312 Graham Avenue has undergone quite a few changes. Italian restaurant Barosa was there for several years, followed by Trattoria 312, another Italian eatery. The latter lasted less than a year, serving its final meals last summer. Taking over the space is New American restaurant Gwynnett Street, offering the neighborhood an upscale dining experience.
Gwynnett Street, which bears the old name for Lorimer Street, opened its doors to the public last Monday, November 7th, and serves correctly portioned fresh food and a large selection of imported alcohol. “I looked at probably 50 spaces in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and this neighborhood works perfectly with what I want to do,” said Owner Carl McCoy. “I’m trying to fill the gap. There are great places where you can get small plates and sandwiches, and there are dive bars, but we’re trying to turn it up a notch.”
Each table receives whiskey soda bread, which, if you’re not a whiskey lover, should be eaten slowly because the bread tastes so strongly of the alcohol. The restaurant emphasizes good drinking and offers a full bar of cordials, amaros, whiskeys, scotches, beers, liquor, and wines from all around the world.
The menu includes nine items, consisting of large and small plates. There’s a spinach and rapini salad, which comes with pine nuts, warm egg yolk, onions, and lemon thyme vinaigrette. The rapini, a cousin of broccoli, is covered in sea salt, and is best when dipped in the vinaigrette. Another starter, the walnut soup with pears and sunchokes, is a dream for lovers of that nut. The pickled walnuts, which taste like Balsamic, add the kick of flavor the soup needs. Other appetizers are oxtail with cream of potato, Maitake mushroom, and fresh cheese dumplings with carrots, grape must, and smoked macadamia nuts.
One of Gwynnett Street’s standout dishes is their wild salmon, which is perfectly cooked and comes with quince mustard, cracked barley, turnip kohlrabi, and lemon verbena. The roasted and chewy quince blends well with the soft salmon. The dishes at the restaurant are full of different tastes and textures, meaning your meal will never be boring.
For dessert, try the honey apple crisp, which is soft and chewy and makes for a perfect autumn sweet. It goes well with a hot cup of coffee or tea, or an after dinner cordial or amaro.
Gwynnett Street will be open for brunch in around three weeks and are also planning to offer a late night menu and signature cocktails. Currently, it’s a strictly dinner menu, and the average three-course meal will cost you $30-$50 per person.
McCoy, who has been in the restaurant business for 17 years, said that with Gwynnett Street, he is providing people with healthy, quality food that won’t break their wallets. “I want to create an environment that is conducive to everybody and not alienate people money or class wise. I just want people to be comfortable here and enjoy themselves.”
312 Graham Avenue