If someone tells you to meet at Sunday In Brooklyn, they're not specifying a date. They want to check out Williamsburg's coolest local hang out: the restaurant Sunday In Brooklyn.
Confused? Don't be. Co-founders Adam Landsman, Todd Enany and chef Jamie Young chose the name to describe the laid-back ethos they wanted the restaurant to have. "The idea came from us and our Sundays, the one day off we had," says Todd when I stop by the restaurant at the tail end of Thursday lunch. It's still and grey outside, but the space bustles with diners digging into spicy roast beef sandwiches and grain bowls topped with silky smoked salmon.
"Every Sunday we'd go out and have the best breakfast, the best pastries, coffees and then find ourselves at a really great restaurant spending a bit too much money but enjoying ourselves. We figured that if we could actually wrap that up into a restaurant concept that would be great."
This meant working in their own backyard, which none of the trio had done before. Both Todd and Adam spent years working for EMM Group and Major Food Group (the firm powering Manhattan hot spots like Carbone and Santina). Meanwhile, Jamie got his start at Eleven Madison Park, before moving to Atera in 2013, where he worked as chef de cuisine.
"If it's your day off you want to stay in the neighborhood and celebrate it," comments Todd. "And it's great for us because we get to see a lot of industry people during the week."
Although Williamsburg has become a posterchild of gentrification ("I'd never thought I'd be able to walk to the Apple Store, stop by J. Crew and then go to Equinox," says Todd), these changes have turned the area into a gastronomic destination. Wait to indulge in classic brunch dishes done right at Egg, indulge in cocktails with a view at The Blue Room at The Ides Rooftop bar in the Wythe Hotel, or swing by Smorgasburg, the original food vendor fair that launched a thousand off-shoots. When you come to Williamsburg, you eat well.
But while Williamsburg's dining scene has grown up considerably in recent years, it still hasn't reached the impenetrable level of some Manhattan restaurants. "Restaurants in Brooklyn and restaurants in Manhattan are like night and day—they're totally different," says Adam. "A Manhattan restaurant is this cultural event that people from all over the city and the world come to. Whereas Williamsburg during the week, you either live here or work here, and for the most part you live here. Brooklyn restaurants are about neighborhood and community, much more so than Manhattan."
"There's a laid-back Brooklyn atmosphere. And since rents aren't as high just yet, chefs will take more liberties than they will in Manhattan. There's more creativity here," adds Todd.
Sunday In Brooklyn epitomizes the fun, welcoming attitude both Todd and Adam attribute to the borough. Enter and the host greets you with a smile, before directing you to a smooth marble table with chairs that looked pulled from a textbook on Scandi-minimal chic. On the ground floor, the wood ceiling and terra cotta tiled floor feels photo-ready, without feeling like a flimsy Instagram gimmick (don't be fooled, Sunday kills it on Insta). Head up to the second floor, as you'd do for dinner, and you'll find white painted paneled walls, which imbue the room with a luminous, beach-y vibe—a welcome change from Williamsburg's industrial grit. Sunday is casual enough for a quick weekday breakfast, but fancy enough to impress your dinner date.
Stop in for different meals and you too will wonder how Adam, Todd and Jamie managed to make the restaurant feel apt for every purpose, without feeling all purpose. "We really wanted a corner space; it has the natural light that is essential for an all-day restaurant," says Adam.
Sunday In Brooklyn moved into its three-story space at the tail-end of 2016 and has since carved out their spot as the place the locals head to celebrate. "We have a private dining area on the third floor and we do tons of wedding showers and baby showers," says Adam. "We've only been open for eight months, but...we've already had the opportunity to meet [customers], have their baby shower, then meet their baby."
But Sunday's enviable local vibe isn't just in its design—it's inherent to its Williamsburg location. "This community wouldn't have happened in Manhattan," mentions Todd, "at least, not for us."
Don't think you need to be a local to experience this community for yourself—you'll feel like part of the family after your own Sunday in Brooklyn. Start early with a brisk morning walk across the Williamsburg bridge, which offers great views of lower Manhattan and helps you understand the city's topography. Depending on how hungry you are, either swing by Dépanneur for a quick coffee and pastry or indulge in Sunday's enviable brunch—be sure to order the hazelnut praline pancakes and the egg sandwich.
Afterwards stroll down Bedford Avenue, the center of Williamsburg cool and the local shopping destination. If the crowds start to get overwhelming, head to the Museum of Food & Drink (MOFAD) in East Williamsburg. The recently opened museum hosts rotating exhibits on different topics in food and drink, plus a small shop featuring products from local artisans.
In the afternoon, stretch your legs with a romp around McCarren park, then learn a bit about beer with a tour of Brooklyn Brewery. When evening hunger creeps in, head back to Sunday to savor a full meal in their upstairs dining room. The menu rotates, but the duck pastrami is a perpetual favorite, though the chewy toasted buns topped with a whisper of melted raclette were the dish are a surprising winner. Paired with a glass of pleasantly funky natural wine, it's the perfect end to a Sunday in Brooklyn.
What To Know If You Go
Sunday In Brooklyn Address: 348 Wythe Avenue Brooklyn , NY 11211 Phone: 347-222-6722 Hours: Breakfast, Monday - Friday 8:00am - 10:00am. Brunch, daily 10:00am - 3:30pm. Midday, daily 3:30pm - 6pm. Dinner, Sunday - Thursday 6:00pm -10:00pm, Friday - Saturday 6:00pm - 11:00pm. Happy hour, weekdays from 3:30pm - 7pm.
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