Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
97 Commercial St., at Manhattan St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn; no phone yet
Mark Thompson, who opened Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory in a Fulton Ferry fireboat house five and a half years ago, dreams of one day having an ice-cream parlor in every borough. With the opening of his new Greenpoint store, not to mention his presence at the Best of Brooklyn Hall of Fame Food Court at Floyd Bennett Air Field, he’s got Kings County well covered. The new digs were most recently a Caribbean restaurant called Bleu Drawes, and before that a glass factory, and the remote location, abutting Newtown Creek, has the same peripheral, cinematic feel as his East River flagship. Thompson learned his craft at Martoni’s, a small family-run operation in Pennsylvania, and his eggless product is known for its purity of flavor and creamy-yet-light texture. For now, he’s serving his eight signature flavors, all made on premises and available in banana splits, shakes, and sundaes, and hopes to install a sidewalk crêpe cart by the end of the summer.
15 Watts St., nr. Thompson St.; 212-675-6700
No one ever said opening a restaurant in this town was easy. Or quick. It took Lola owners Tom Patrick-Odeen and his wife, Gayle, two years to claw their way to victory over a litigation-happy neighborhood-activist group that made the American Temperance Society seem like a bunch of pushovers. Along the way to re-creating their popular soul-food restaurant in Soho (the original Chelsea location closed in 2004; the new one, cross your fingers, opens June 9), there were State Liquor Authority flip-flops, private dicks, charges of racism, countercharges of intimidation tactics, and a smoking-gun Zagat blurb. Oh, and just last week, their executive Top Chef toque Dave Martin packed up his knives and left. Stepping into the breach to oversee Lola’s Cajun-Creole-inspired kitchen and resuscitate its much-missed 100-spice fried-chicken-and-Sunday-gospel brunch is Jennifer Printz, a veteran of Payard and Le Cirque.
533 Grand St., nr. Union St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-782-7372
When he opened Marquet Patisserie in Boerum Hill in the late eighties, Jean-Pierre Marquet was a Smith Street pioneer. Since then, he’s relocated to Court Street, sold his Manhattan and Fort Greene outposts, and bought a manufacturing plant in Bushwick. Now he’s branched into the bistro business with Le Barricou, a Williamsburg restaurant whose French street signs leave no doubt about the restaurant’s provenance. Chef-partner Joab Masse’s menu, though, takes a multicultural approach, offering coq au vin alongside salmon over Asian long beans with Thai barbecue sauce.
Trois Pommes Patisserie
260 Fifth Ave., nr. Garfield St., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-230-3119
It’s always nice to put a face to a name—or, in certain cases, a cookie, a pie, or a devil’s-food cupcake. And that’s exactly what fans of former Union Square Cafe pastry chef Emily Isaac can now do at Trois Pommes Patisserie, her new Park Slope pastry shop. An open kitchen where Isaac whips up everything from buns and brownies to Greenmarket-inspired fruit pies and ice cream gives the twelve-seat shop a cozy, down-home feel. It also affords Isaac the opportunity to finally get to know her adoring sweet-toothed public. “I loved working at Union Square Cafe,” she says, “but you don’t really get to talk to anyone or see people enjoying your stuff.”