Mon-Thu, 6pm-10:30pm; Fri-Sat, 6pm-11:30pm; Sun, 6pm-9:30pm
L at Graham Ave.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Gwynnett Street, which opened recently in a homely, brick-walled space on Graham Avenue in Williamsburg, is another deceptively scruffy Brooklyn establishment with outsize, Manhattan-style ambitions. Like lots of joints in the neighborhood, this one features a happy hour Mondays through Thursdays. Instead of fruity, antifreeze-colored margaritas, however, you can get 50 percent off cheekily named cocktails like Fool’s Gold (Herradura Silver, Luxardo maraschino, lime) and the lethally smooth Bitter Truth (Plymouth gin, Fernet Branca, grapefruit). A loaf of the densely delicious house whiskey bread isn’t free, but it’s well worth the $5, and if you order the pedestrian-sounding slow-poached-egg appetizer, it’s brought to the table by your chatty, tattooed waiter plated with garden peas, sprigs of celery lettuce, and little spiky antennae of what turn out to be crispy, flattened pork fat.
The architect of these unexpected treats is Justin Hilbert, who worked at famous kitchens around the globe (Mugaritz in Spain, wd-50 in Manhattan) before settling in this obscure Williamsburg corner. Like other high-minded cooks of his generation, he has a fondness for combining sous-vide-soft proteins (duck breast, strips of lamb, Amish chicken marinated with hay ash) with endless esoteric vegetable combinations (moth beans, gooseberries, etc.). Nothing my bedazzled tasters and I sampled was disappointing, and some dishes (the sea scallops with stinging nettles, the salmon smothered in an opulent oyster cream) are themselves worth the trip. Some of the desserts (coconut panna cotta with coconut “snow”; an un-spongy mint sponge cake with pickled strawberries; a deconstructed, bizarrely tasty chocolate ganache) seem overstudied by comparison, and may leave you pining for a more standard, old-school dessert from the neighborhood, like chocolate cake, or a simple bowl of vanilla ice cream.Note
At happy hour, the cocktails cost an astonishing $9.Ideal Meal
Whiskey bread, lamb breast with carrots, duck breast, salmon or sea scallops, chocolate ganache.