A First Look at Bill Baker’s in Williamsburg, Home to Some of the Best Late Night Food in Brooklyn

Photos by Jane Bruce

The just-opened Bill Baker’s in Williamsburg has a righteous, one-of-a-kind beer program, one that will surely be espoused by our eloquent, in-house expert, Niko Krommydas, in a post later this week. But if, like us, you’re equally invested in top quality pub grub, in order to more easily facilitate an uninhibited evening of beer drinking and Sazerac-sipping, it should be noted that Bill Baker’s also has the goods.

From roasted marrow bones daubed with chutney to wild shrimp swimming in a pool of cheddar grits and chicken schnitzel tilted over a cap of cider-braised red cabbage, it’s the kind of fare you can imagine being holed up with during winter, perhaps accompanied by a smoky pint of smooth vanilla porter—hich happens to be one of four options currently brewed in-house. Although with floor-to-ceiling windows opened out onto the street, and a generously sized corner space featuring wrap-around, outdoor seating, Bill Baker’s is equally suited to summer; no matter how incongruous crumble-dusted crocks of mac and local cheese may seem.

Any dish featuring Hudson Valley-sourced duck is a must, including tawny half-moons of pierogi padded with musky confit and paved with cracklings, and our favorite new take on the Cuban—layers of roasted duck, thinly-shaved Westphalia ham and Brooklyn-sourced pickles, bound with pungent smears of Dijon, and grassy sheets of molten Emmenthaler cheese. A crudo of translucent fluke crowned with candy cane beets is, by far, the most wholesome selection on the menu (though it will likely become a casualty, once the DOH’s abhorrent fish freezing edict goes into affect). That being said, calorie counting seems awfully futile in the face of mini beef wellingtons, bound in puff pastry, and lapped with porcini and Courvoisier cream.

Bill Baker’s is a notable new destination for late night diners as well, whose options, even in Williamsburg, are largely limited to sleazy pizza slices and fast food burgers much after 12am. So bacon-wrapped scallops, prosciutto and mozz-stuffed cherry peppers and Pat La Frieda chili dogs (paired with goose fat fries or cheddar grit fritters) up until 2 in the morning? We’ll raise an aromatic glass of Crooked Stave Colorado Wild Sage (one of the 20+ esoteric micro and nano brews currently on offer) to that.

364 Grand Street, Williamsburg

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