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Hail Mary (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Diners
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Hail Mary, the cheery Greenpoint neodiner from married chef-owners Sohla and Ham El-Waylly, is cute as a button: Walls are papered in Nickelodeon-orange florals, the kind favored by bingo-loving grannies; a reading nook features novelty dog paintings and shelves of vintage Betty Crocker cookbooks; and behind the white marble counter, you’ll find apron-strapped, bandana-wrapped staffers hand-piping rainbow sprinkles to top ice cream sundaes and layer cakes. Even the antipodal rap soundtrack—DMX barking “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” while you tuck into a twee crock of elbow macaroni with house-made cheese, for example—sounds sweet in such dollhouse confines.

The couple’s menu is a patchwork of all-American comforts and multicultural flavors, a likely product of their respective backgrounds (the mister is Egyptian-Bolivian, the missus Bengali) and a combined résumé that includes Del Posto, Empellón Cocina and Momofuku. It’s a mixed-bag medley that’s echoed in the varying quality of the food. Starters—called “nibbles” here, naturally—range from deep-fried burrata ($13) paired with a robust, garlicky marinara, a gooey refinement of the humble mozzarella stick, to an overly charred octopus tentacle dressed with pistachio tahini ($16). Even the exceptionally crispy sumac-dusted potatoes that accompany it can’t save the dish from that rubbery cephalopod.

Mains (under the tongue-in-cheek “Fine Fare”) are more of the mingled same. A turkey potpie ($16) boasts juicy dark meat beneath a buttery crust but is bogged down due to a heavy-handed salting. A crunchy fried Sasso chicken (half $32, whole $58) is served talons on, with the fixins (charred-corn salad, creamy potato salad), and sporting a healthy Szechuan-peppercorn heat. But the slices of  house-baked bread underneath that bird are woefully stale, as is the wedge of a six-layer Funfetti cake ($11) that caps a meal, a sugary letdown masked by sprightly rainbow sprinkles. Hail Mary is a pretty young thing, but it should learn quickly that you can’t rely only on your looks.

By: Christina Izzo



Address: 68 Greenpoint Ave
Cross street: between Franklin and West Sts
Price: Average main course: $19
Opening hours: Wed, Thu 5pm–midnight; Fri 5pm–1am; Sat 11am–1am; Sun 11am–midnight
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