275 Van Brunt St.
Walking into Grindhaus, you’ll instantly feel like an honorary member of Red Hook. With a lively mix of neighbors and visitors, the small, warmly lit space and friendly staff make it as comfortable as your living room. Erin “Sniff” Norris, the owner and longtime Red Hook resident who worked tirelessly through Hurricane Sandy damage to get the place up and running, takes pride in making everyone feel at home, effortlessly flitting around the dining room, taking orders and chatting. The nouveau American fare fits the local Van Brunt consciousness that has come to define this area, and the menu changes almost daily based on what’s fresh and locally available. Some staples, like the handmade loaves of darkly crusted bread, are made on-site and come alongside spritely salads, like the winter mix of garlic, anchovy, lemon, and sunchoke. Note that servings are small and sharing is encouraged, so don’t skimp on your order. The salty piccolo vuoto is a hearty lamb pasta dish that pairs well with the discerning selection of red wines, and the exceptional chicken comes on a bed of black noodles with a sweat-inducing spicy brodo. There’s usually only one dessert on offer per night, but the kitchen regularly surprises customers with complimentary treats, like shots of thick carrot soup or whiffs of maple cotton candy.