Nearly a year after writing about the burgeoning Grand Street in East Williamsburg, a new restaurant, Williamsburg Kitchen, recently opened with a vision of bringing a little modern flair to the neighborhood’s mostly generic offerings.
An offshoot of Bushwick Kitchen, which opened last year in the adjacent Brooklyn neighborhood, Williamsburg Kitchen’s new Euro-American fusion cuisine offers some exciting options for both brunch and dinner. Executive chef Luis Santos, formerly of L’Artiste in Queens, seems to push the boundaries a bit more on his dinner menu, which I’ve yet to try, while offering a more simplistic, yet refined menu for the brunch crowd.
It had barely been open a week when I visited, so there was still some work in progress as evident by the lack of descriptions on the Williamsburg Kitchen brunch menu and coffee not being readily available. This wasn’t too off-putting as they’re working out the few kinks of getting up and running. Luckily they executed where it counts as the food highlighted the afternoon’s brunch experience.
Wanting to sample the menu, my friend and I shared three different brunch entrees all of which are $12 each. We started with Eggs Nova, a classic smoked salmon benedict served with mixed greens and home fries. The eggs were perfectly poached and the hollandaise was buttery, yet light as a nice complement to the salmon. The seemingly simple home fries were nicely sautéed and seasoned with turmeric, giving them a beautiful, bright yellow color and a delightful flavor to match.
We also tried the Bruschetta “Sandwich” as it’s listed on the menu, which was a bit confusing since it’s not really a sandwich. Chopped pears and crumbles of Roquefort cheese sat atop pieces of toasted baguette and topped with a delicious truffled balsamic reduction. The sweetness of the pears combined with the saltiness of the cheese and the touch of acidity worked really well together, though I’d probably suggest this as an appetizer to share rather than a main course.
The French Toast, again lacking a menu description, was a true surprise when it arrived to the table beautifully plated. Topped with orange marmalade and a drizzle of mixed berry glaze, the challah bread was browned to a nice crisp on the outside with a soft and chewy center that almost melted in my mouth. Syrup was served on the side, but it seemed unnecessary given the fruit toppings. I rarely order French toast at brunch unless it’s particularly unique, but I’d consider returning to Williamsburg Kitchen for this if it’s consistently executed.
Overall it is a promising start for Williamsburg Kitchen and I look forward to seeing how the menu and service evolves with the neighborhood. At the time of review, they did not serve alcoholic beverages, but were applying for their beer and wine license.
804 Grand St (b/t Humboldt St and Bushwick Ave)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY