To be clear, we’re in no way implying that veggie-centric tasting rooms and seasonal Brazilian restaurants are so 2014. Because you should continue to patronize any and all worthy establishments, regardless of whether or not they’re the absolute newest or incontrovertibly hottest. But far be it from us to deny the public’s prevailing need to suss out the next big thing, which is why we’re rounding up the most feverishly anticipated Brooklyn openings of 2015, from a Vietnamese eatery via the Slanted Door folks in San Francisco, to a sophomore effort (hopefully involving oysters!) from the team behind Maison Premiere.
Branch OFC (January): The owner of Hanson Dry is behind this “Post War Brooklyn” inspired cocktail bar, opening any day now in Crown Heights. Expect green and rose-colored vinyl flooring, chrome fixtures, sconce lighting, steel chairs, antique cash registers, a pinball machine, a photo booth, a spacious backyard, and $11 signature cocktails, such as the Branch Ofc. (Jameson, lime, bitters), Vero Beach Fizz (Cruzan rum, grapefruit, ginger), and the Note to Clara, made with Beefeater gin, lemon and cava.
225 Rogers Avenue, Crown Heights
Faro (late January): Longtime Northeast Kingdom chef, Kevin Adey, recently parted ways with the forage-friendly eatery, but is staying close to home with Faro; his very own Bushwick establishment. While not exactly Italian, the cozy spot is committed to offering all manner of housemade pastas, crafted from New York State einkorn wheat, as well as whole, responsibly sourced animals and hearty grains — think Oxtail Raviolo with sunchoke soubise, Buckwheat Manicotti with ricotta and béchamel, and Country Pork Chop served alongside roasted farro and artichoke garbure.
436 Jefferson Street, Bushwick
MP Taverna Williamsburg (early 2015): The first Brooklyn branch of Michael Psilakis’ massive, more-than-a-Greek-tavern concept will finally open in Williamsburg in the coming months, complete with a sit-down restaurant and a mezze-focused beer garden/interactive gallery/performing arts space (operating under a different name) launching later this spring.
470 Driggs Avenue, Williamsburg
Butter and Scotch (early 2015): Spirited may have beaten them to the punch on the “dessert speakeasy” front, but First Prize Pies’ Allison Kave and Kumquat Cupcakery’s Keavy Blueher will finally debut their boozy collaboration within the month. In fact, you can stop by the Crown Heights space for a sneak peek this week, and sample two items in celebration of Dia de los Reyes—a king cake made with fresh lime and a tequila glaze, and an El Epifanía cocktail; a Mexican-inspired riff on an Old Fashioned.
818 Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights
Ganso Yaki (early 2015): One of our favorite Brooklyn ramen spots is expected to debut their izakaya offshoot sometime this winter, with street food inspired by the alleyway shops, pushcart vendors and “gardo shita” (“under the train tracks”) mom and pop joints of Tokyo’s East Side. Expect miso-cured fish and meat, old-school yakitori, street-style tempura, savory okonomiyaki pancakes, Japanese-style fried chicken and Tokyo-style soba, as well as lesser-known back alley specialties like air-dried skate wing, tripe-miso stew and calf liver sashimi. An extensive Japanese and American craft beer list will complement the menu, as will a wide selection of jizake; artisan-brewed, small-batch sake.
515 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill
Izzy’s BBQ Addiction (early 2015): Although Izzy’s has been promoting their imminent opening since last summer, Brooklyn should finally get its very first kosher barbecue joint later this winter. Which means you can forget about traif like pork; the Texas-style, wood-burning smokers will be loaded with acceptable proteins like chicken, lamb ribs, veal and brisket instead, as well as salty, house-cured pastrami.
397 Troy Avenue, Crown Heights
Zaaz Pizza (early 2015): Add another chapter to the endless PeteZaaz saga. While owner Pete Entner recently cut ties with his hapless former partners, in order to concentrate his efforts on Boomwich, it seems he’s elected to buy back into the business after all, which will reopen later this winter after renovations. Hooray for cold fried chicken with curried squash and fontina, both in pizza and sandwich form!
Llama Inn (March): Erik Ramirez, an Eleven Madison Park alum (‘nuff said) is behind this upcoming Peruvian joint, which will have 60 seats, an open kitchen, and a seasonal roof deck, and serve several variations of the thinly-sliced raw fish dish known as tiradito; a kissing cousin of ceviche, sashimi and/or carpaccio.
50 Withers Street, Williamsburg
Maison Premiere Project (??): While specific details remain scarce, all you really need to know is that Maison Premiere’s Joshua Boissy and Krystof Zizka have taken over the 70-seat corner space at the tip of Greenpoint, conveniently situated across from McCarren Park, that formerly housed Lokal. No promises that their new venture will have anything to do with dollar oysters, but maybe it will have everything to do with dollar oysters! Oh, the possibilities.
905 Lorimer Street, Greenpoint
Bricolage (??): Nothing all that noteworthy has opened in Park Slope for a while now, but thanks to a duo of Slanted Door vets (the lauded San Fran eatery), the nabe just may have scored the buzziest debut of the year. Situated in the former Brooklyn Fish Camp space, Bricolage (which translates to “a construction or creation from a diverse range of available things”) will likely serve modern Vietnamese fare, in the spirit of its James Beard Award-winning predecessor.
162 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope