Third Avenue in the Gowanus neighborhood isn’t exactly the most likely place for destination dining, the industrial block heavy with truck traffic and run-down auto shops. But cheap rents and empty storefronts ready for reinvention have seeded what might become a Gowanus gourmet ghetto. If there’s a linchpin to secure it all, it’s Runner & Stone. A bakery-cum-restaurant, it opens most mornings at 7:30 am, the scents of just-baked croissants, palmiers and crisp-crusted baguettes warming up the cool, semi-industrial space. By dinner, the room’s clean lines read as sleek, an interior plate-glass window offering a view to the brightly lit kitchen that sits at a remove, on the other side of a grass-topped roof. Chris Pizzulli (Blue Ribbon) works in tandem with Peter Endriss (formerly head baker at Per Se and Bouchon Bakery) to showcase the power of grains, using cubes of rye and apples for a definitively East Coast panzanella and sneaking buckwheat into the dumplings that accompany chicken. The effect is a little baker-gone-wild, the sophisticated-playground feel extending to the wine list. Here, the two cooks fill a single page with personal favorites, from local pours like Bedell’s Long Island Taste White and Wiemer’s Finger Lakes Riesling to Ancarini’s orange wine (available by the glass). For dessert, turn to the bar: A glass of local rye whiskey completes the brownie sundae, a study in rye, from the flour at its base to the whiskey whipped into the ice cream.
285 Third Ave., Brooklyn, New York
This story appears in the print issue of April 2013.
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