Nights & Weekends is a very festive vibe. With its garage-party mood, Latin American fare and pop cultured kids/adults (whatever is behind or under the oversized wool bandage of the skull cap of the season,) the tiny dining hole is a really great place to ‘take any seat’ and eat really tasty food ‘any time of the day.’ Anything goes in this little gem in Greenpoint – at the semi-flatiron corners of Manhattan, Nassau and Bedford Avenues in this once Polish part of town.
When the owners of the outrageously popular Five Leaves restaurant in Brooklyn decided to enhance their mini empire in Brooklyn, all they had to do was cross the street to expand and regroup into the now Aussie born atmosphere of Nights & Weekends – the Heath Ledger related bar and cafe (short story, they were all friends, Heath liked Greenpoint, alot, and they were surprisingly given some money from his estate to open the place.) He, Heath, would have loved the outcome. Nights & Weekends food is better than any local bar’s should be and it is definitely worth the wait. Even at an odd hour in a mid afternoon, there are hoards of hungry shoppers with Beacon’s Closet recycled bags just chomping at the bit for a seat (the bar will do, and does – there was a wait for a stool there as well.) Oh, and about Beacon’s Closet? Yes, that is a pretty (large) tidbit – this is a mega warehouse of vintage clothing, sort of the Harrod’s of Hipsterville, USA, conveniently located around the corner and is also open Nights & Weekends. I did the beatnik drill – went to the restaurant, there was a long wait, so, went over to have a look in the closet (on the advice of a super cute server) and then happily returned to a much less crowded grill (just like she promised) – and no less, was seated at a table with a view, of a barber shop, a police car and a bodega. All of New York’s Finest was on display, and nary a tourist in sight. This nabe fave is devoid of foreign wanderers with selfie sticks. It is full to the brim with young urban, seemingly less professionally (dressed) hipsters with BMW keys, LV Speedy 60’s, IPhone 6+’sin one hand and a Galaxy in the other and a wallet full of Master Cards and Visas – see aside from cash, that’s the only credit accepted at Nights & Weekends (oh, perhaps thats when the relaxed set work?) The fact that they sent me off on a wild Harrod’s goose chase – well, they can take the credit for that, however, but that day was not for shopping – we came to eat. And we were so glad that we did. And I must give credit where credit is due.
This fast forward, but rather slow paced mini restaurant is a triumphant hit for two reasons. The food is really good and it is really inexpensive. It’s part simple and curiously composed in dishes like the avocado toast on delicious 30 grain bread (I joke, naturally, but the amount of seeds left behind on the plate and in my teeth felt like a lot more than the ordinary seven grains.) I also had the fish tacos (what fish? Here comes the curious part – well, I was practically eating on a curb, by a puddle in a gritty city, so I didn’t bother to ask what the catch was, egads! I came by choice, and it turned out to be a good one, I think the fish they chose might have been cod and was served with creamy caper aioli in a very fresh, slightly crispy taco shell. Any mayonnaise with garlic anything, makes for a happy beginner beacons closet babe. I also robotically ordered a kale salad (it’s like you have to, nowadays, any everyone, by the way, and automatically, after the first bite says how very delicious it is – it’s become fashionable and politically correct greens and regardless of the red quinoa, nectarines, caramelized goat cheese and delicious agave lime dressing, I happen to really like kale. And, I liked it before it became the best leaf or the best fried chip or the ‘best salad ever.’ It was a nice addition to the guac and the cod. Nights & Weekends serves just the right amount of food at any time of the day. So, Let purists scoff, even those on a fusspot budget will love the food as much as the bill. It’s a happy hipster hangout for anyone with a day off.
Photographs by Viva Violeta Photography