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The Pines, Littleneck, Runner and Stone, Fletcher’s, and Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Gowanus

Gowanus going gourmet

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Delicious things have unappetizing beginnings.

Whether it’s a bakery, seafood restaurant, or barbecue spot, one of the Brooklyn’s most gritty streets in the heart of historically industrial Gowanus is experiencing a culinary surge.

Third Avenue is the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare just steps away from the Gowanus Canal and it was once a place where prostitutes were known to traipse through. But now the avenue is on its way to becoming a dining hotspot, with way more places to eat other than the old-school 1948 Two Toms red-sauce joint, back when they called the neighborhood South Brooklyn.

Here are some of our favorite eateries that are rapidly changing the culinary landscape by the canal:

1. The Pines

The eclectic menu at this new-American restaurant changes frequently, but creative staple dishes like the cappellacci pasta stuffed with oxtail, crab, and sheep’s sorrel ($24) and the wagyu culottee steak with abalone mushrooms, mibuna, and potatoes ($34) are choice. The quaint eatery, which opened last year, even has backyard seating.

[284 Third Avenue between Carroll and President streets in Gowanus, (718) 596–6560, www.thepinesbrooklyn.com].

2. Littleneck

This classic New England-style seafood shack serves up fishy favorites like the Maine-style lobster roll ($18), raw littleneck clams ($1.50 each), and its much buzzed-about fried full belly Ipswich clam roll with tartar sauce and shredded romaine lettuce ($16).

“There wasn’t like a boom of restaurants that is starting to happen now,” said owner Aaron Lefkove who opened the seafood joint in 2011 when there was not much commercial activity along the strip, adding that he really “took a chance” on the then-sleepy area.

[288 Third Avenue between Carroll and President streets in Gowanus, (718) 522–1921, www.littleneckbrooklyn.com].

3. Runner and Stone

This seven-month-old bakery, cafe, and restaurant dishes out homemade pastries and breads in the morning and plates such as roasted chicken cooked in mushroom broth with buckwheat dumplings ($19) at night. The sky-lit restaurant’s signature dish is the duck pastrami appetizer with beer mustard, pickled onions, and rye.

Co-owner and head baker Peter Endriss said that he and his partner chef Chris Pizzulli opened on Third Avenue because of its unique architecture and low-key, but up-and-coming ambiance.

“The neighborhood has a nice feel being low-rise and having the big industrial buildings,” he said. “Every month it seems another restaurant or some type of food service opens near us.”

[285 Third Ave. between Carroll and President streets in Gowanus, (718) 576–3360, www.runnerandstone.com].

4. Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue

This barbecue hotspot, which opened right after Hurricane Sandy, churns out a range of all-natural, seasoned, and smoked meats cooked over a Texas-made wood-fired pit.

Go for the St. Louis-style ribs ($22 for a half rack) with a side of pit-smoked baked beans ($4), or the coriander pork steak ($7) and the all-brisket chili ($5).

[433 Third Ave. between Seventh and Eighth streets in Gowanus, (347) 763–2680), www.fletchersbklyn.com]

5. Four & Twenty Blackbirds

The Elsen sisters opened up this popular pie shop and café three years ago. The shop boasts homemade pies, tarts, and other desserts to quench your sweet tooth.

The 10-inch pies like the salted caramel apple, rhubarb crumble, and malted chocolate pecan go for $38 to $40. Pies can also be bought by the slice.

[439 Third Ave. between Seventh and Eighth streets in Gowanus, (718) 499–2917, www.birdsblack.com].

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at twitter.com/souleddout.
Updated 10:13 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
My son, Edgar, and I quite enjoyed a feast at "Littleneck" this weekend. Forgive me for saying that I did spend a lot of money, but on the same turn, please accept my apology for saying that "it was freaking worth it"! Excuse the foul language if you don't mind! The food must be still in my system! Cheers/bravo Littleneck!
July 29, 2013, 9:16 am
diehipster from Gowanusorrhea says:
Why did the thick framed eyeglass guy shave his beard to show off his $16 sandwich? Also, I can't wait to try the $40 pie at Four and Twenty Black Beards. That's a score!

Get out of Brooklyn you f*cking pretentious try hards.
July 29, 2013, 10:58 am
Chavo from Sunset Park says:
How can you justify selling a pie at those ridiculous prices? $40 for a pie? That's flour, sugar, salt, eggs, and fruit? I don't care if they use organic labeled ingredients, those are some crazy stupid prices.
July 29, 2013, 11:53 am
The Chooch from Brownsville says:
My good buddy who's a restaurant freak says there are no good restaurants in Manhattan any more. They're all in Brooklyn.
July 29, 2013, 12:32 pm
The Chooch from Brownsville says:
My good buddy who's a restaurant freak says there are no good restaurants in Manhattan any more. They're all in Brooklyn.
July 29, 2013, 12:32 pm
The Chooch from Brownsville says:
My good buddy who's a restaurant freak says there are no good restaurants in Manhattan any more. They're all in Brooklyn.
July 29, 2013, 12:32 pm
Dot from daaaaaaaaaaaaaashhhhhhhh says:
St. Louis-style ribs ($22 for a half rack)

That's $88. per pig. Whooooooo!
July 29, 2013, 2:31 pm
Dot from daaaaaaaaaaaaaashhhhhhhh says:
Aaron Lefkov is selling trafe!
July 29, 2013, 3:32 pm
Dot from daaaaaaaaaaaaaashhhhhhhh says:
Aaron Lefkov is selling trafe!
July 29, 2013, 3:32 pm
scott from park slope says:
Four and Twenty Blackbirds makes great pie. Whole pies cost a lot, but a slice suffices. It's well worth a visit.
July 30, 2013, 8:56 am
scott from park slope says:
I agree you can find better restaurants in Brooklyn per mile than any other part of the city, or any other city period. We are spoiled here. Thank goodness!
July 30, 2013, 9 am
o3 from bk says:
scott, naw orleans has got you beat.
July 30, 2013, 12:19 pm
Swampyankee from Ruined Brooklyn says:
Cooch. The 2013 Michelin guide lists 59 starred establishments in Manhattan vs 6 in Brooklyn Make it 5 because Dresler is no more. So what, precisely, are you talking about? Looks like your fellow beardos have an over inflated level of self esteem again
July 30, 2013, 1:21 pm
Joe from Brooklyn says:
Why don't Ethan and Chooch ever comment on the same article? Chooch always has so much to say, except on articles where Ethan is in the comments already, waxing philosophic about his social eugenics and the Bohemian Imaginary, and vice versa. You're getting sloppy, Ethan! Maybe you should bring back Medea, but this time do one side of your body Chooch and one side Medea! Crafty and very 2013!
July 30, 2013, 1:25 pm
The Chooch from your hipsterized world says:
Am I on? On air I mean?
July 30, 2013, 11:51 pm
The Chooch from your hipsterized world says:
Hey, it worked this time! My post I mean. Okay ...

Swampy, let me explain to you how retarded your remark is. When I say "restaurant" I don't mean a five-star hotel in Michelin. I'm talking $45 here, not $450. Duh? I think everyone got that but you. And in that ballpark, There's no question Brooklyn has it over Manhattan these days.
July 31, 2013, 12:08 am

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