From swanky speakeasies to tales of tenements past, We’ve always been intrigued by local lore that gives us a look into how our ancestors lived: How did they get by without indoor plumbing? Without smartphones to map every commute? Without Siri to answer life’s burning questions?
At the newly opened 1 Knickerbocker Avenue, they’re traveling back to a time of opulent New York glamour to get a taste of what might have graced the city’s dining tables over 100 years ago. In the early 1900’s, New York was a mightily growing land. The previous century brought millions of people to the island, and the city was well on its way to become an epicenter of industry and culture. The Brooklyn Bridge had just been built, and NYC had just grown into its current five boroughs. (Basically, things were lookin’ up.)
Around the same time, new buildings were popping up on every corner, including the one at Johnson and Knickerbocker Avenues. When owner Jesse Levitt snagged the space, he opted to pay tribute to its long history, keeping its old world vibe alive – complete with tin ceilings and salvaged wood from a saloon that once called the building home.
The menu also reflects this past, with elements from the different cultures who’ve influenced New York cuisine. All are made with the careful consideration that might have been put into foodstuffs that weren’t yet mass produced. Think: in-house pickling, herb-infused hooch and homemade bitters used in rustic dishes and seasonal cocktails. We’re particularly enamored with the Scotch Egg, a pickled egg served inside a juicy chicken sausage with black garlic mayo to top it all off. The first written recipe for these morsels is said to have popped up in the early 1800’s in the UK, so we’re glad it’s finally coming back around stateside.
The word from Levitt is that Chef Steven Hubbell carefully combed through century-old eats in order to come up with the recipes on the current seasonal menu. Some of our favorites? The dual porcine wonders of the Fried Pig Ears and the Crispy Pork Cheek have captured our hearts in spades. Each is a bite of the past, updated just enough to keep things modern and intriguing. We’ll be going back for a taste of the local seafood, which harkens back to a time of New Yorkers deliciously discovering what the waters here could provide. We’re talkin’ Dill-Cured Fluke Cakes with a celery olive salad and mustard cream, people.
Go ahead and take a taste of this living history over at 1 Knickerbocker Avenue on Tuesdays through Sundays from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. And stay tuned for some possible brunch options coming soon. We’re mighty curious to see what New Yorkers past did to cure a Sunday morning hangover.
1 Knickerbocker Avenue
1 Knickerbocker Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11237