Calyer, a gem of a restaurant located in a sweet spot of hipster Greenpoint next to our beloved Diamond Bar, was doing fine since debuting toward the tail end of 2011. The location was ideal, the stylish interior seemed perfect for the increasingly picky neighbors, and Gabriel Moya (late of Falai and the Modern) seemed to be winning them over with his Latin American inspired menu—Eater deemed it "fussy," but the Times praised the "exceptionally inexpensive" fare. Nevertheless, Moya left to work on a new project, and the restaurant had the good luck to bring in chef Nathan Foot, formerly of Northern Spy.
Calyer's savvy owner Blair Papagni and her husband are currently in command of a Williamsburg-Greenpoint empire of sorts, with the southern comfort hangover haven Jimmy's Diner, the rustic-gourmet Anella, St. Vitus bar, and the elegant Bellwether. Calyer is probably most similar to the latter, and it seems to be working for them; Papagni recently invited us to check out the new menu on a Friday night, and the dimly-lit room was packed at 10 p.m., with a vibe more like a private party than a public restaurant. It's worth the wait—everything we tried was tasty, but the highlight was the perfectly grilled and succulent Charred Octopus, served with runner bean and cubanel peppers, chimichurri ($16). The Kale and bread salad, served with a 6 minute egg on top with clothebound cheddar and lemon vinaigrette ($11) is also outstanding.
Chef Foot, who resides in Greenpoint near the restaurant, will change the menu often to go with the seasons, and tells us Calyer will eventually be offering nose to tail dinners as well as special collaborations with nearby Brooklyn Brewery. Here's the current menu. And Calyer was just named in the new Michelin Guide as one of their recommended "Bib Gourmand" restaurants where you can get two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included).
92 Calyer Street, Brooklyn // (347) 889-6323