Greenpoint Gazette

Juliette

BY Austin Kilham

A couple weeks ago, The New York Times food critic, Sam Sifton lamented the decline of French cooking in the city, citing La Grenouille as one of the last examples of the greats. Well, actually, as he notes, what really are on the decline are the super fancy restaurants of old, leaving intact a taste for the brasserie. Sifton writes, “Brasserie cooking survives in New York, even flourishes under old mirrors and subway tile.” Juliette, located at 135 N. 5th street in Williamsburg has both.
The space inside is large. The front bar area has large windows opening onto the street and a large antique bar from the 1930s covered in bottles of wine. There is a covered indoor patio and a back that is decorated with more racks of wine lining the back walls and round, art deco light fixtures. For the summer time there is an outdoor garden space as well as a roof deck. There is almost never a want for space. The décor throughout is classic French bistro, with small bistro tables, some countrified accents, old advertisements and the ubiquitous fox spotted antiqued mirrors.
The menu is equally classic with its French onion soup and steak frites. The soup, or soupe a l’oignion (the menu is only sometimes in French), is sweet with the strong flavor of beef bullion.
From the hors d’oeuvres menu, really mostly salads, try the seared Cape Cod squid, which is served over a bed of frisee with avocado and a spicy dressing, $9. Or the beet salad is really tops. The beets are served roasted with candied walnuts and ricotta, $9.
As for mains, why not go or the classics as well? Try the roasted chicken, $18 served with three cheese grits and brown butter spinach. The meat is juicy and the skin crisp. What more could you ask for.
The steak-frites is another winner. The dish, which originates in Belgium, would be nothing without a mound of potato fries. It is they, not the steak that are fried. The dish, $24, is served with a delicious béarnaise sauce.
There is also a brunch menu, and this is a perfect alternative if the line for neighboring brunch hot spot, Egg gets too unbearable. The menu is about what you would expect with Eggs Benedict, $9.50, and Eggs Florentine, French toast, $10 with berries and lemon curd.
There are some other unexpecteds on there as well, however. For example the pan bagnat, $10, a tuna sandwich with egg, tomatoes, olives and chickpea salad. Tuna for breakfast is surprising but delicious.
There is a host of brunch cocktails to choose from ranging from $7-$8. Try the St. Germain mimosa made with elderberry liqueur that gives it a sweet je ne sais quoi.
Juliette is a mix of good food and informal, never chintzy, setting give it its charming atmosphere, and make it a Francophile destination to return to again and again.

Address & Phone

Greenpoint Gazette
597 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222
phone: 718-389-6067

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