Greenpoint, land of rapidly rising rents and Girls sightseeing tours, is in the midst of a cool-kid renaissance. Tucked into Brooklyn’s northern tip and accessible only by the erratic G train, the once-scrappy underdog to dominating Williamsburg is now a dining destination in its own right, attracting not only Lena Dunham fan-girls but also cachet-boosting restaurateurs like the Brooklyn Star’s Nick Padilla and Waine Longwell. The duo’s smart, striking bistro, Alameda, resets the standard for the neighborhood, once home to only beer-pouring local joints and Polish dance halls.
DRINK THIS: Padilla’s New American menu has some notable items—like melt-in-your-mouth raw fluke marinated in zippy apple vinegar and chive oil ($9)—but Longwell’s beverage program is the real draw. The handsome, horseshoe-shaped bar commands the room, and from it come quaffs that cheekily riff on classics. The gin-and-Lillet Phil Collins ($11) is rounded out with bittersweet aperol, bubbly prosecco and lemon juice for a take on the Tom Collins, while the rum-based Daq to the Future ($10) infuses Velvet Falernum (a Barbadian sugarcane liqueur) with chilies from nearby Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, mixed with grapefruit and lime juices for a spicy-cool sip.
GOOD FOR: An upmarket stand-in for your everyday hang. Alameda is the Jennifer Lawrence of bars—stunning yet instantly approachable, with a serious eye on the craft (namely, cocktails) but a daffy sense of humor (namely, those drink names). It’s a place where a tatted, T-shirt-sporting crowd can get a Guinness as readily as a biodynamic wine, where happy-hour specials include beer-and-shot combos and oysters with cucumber mignonette.
THE CLINCHER: Evan and Oliver Haslegrave—the bearded brothers behind hOmE design firm—co-own the bar and applied their sleek touch for the 60-seat interior: purple heartwood wainscoting, leather banquettes and glossy tiled walls. Their white-and-wood aesthetic is becoming something of a signature in north Brooklyn, reflected in dapper haunts including beer mecca Tørst, breezy drinkery Donna and the forthcoming Ramona, a sister to East Village lounge Elsa. One thing’s for sure—unlike Hannah Horvath and her ill-fitting rompers, Alameda is the style icon that newly chic Greenpoint deserves.—Christina Izzo