Clinton Hill, Restaurants and Cafes
For the last two weeks, my friend Elizabeth and I have been switching up our morning walks from Prospect Park to other neighborhoods. It's exercise and work at the same time. She scopes out sites of architectural or historical significance for her work, I scope out food for mine. With mornings like these, I actually don't hit the snooze button 20 times like I usually do.
Earlier this week, we did a nice little walk through Fort Green and Clinton Hill. One of the stops was the Pratt Power Plant, an amazing old steam-generating power plant from 1877 that's just sitting there and open to the public at Pratt Institute. (Tip: make friends with a historic preservationist. It'll improve your life dramatically.) But more on that later!
Afterwards we ended up at Urban Vintage, a café and vintage furniture shop rolled into one.
Red Hook, Restaurants and Cafes, Shops
A coffee and a breakfast cookie might be the best way to end a long morning walk to Red Hook (exercise- and work-related.)
Baked is one of those places that serves up your childhood dessert favorites — chocolate chip cookies, brownies, blondies, and whoopie pies — in some of the best possible versions. Everything is substantial and goes well with a mug of coffee. Or if it's later in the day, a tall glass of milk.
It's the rare New York food business that survives past its first few years, but this bakery/cafe has been rooted here on Van Brunt Street since 2005. And it was one of the first businesses to reopen after Hurricane Sandy last fall, even with basement damage, becoming a haven for locals and a gathering spot for volunteers in the weeks and months that followed.
Ovenly is one of those bakeries I wish I had in my own neighborhood. Sure, you can find Ovenly cookies and snacks at gourmet shops and cafés around the city, but there's something about making the trip all the way to Greenpoint's waterfront that makes those sweets you bring back extra special. (And the bakery has a great back story: the founders are two friends who met at a food-focused book club.)
The salted chocolate chip cookies and salted peanut butter cookies get the most props from media and fans, and they are justifiably daydream-worthy. But my favorite, surprisingly, was a small gluten-free pistachio agave cookie that was just packed with nutty goodness. I need this recipe. Though I may have to sit patiently and wait for their cookbook to come out.