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Home > Restaurants > Archestratus Books & Foods

Archestratus Books & Foods

160 Huron St., Brooklyn, NY 11222 40.732808 -73.955144
nr. Manhattan Ave.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
718-349-7711 Send to Phone

  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Price Range: $

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Photo by Angela Datre

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Official Website

archestrat.us

Hours

Tue-Sat, 9am-10pm; Sun, 11am-5pm; Mon, closed

Nearby Subway Stops

G at Greenpoint Ave.

Prices

$2-$14

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Take-Out

Alcohol

  • Beer and Wine Only

Reservations

Not Accepted

Profile

Another lovely spot for those who like to surround themselves with new and vintage cookbooks while sipping tea (or coffee) and tucking into tasty foodstuffs is Archestratus Books & Foods, which opened in the fall of 2015 in Greenpoint. The chief difference between this place and Té Company is that Archestratus is a functioning bookstore, as opposed to a former one, and the cooking is Sicilian grandma rather than nouveau Portuguese. The woman who curates the shelves and stirs the pots is Paige Lipari, professional book buyer (formerly of McNally Jackson) and self-taught cook (she bakes a mean jasmine S cookie). Inspired by a trip to the old ancestral home in Alcamo, Sicily, and a desire to master the recipes of her nonagenarian nonna, Lipari combined her twin passions under one roof, and the results are terrific — like a Kitchen Arts & Letters with an actual kitchen. The shop, with its 4,000-plus food-themed books, from all the of-the-moment Ottolenghis to fun classics like Peg Bracken’s The Complete I Hate to Cook Book, is a bustling social center and a browser’s paradise. Every time the Underground Gourmet stops by for a cookie and a quick look around, we get sucked in by some fascinating title, like Alain Passard’s The Art of Cooking With Vegetables, with his own illustrations, or some superb kitsch like Paul Newman’s 1985 opus Newman’s Own Cookbook (sample celebrity-pal recipes: Robert Redford’s lamb chili, Tony Randall’s veal chop, and Gene Shalit’s spaghetti carbonara). All that perusing can work up an appetite. During the day, you can satisfy it with one of Lipari’s excellent baked goods (try the mortadella biscuit, or a pistachio-lace cookie). But on Thursday nights, Lipari goes all out and hosts her Sicilian “blue-plate special” dinners in the café space opposite the open kitchen at the back of the store. The menu varies depending on the mood of the cook. One winter evening, it was a hearty slab of lasagna with meatballs, house-baked focaccia, and broccoli rabe, and, like Sunday supper at Grandma’s, it hit the spot. Once a month, the blue-plate specials give way to personal-pizza night, which has become so popular Lipari sets up additional communal tables between the bookshelves. You choose up to ten toppings from a list of 24, which makes anyone who selects plain old tomato and mozzarella a bit of a party pooper. The winning combo at our table the other night was potato, fig, Gorgonzola, honey, and peperoncino. The potatoes were softly cooked, the figs and honey nice counterpoints to the salty cheese. If the crust was a bit stiff and overly crunchy, it was still the best pizza we’ve ever had in a bookstore.

Ideal Meal

The menu varies, just like your Nonna’s. 

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