Brooklyn – Williamsburg
160 N. 12th St. (bet. Bedford Ave. and Berry St.)
Brooklyn, NY 11249
- price: $$$$
- phone: 718-218-1088
- hours: Daily, 7am–11am; Sun.–Mon., 6–10pm; Tues.–Sat., 6–11pm
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Williamsburg used to embody hipsterdom but the King & Grove hotel and its restaurant, The Elm, have raised the bar to Paris/Buenos Aires/Hollywood levels of fashion. Smooth-shaven faces prevail over beards here; heels are more likely to be worn than flip-flops. Will locals resent $56 (albeit shareable) items like turbot with summer beans, bacon and lemongrass nage? You can bet your porkpie hat. Yet chef Paul Liebrandt (ex-Corton) seeks to appeal to the natives as well as an international crowd. Sit at the bar for a beer and snack on free popcorn made fiery with harissa. There are some small, lovely dishes for under $20, such as a strawberry-glazed foie gras tart and a bowl of gnudi with a big scallop and coconut-laced tom yum sauce. A doll-size baguette slathered with rich, salt-flecked butter will help fill you up. And there is eye candy—not only a gorgeous crowd but a frosted glass window revealing swimmers gathered around the hotel's saltwater pool. At Little Elm, an eight-seat chef's counter, Liebrandt pulls out all the stops for a multi-course tasting menu. On the rooftop is Upper Elm, a swanky bar with a breathtaking view of Manhattan.
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