The team behind Van Leeuwen, the successful mini artisan ice cream empire, is expanding beyond its usual superb palette of ice cream and pastries by opening a Balinese restaurant. Called Selamat Pagi (which means "good morning" in Balinese), the cozy establishment will open on Driggs Avenue in Greenpoint next week. Co-owner Laura O'Neill is Australian, and has taken many trips to Bali over the years. She tells us this town needs a good Balinese joint.
"You can't get good Balinese food in New York," O'Neill told us in a phone interview today. "You can get Indonesian, but not specifically Balinese, which is sort of a mix between Indian and Thai, but unique." Selamat Pagi, which seats 25, will operate out of the front of the Van Leeuwen office, bakery, and ice creamery near McGolrick Park. The chef here is Sophia Loch, who came to Van Leeuwen by way of OTTO and has been working on their pastry team for the past year.
Starting Thursday (O'Neill hopes!), the restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. On the menu you'll find such items as a breakfast of Banana pancakes with caramelized organic bananas, coconut, palm sugar syrup, and macadamia nuts. For Dinner there could be Beef Rendang, a Balinese-style beef curry with rice and pickled cucumbers, and Nasi Goreng, which O'Neill says is a Balinese fried rice.
In addition to the regular variety of Van Leeuwen ice creams, Selamat Pagi will also offer special ice creams in the Balinese spirit. O'Neill promises a Sticky Black Rice ice cream, a Lemongrass ice cream, and an Avocado Coconut ice cream. Toby's Estate Coffee will handle the caffeine requirements, and all the produce will be locally-sourced and organic, with sustainable seafood and free range meat.
152 Driggs Avenue, Greenpoint // 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. // (718) 701-1630 // Opens Thursday