26 August 2011
special guest post from Sarah of Desirous of Everything!
Hi Delirious Kitchen readers! I'm Sarah and I blog over at Desirous of Everything. I was so excited when Jillian asked me to do a guest post on her blog about one of our new favorite neighborhood hangouts. You see Jillian and I have a lot of things eerily in common. We grew up in the same neighborhood (around the corner from each other), we were both in the color guard in high school, we are both librarians, we are both bloggers (Delirious...Desirous...) AND not only do we both live in Brooklyn now, but in THE SAME NEIGHBORHOOD! Weird right? But also I think, meant to be.
So how perfect is it for me to guest post about a new great place that we both love in our shared hood called The Onyx. Jillian and I live in a part of Greenpoint that people are starting to call Greenpoint Heights. On the other side of Mcgorlick Park, next to the vinyl sided row houses and across the street from a warehouse or two is The Onyx- formerly a Polish night club, it's now an awesome neighborhood bar (soon to be renamed Greenpoint Heights) with really good beers on tap (OMG Watermelon Wheat Beer) and an amazing menu.
I have proudly said on more than one occasion that one of my favorite kinds of food is high quality bar food. I'm not talking about chicken wings and mozzarella sticks, I'm talking about juicy grass fed hamburgers, summer salads with cherries, and the most delicious bowl of macaroni and cheese you could ever eat. You can order it with bacon too- but I prefer the cheesy goodness all alone.
You can tell the menu at The Onyx was thoughtfully created and mix that with the friendly bartenders who know how to make a really good Margarita,and why would you ever need to venture over to Greenpoint proper again?
Elizabeth, the head chef of The Onyx, agreed to talk to me about this great bar. Read what she has to say, and then head on over and try the food and drinks for yourself!
This is the first kitchen that you have been completely in charge of. How does that feel?It feels amazing! Although the work load can be heavy, the pay off is absolutely worth it. Being able to create a menu and make food that I love to eat is one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in a kitchen. I work by myself for the time being and look forward to working with other creative people, hopefully in the near future!
When did you know that you wanted to run a kitchen, how did the idea of running a Kitchen in a bar come to be?
I have always dreamed of running my own restaurant but had always thought it was something way out reach. Only in the last few years had I been thinking seriously about the possibility of running my own place. I was actually looking more in the direction of running a truck or cart or something a little more in my price range when the Onyx fell into the laps of my girlfriend Julia and her business partner Dave. They were looking for a small, humble place to open an ice cream shop, with the hope of maybe coming across a good, cheap bar space. This place ended up coming their way and in record time they were managing and I was running the kitchen! I have worked in restaurants and around food my whole working life and am grateful for this amazing opportunity.
What's a typical work day like for you?
A typical work for me usually goes something like this: wake up around noon or one, try to eat breakfast/lunch, go to various bakeries/butchers/stores collecting food stuffs, arrive at the Onyx around two or three, start prepping and setting up the line. If we are slow to start, I usually start playing around with recipes, making ice cream or trying to think of something new to add to the menu or making something on it better. Then, I work the line from five to midnight, clean up and most nights hang out at the bar trying some of our amazing whiskey and getting to know our wonderful regulars a little better. It usually makes for a long day, but there's nothing I'd rather be doing with my day at this point in my life!
What is your process for creating your menu?
My process is ever evolving. The best thing about running a kitchen is that I can literally walk around the market, see some delicious cherries or meat or cheese, take it back to the restaurant and create whatever I want. I change the menu a few times a week now. I like to pay attention to what's in season and incorporate that into whatever I'm making. I'm also trying to pay attention to what people in the neighborhood would like to see.
What's your favorite thing to order at The Onyx?My favorite things are the fish and plantain taco. I eat them everyday!
Thanks for talking with me Elizabeth! And reader's be sure to like The Onyx on Facebook for daily updates on specials and events! And stop over at Desirous of Everything and say hello! I'd love to meet you.