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North Brooklyn leads with its stomach

The Brooklyn Paper
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It’s a great time to be a North Brooklyn foodie.

Two new restaurants have opened in as many weeks, bringing fresh eats to the burgeoning culinary scenes in Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

The Lovin’ Cup Café officially opened on North Sixth Street on Jan. 12, serving high-end fare late into the night. Diners can grub on a grass-fed black Angus meatloaf with garlic mashed potatoes ($16) or mac and cheese with spinach and artichoke ($12) until 4 am while sipping from the bar’s extensive bourbon list.

On weekends, diners can enjoy the “Recession Brunch” where every item on the Lovin’ Cup Café menu — bourbon French toast included— goes for $6.

In Greenpoint, gourmands are flocking to the long-awaited River Barrel Café, which opened on Franklin Street on New Year’s Day. The new restaurant serves a lengthy menu boasting an eggnog challah French toast with a cranberry and blueberry compote ($12) for brunch, and a wild mushroom ravioli with a sage brown butter sauce ($16) for dinner. The new eatery offers an eclectic selection of bottled beers and a developing list of artisanal sakes, wines and signature cocktails.

The Lovin’ Cup [93 North Sixth St. between Wythe Avenue and Berry Street in Williamsburg, (718) 302-1180]. River Barrel Café [160 Franklin St. between India and Java streets in Greenpoint, (718) 389-8881].

A little rib-bing

The finger-licking empire of Jim Mamary ebbs and flows. On the heels of his failure to open a much-desired oyster bar on Hoyt Street last year, plus Sunday’s shutting of Patois, the French juggernaut he co-owned that powered the gastronomic golden age on Smith Street, Brownstone Brooklyn fans will have to travel a bit further afield to take a bite out of this restaurant pioneer.

Mamary’s latest venture, a BBQ joint named Billy Sunday’s, will open on Tuesday in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, next door to his Mexican cantina Café Enduro. Mamary named his St. Louis-style smokehouse after the renowned 20th-century evangelist. The joint will only be serving drinks until Friday, when food service begins, reported the blog Hawthorne Street.

Billy Sunday’s [47 Lincoln Rd., between Flatbush and Ocean avenues in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, no phone yet].

Patois au revoir

On the subject of Patois, The Brooklyn Paper managed to snag a table during the last supper at the fabled Smith Street eatery on Sunday night — but the whole experience was a bit anti-climactic.

We expected a raucous party, given that Patois was the pioneering restaurant that started Smith Street’s transformation into one of the city’s eating destinations — and its owners, Alan Harding and the Mamary brothers, have legions of fans.

On Sunday night, yes, all the trappings that made Patois great were there, from the faded bistro posters to the cheap wine list to the square metal bread baskets to the roaring fire. And the meal — a bowl of mussels and a plate of scallops with Brussels sprouts and lardons — was as good as ever.

But the crowds weren’t. Perhaps regulars didn’t feel the need to rush down for one last plate of steak frites; after all, the waitress said that the restaurant will open across the street in a few weeks.

Put us down for a table for two near the fireplace.

Updated 5:53 pm, January 15, 2009
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Reasonable discourse

Brods from Park Slope says:
Lovin' Cup is so much fun! totally conveniently located with delicious all american food (and easy on the wallet). Music venue in back at the Cameo is tasteful and can host anything from a dance party to a chill folky evening.
Feb. 16, 2009, 7:41 pm
Rachel from Park Slope says:
Lovin' Cup is such fun. Great food, great music, and they don't charge much at all for cover to see the bands at Cameo.
Feb. 20, 2009, 7:42 pm

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