A Celebration of Seafood at Greenpoint’s ‘Five Leaves’ (Brooklyn)
The Brooklyn district of Greenpoint is just like its neighbour Williamsburg in that it has an incredible ability to churn out trendy beatnik-friendly restaurants the way Justin Timberlake generates chart topping hits. While you’re not want for choice when it comes to securing a creative brunch hash or quixotic dessert that’s flourless, whipped and possibly soaked in agave, sourcing out a great seafood joint still requires a bit of research along with a dose of trial and error.
That said, a fantastic seafood find in Brooklyn’s northernmost hipster neighbourhood is Five Leaves. A laid back and modish diner located at the tip of McCarren Park ‘5L‘ is all about cozy ambiance, fresh ingredients and serving damn tasty fish, alongside other much loved crustaceans.
An aside: when a place has fresh oysters and truffle fries on offer…you don’t ask questions.
The menu is nothing short of food-related-porn for your eyes and rapture for the stomach. It’s so impressive, in fact, that you can arrive at Five Leaves relatively replete and find yourself ravenous in under 60 seconds. There’s steamed mussels in a saffron coconut sauce and fresh oysters that come with a rice wine mignonette. There’s pan seared Arctic char, grilled dorade and a house-made ricotta that look so good you’ll wish your stomach was ten times larger. Seriously, you’ll wish for that and I haven’t even gotten through a quarter of the menu just yet.
If you’re intolerant to fish (we don’t pass judgement around here) there are vegetarian dishes and carnivorous options like the lamb’s shepherd’s pie, crispy squash blossoms or lemongrass braised rabbit.
With the exception of ordering the ‘devils on horseback’ (medjool dates wrapped in bacon that were so good, I nearly teared up) and truffle laced fries, I stuck to fish based sides and starters and was delighted with the spread. A friend and I sat outside on a brisk September evening and spent our meal enjoying the atmosphere, the company and the (mostly) organic and locally sourced food. It was fresh, simple and a total chart topper.
They don’t take reservations, so it’s best to go on the early side or after the dinner rush (before 19:00 or after 21:00). Whatever you do, go with an empty stomach so you can indulge until you can’t bear to take another bite.
Just the way the devil would want it.
18 Bedford Avenue
(between Nassau Avenue and Lorimer Street)
Tel: +1 (718) 383-5345