After hosting a series of well-received pig-picking bashes, Tyson Ho brings whole swine to the table at his BBQ-and-beer hall in Bushwick, a rugged warehouse emblazoned with graffitied pig murals and charred wood. Here, he commits to the Carolinas’ distinct techniques, roasting entire swine over embers and dressing the meat in a simple vinegar-pepper sauce. There’ll also be house-made smoked sausages, sweet-potato waffles with bourbon syrup, and build-your-own charcuterie boards (salami, country ham) to spotlight craft curers in West Virginia, Kentucky and even Bosnia.
Founded by Sam Saverance and Ethiopian expat Liyuw Ayalew, the brick-walled joint honors Ethiopia—widely hailed as the birthplace of coffee—with traditional coffee ceremonies and live Abyssinian music. Java is made in a jebena pot and infused with cloves and cardamom, served with snacks like ambasha bread or cooked barley. Those looking for heartier options can dig into vegetarian plates, served on a bed of injera bread, like misir wot (red lentils in berbere sauce), keysir selata (sautéed and chilled beets) and shiro (garlicky ground chickpeas).
Vintage curios, muted milk-bottle lights, locally sourced oyster ’shrooms. As the name portends, this is twee Brooklyn by way of shoot-’em-up Bushwick. Chef Jessica Wilson describes the lusty, sometimes whimsical fare as “England meets Vermont.” To that end, a hulking pork chop—thicker than an ax handle—seems more fit for a barrel-chested lumberjack than the skinny-jeans set (gathered here neath an oversize boho painting of a leggy brunet on a horse). Other earthy, elegant dishes, like a pitch-perfect creamy celeriac soup or a buttery, beer-steamed mussels special on one night, are equally comforting.
When Kevin Adey set out to open his first solo venture, he didn't stray far from where he honed his kitchen chops. Around the corner from Northeast Kingdom, the Bushwick comfort-food cabin he has helmed since 2010, Adey expands on his alma mater's locavore ethos at this modern Italian outfit, milling upstate flour in-house for pastas like gnocchi sardi with kid goat and green-garlic lumache with poached egg. A wood-burning oven cranks out meaty mains like duck breast with rhubarb and fennel, and strip loin with silage-roasted potatoes—as the menu touts, all the carne is dutifully sourced from Autumn's Harvest Farms in Romulus, New York.
Young toque Dan Ross-Leutwyler, who cut his teeth at Fatty 'Cue and the shuttered Bellwether, modernizes the midcentury sandwich shop for his solo debut, in Bushwick's blossoming dining scene. The cheery interior—canary-yellow walls, weathered oak floorboards and a touch of tie-dye on curtains hiding the kitchen—opens into a verdant backyard, where neighbors chow down on homey fare. Ross-Leutwyler puts an international spin on the luncheonette menu, with options like Basque-style fried bacalao with paprika aioli, and crispy lamb tempered by spicy cilantro-flecked yogurt and tart-sweet pickled beets, in addition to American classics, such as burgers and fried chicken on Martin's potato rolls.
This sprawling hangout has become the unofficial meeting place for Brooklyn's sustainable-food movement. Opened in 2008 by Chris Parachini, Brandon Hoy and Carlo Mirarchi, Roberta's features its own rooftop garden, a food-focused Internet-radio station and a kitchen that turns out excellent, locally sourced dishes, such as delicate Bibb lettuce with red-cherry vinaigrette or linguine carbonara made with lamb pancetta. It also doesn't hurt that the pizzas—like the Cheesus Christ, topped with mozzarella, Taleggio, Parmesan, black pepper and cream—are among the borough's best.