.
Something that’s long been lacking in Cobble Hill is a truly legit Spanish option, so we were definitely pumped to hear about Sagrada BK as well (taking the place of the forgettable Lola’s Tapas Bar), courtesy of Clover Club legend, Julie Reiner. Smartly, Reiner plans to stick to what she knows best by developing yet another killer cocktail program, and hiring on Sue Torres (the acclaimed chef behind Suenos, and the brand new Espoleta), to take the reigns on the pan-Latin menu.
So while the onslaught of rising rent-related restaurant carnage is very far from over, it’s good to know that there will still be a few good (wo)men left to carry the torch, for affordable and community-focused Brooklyn dining.