Every time I sneeze a new restaurant opens in Brooklyn. Every time Mrs Z sneezes, a dove commits suicide. Its the loudest sneeze on the planet, that comes without warning. Think a samurai shout or a mother giving birth to triplets. Some of the new restaurants generate hours long waits or impossible to reserve, but thankfully plenty of solid oldies around. Today you get three for the price one.
Xixa – I dont know what took me so long to get to this Mexican fusion. Maybe the inner Jewish guilt. Xixa after all, and its sister Traif (where we ate before), are situated just outside of Hasidic Williamsburg. Xixa, pronounced Shiksa, means gentile woman (not Jewish). Traif means not Kosher. Its like two bullies laughing while pointing fingers at a kid eating Gefilte Fish off a can. But Xixa has been around for a while now, and still packs young folks nightly. Its hard to pick favorites from the many small and large plates. But give the Elote (corn or carrots), beets, duck or short rib Carnitas a try. Playful menu, with playful drinks to match. 241 S 4th St (Williamsburg)
Olivier Bistro – Its beginning to sound like another cliche, but Olivier Bistro is the type of place every neighborhood needs. I’ve been frequenting Olivier for a few years now but for some reason never wrote about it. Talented French born Olivier Verdier is constantly on his toes, offering a mix of specials and a plethora of French classics for the steady regulars. Its the closest you’ll get to an authentic French Bistro in Brooklyn. The burger is always solid. As are the Shishito peppers, Cassoulet, Moules Frites, Hanger Steak, and make sure to ask about today’s poison! (fish). I’ve never had a bad dish here. 469 4th Ave (Gowanus)
Hometown BBQ Industry City – I havent written much about Industry City because, well, I can never find parking. And I havent had truly compelling reasons to keep going. Until now. The ultra flaky pastrami sandwich at this new Hometown branch may be as good as it gets in NYC today. It borders too salty on the first few bites, but settles in beautifully. Its a nice homage to the classic Jewish deli pastrami on rye. Industry City (Sunset Park)
And talking about pastrami, I inform you with heavy heart and slightly elevated cholesterol that EWZ fave Harry and Ida’s in the East Village is closing this weekend. I wish nothing but the best to Will and Julie. There will never be anything like Harry and Ida’s.