Island style

We check out three new eateries where West Indian grub---and tropical drinks---are the draw.

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nights and Weekends

    Crispy rock shrimp at Nights and Weekends

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nights and Weekends

    Mariquitas Pie at Nights and Weekends

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nights and Weekends

    Improved Malecon Old-Fashioned at Nights and Weekends

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nights and Weekends

    Nights and Weekends

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nights and Weekends

    Nights and Weekends

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nights and Weekends

    Nights and Weekends

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nights and Weekends

    Nights and Weekends

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nights and Weekends

    Nights and Weekends

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Nights and Weekends

    Nights and Weekends

Photograph: Jolie Ruben

Nights and Weekends

Crispy rock shrimp at Nights and Weekends

Nights and Weekends

For a more impressionistic ode to the Caribbean, grab a stool in this breezy barroom. Here, the team behind Five Leaves looks not only to the West Indies, but also to Latin countries like Brazil, Peru and Mexico. Though the space is a bit tight, garage-style doors and massive windows flung open to the street give it sultry appeal on sticky late-summer nights.
Escapist boozing takes center stage, using warm-weather spirits like rum, cachaa and pisco as building blocks for smart riffs on familiar cocktails. The lush Improved Malecon Old-Fashioned swaps out the usual bourbon for Ron Zacapa and Black Strap rums, while Mi Corazon is a creamy twist on a pia colada, balancing rich coconut puree with cachaa, lime juice and spicy Fresno peppers.

At first glance, chef Ken Addington's menu reads like a random jumble, with reference points plucked liberally from the Greater Antilles and large swaths of Latin America. But its tight focus becomes clear once the plates start arriving: These are classic bar snacks brightened by fresh ingredients and tropical flavors. Crispy rock shrimp—plump crustaceans battered tempura-style and kicked up with orange-chili aioli and thinly sliced serranos—makes a strong case for the return of popcorn shrimp. Mariquitas Pie, meanwhile, reimagines nachos with a Cuban twist, losing the tortilla chips in favor of long, wavy fried plantains that stand up to an onslaught of thick black beans, Oaxaca cheese and queso fresco, avocado, and smoky tomato-chipotle salsa. And instead of mozzarella sticks, there's Argentine-style provoleta—seared slabs of provolone cheese with chimichurri and Aleppo-pepper flakes.

While you can make a meal out of these shareable plates, they're best suited for nibbling over languorous rounds of drinks. Even as summer fades, it's a fine place to settle in and daydream about your next vacation.

Read more
Insider eats: Jamaica

Nights and Weekends
1 Bedford Ave at Nassau St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (718-383-5349). Subway: G to Nassau Ave. Mon--Fri 5pm--3am; Sat, Sun 10am--3am. Average dish: $9.

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