Superstores like Dean & DeLuca and Zabar’s might characterize specialty-food shopping in Manhattan, but Brooklyn has its own gourmet gestalt. The New Brooklyn General Store—perfected, if not pioneered, by Marlow & Sons in Williamsburg—is quirky and meticulously curated, with a strong locavore bent. It is often rustic and ecofriendly and caters to the discerning appetites and disposable incomes of its Edible Brooklyn–reading target demographic. Its ranks include places like Bedford Cheese Shop and Bierkraft, Foragers Market and Blue Apron Foods, and its signifiers are the small-batch, artisanally made products du jour (Hot Bread Kitchen tortillas and Salvatore Bklyn ricotta, of late, and an endless supply of McClure’s pickles).
The gourmet growth sector expands this week with the arrival of Bklyn Larder, the new venture from Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens of the Prospect Heights pizzeria Franny’s. “We opened this place so we’d never have to shop anywhere else,” says Stephens, who saw a neighborhood niche for high-quality products and really good prepared foods. What was conceived as a small cheese shop grew to encompass a streamlined selection of kitchen staples: bulk Puglian olive oil stored in a 50-liter steel fusto, bean-to-bar American chocolates, housemade gelati, family-farm organic milk, dried pastas, cured meats, and, yes, cheese, which resides in a pine-shelved room climatically maintained by partner-cheesemonger Sergio Hernandez. But aside from good taste and a modern, almost stark aesthetic, what set Bklyn Larder apart from the competition are its prepared foods, which range from heritage-pork porchetta to a selection of sandwiches. The current roster includes a grilled L’Etivaz cheese, a broccoli rabe with young Pecorino, and a Burgers’ Missouri bacon with hard-boiled egg, which is the closest New Brooklyn General Storekeepers get to a BLT when it’s not tomato season.