L at Bedford Ave.
Sweetwater Restaurant in Williamsburg feels like it has been around forever, even though it only opened in mid-2004. For more than six decades, the space hosted a tavern frequented by meatpackers, dockworkers, and sailors, then, in a brief intermediate incarnation, a punk club. The new owners re-imagined the restaurant as an American bistro, which attracts locals, artists, writers, and musicians. The original pressed tin walls and ceilings, the timeworn floor tiles, and the bar, complete with a brass rail, are all intact, and now illuminated with massive, doorknob-shaped hanging lamps. Burgundy booths and banquettes, antique sconces, and old photos amplify the retro charm. The menu mixes French, Italian, and Spanish elements. For starters they have shrimp in olive oil and steamed mussels in chorizo. Food of the Gods, a molten chocolate cake adrift in a creamy chocolate "soup," is an utterly pagan finish.Brunch
Sat.–Sun., 11 a.m.–4 p.m.Recommended Dishes
Food of the Gods, $8