Prince once said he started writing music because there weren’t any songs he wanted to hear. In the end, he took it upon himself to compose what he was trying to find on the radio dial. The owners of the new American bistro Alameda can relate.
“We all live within a couple blocks of the restaurant, and the entire partnership was made to create a space, a menu, and an establishment that we all wanted to come to,” said Nick Padilla, head chef.
“Both of our menus are things that we want to drink and eat,” added Waine Longwell, bartender and co-owner. “It’s not that there aren’t other great restaurants in Greenpoint; we just wanted to put our own stamp on the neighborhood.”
Longwell and Padilla, of Brooklyn Star, co-founded the new eatery with brothers Evan and Oliver Haslegrave, who run the design firm hOmE. The siblings have designed some of Greenpoint’s most popular spots, including the Manhattan Inn, Tørst, and the Van Leeuwen café but, unlike with those projects, they’re co-owners at Alameda, which opens this Monday, the 29th.
The goal is to keep a simple, elegant aesthetic without charging patrons up the nose, as evidenced by the bare wood layout, classic central bar, and generous happy hour offerings, which include $1 oysters and beer-and-a-shot specials from Monday through Friday, 4 to 6 PM.
Due to the modest size of the restaurant (capacity: 44) the menu will be limited, and items will be seasonal. Guests can regularly expect fish served raw; domestic country ham (like American prosciutto); burgers for the night crowd; and foie gras, bacon, egg, and cheese on English muffins for brunch. As for the vegan and vegetarian patrons, they’ll be rotating a small, balanced mix of vegetable dishes.
“We’re trying to strike a balance between accessibility and interesting,” explained Padilla.
For drinks, there’s Guinness on tap, two local lines, and a light Lagunitas Czech Style pilsner made in California, brewed close to Alameda County (i.e. the East side of the San Francisco Bay), from which the restaurant’s name was partly inspired. Alameda strives to source all the wine from organic and biodynamic wineries and, by finding and offering obscure brands, the team insists that they’re selling high quality for $9-11 per glass.
With the restaurant just opening, there’s still a lot for the new owners to figure out. They’ll wait until it gets a little warmer before they open up their outdoor seating on Franklin Street, and the menu won’t expand for specials until the autumn. Still, the team has been blessed with a smooth ride so far, and they’re eager for the guests to give the place their test drive.
“Now that it’s over and we’re ready to get the doors open on Monday,” announced Padilla. “Now the real work begins.”
195 Franklin Street
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