The Castello Plan: sort of fancy and really fun.

The Castello Plan: kinda fancy and really fun.

The Castello Plan
1213 Cortelyou Rd.
Ditmas Park
(718) 856-8888 

What is it: The snazzy, woody bar and  restaurant is a pillar of “the new Smith Street,” as Marty Markowitz has described Cortelyou Road.

Why we love it: Rustic but not pig-farmy, trend-conscious but not precious, Castello Plan is highbrow modern Brooklyn but not achingly so. Castello’s wide-ranging  menu has an adventurous side (gazpacho with white peach and seared squid) but doesn’t thumb its nose at updated classics (tagliatelle with tomato pesto and pecorino.)  (more…)

11/30/12 7:30am

Tory Burch lunchbox, $19.99.

I know some of y’all are going to be like, what’s this Upper East Side looking thing doing on Brokelyn? OK so it’s not a WORD Bookstore tote, and about 95 percent of you won’t give a SHIT about this, but for the five percent who do, it’s essential public service on a par with no-insurance medical care or how to find an afforable lawyer or yay for free birth control! This classy little Tory Burch lunchbox is one of the 50 holiday gifts that drop in stores on Saturday (TOMORROW!) as part of the Target-Neiman Marcus holiday collabo. If you haven’t been keeping up with this, it’s where designers including Rodarte, Alice + Olivia, Skaist-Taylor, Phillip Crangi, Lela Rose, Marchesa, Marc Jacobs (don’t get too excited, he phoned it in) and yeah, Tory, came up with an exclusive line of limited edition gifts bowing at both stores. Here’s the whole freaking collection. And YES, I’m drinking that Kool-Ade, out of an Oscar De La Renta dog bowl in fact. Whether you order online or get behind me online at the Brooklyn Junction store at 8 a.m., there’s a limit of five items per customer. The Philip Crangi trinket box (#30) is for my mom, but you can have these Rag + Bone  shotglasses:  (more…)

11/26/12 9:00am

What to get the friend who eats all of her freshly microwaved meals in front of Honey Boo Boo marathons? Or the one who doesn’t like all the different foods to mingle on her plate because she has OCD or some other eating issues? (Who doesn’t?) A duo of stoneware TV dinner trays make a great, oddly romantic gift for screen-side diners, as long as the recipient can withstand the pressure of having to come up with five discreet food items per meal. No, the beverage doesn’t count, and sadly, unlike its Swanson, foil-trayed ancestors, these trays don’t come with the apple cobbler built in. $24 for set of two at Uncommon Goods.

Mad props and an extra slice of sweet spud pie tonight to the good people of Occupy Sandy, who coordinated the prep and delivery of 4,000 Thanksgiving meals to residents of Canarsie, Red Hook, the Rockaways and Coney Island. And what an effort it was: some 300 to 400 volunteers worked continuously from 9 am Wednesday chopping, cutting, packing and organizing at Occupy HQ, at St. John’s Parish Hall, 461 99th St. in Bay Ridge. The last Thanksgiving meals were going out today at 4, but Occupy’s work is far from done; coordinator Waldemar Albrecht-Lunn told us that volunteers will be needed to help prepare food at the church indefinitely, “until the need is met.” He said to show up starting at 9 am any day. Or see the Occupy site for more on how to help. More (sorry, iPhone) pics of the OSers in action after the jump. (more…)

09/21/12 8:36am
Brokelyn Bookswappers Club

Poster by Meghan Doherty.

Are you ready to get readerly? Right after the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday night, there’s a gathering of the Brokelyn Bookswapper’s Club to satisfy those all-aflame literary desires. What to bring? Some guidance partly based on our own current cravings: How about buzzy fall titles like D.T. Max’s David Foster Wallace bio, Every Love Story is a Ghost Story; Emma Straub’s Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures or Junot Diaz’s new short story collection? You finished with Michael Chabon’s latest yet? (If you already have any of these to swap, you get a banquette in the VIP section.) Non-trashy, still-relevant summer books also welcome; bring Wild or Gone Girl so we can all (spoiler alert!) complain about the ending at the next club, or Robert Caro’s Lyndon Johnson bio because you know you never even finished The Powerbroker.

The whole point is to share and talk about books you’re excited about, not just clear off space on your shelves. See these titles people brought to our “hot beach reads” swap? For the love of Czar Nicholas III, leave these in the sidewalk “free”  bin: (more…)

09/20/12 9:08am


Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Ready for my early afternoon foot massage! Image via Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Do you do drink blueprint cleanses instead of picklebacks and and consider flaxseed bars a sometimes food? (Too much agave!) Consider applying for a job that comes with benefits not seen this side of Anna Wintour’s desk: fresh flowers, staff concierge, yoga retreats and more. (more…)

09/11/12 7:31am

If you can identify this machine, you qualify.

A reader writes to us because he’s trying to hatch a video-y, comic-ish type business for brokesters and he needs to do a little research on the relative nerdinesss of Brooklyn, as if this alone weren’t evidence enough. Here’s what our enterprising young friend wants to know:  (more…)

09/10/12 12:30pm

Chicken photo courtesy of Fleisher’s.

Do you look at this photo and think, man, I would seriously pay $300 to slice that bird’s carotid artery? If the answer is yes, maybe you should attend an upcoming chicken-slaughter workshop sponsored by Fleisher’s butchers. That’s the photo that accompanied an email invitation to “For Cluck’s Sake,” where:

Participants will meet at Fleisher’s in Kingston for a light breakfast, followed by a trip to Meadowview Farm in New Paltz where they will have the opportunity to slaughter and de-feather their own chicken! … Participants will learn how to quarter, spatchcock, and skin a chicken for home kitchen use. All followed by a locally sourced dinner prepared by the Fleisher’s crew … Cost is $300 and includes 3 meals, lecture with Joshua Applestone, and a chicken to slaughter and take home!

So … help me out here, foodies, back-to-the-land beardies, Kenji, anyone… does this sound fun to you?  (more…)