Cressida Greening and her husband, Emir Dupeyron, decided they had to open their new business despite a year that has crippled the restaurant industry.
Winona’s, which is named after the couple’s rescue pit bull mix, is set to open on November 12th along Flushing Avenue in Williamsburg—just a zip code away from one of the recent hot spots in Brooklyn that faced partial shutdowns.
“We had to take our time and look at our approach, but there was no way we were going to walk away from it,” says Greening, who lives next door and signed the lease last May. “We’re trying to make ourselves as pandemic proof as possible.”
The space functions as a café during the day with breakfast and lunch before flipping to a natural wine bar at night. In December, they plan to open The Back Room at Winona’s, a more formal dining space hidden behind a mirrored door. Greening, who is the executive chef, will serve a prix-fixe menu in the space, which has views of the open kitchen.
Before moving to New York about eight years ago, the English-born Greening cooked at The Breslin before launching her own catering business and ran an intimate supper club out of her loft. Dupeyron was the owner of Café Condesa in the West Village and helped open La Milagrosa in Williamsburg.
“We want this to be an extension of our home where people feel looked after and welcomed,” Greening says.
The breakfast menu features dishes like smoked salmon tartines, brioche toast and a daily frittata. The airy space in front, which seats up to about 20 people these days, is filled with light blonde wood and has an Art Deco-meets-LA-all-day-cafe feel (it’s designed by Moe Gabr of GABR Design). At lunch, guests can order heartier dishes like lamb meatballs, a mortadella sandwich and warm grain bowls filled with quinoa and brown rice. The wine bar features small plates like anchovy toast and charcuterie boards to pair with the list of mostly low-intervention wines from small producers. Takeout and delivery options, including cocktails by Leanne Favre of Clover Club, are available.
Once the dining room opens, Greening says she wants to showcase her “simple, classic and really seasonal” cooking with dishes like scallop crudo, agnolotti ricotta and grilled lamb chops. Initially, it will be open Thursdays-Saturdays.
“Everything is so unknown. We had to ask ourselves, ‘How do we make the business flexible and for it to mold as necessary?,’” says Greening. “We feel ready for that now.”
Winona’s is located at 676 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206
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