At the start of 2019, Patch reported that Greenpoint earned a slot on “NYC Neighborhoods to Watch” list, a grouping of areas slated to get a lot more “shiny new things” in the coming year. One of the new editions to the neighborhood will be Madre, a swanky new restaurant offering an international array of flavors just a few blocks from the East River.
Madre, opening tonight, is located within the Franklin Guesthouse, a boutique hotel opened in 2016 by the team behind the Henry Norman Hotel and the Box House Hotel, both of which are also in the neighborhood. It’s not Franklin Guesthouse’s first culinary venture; it was previously home to BarGlory, a restaurant and bar that served curry, summer rolls, and other southeast and central Asian bites. But BarGlory was owned by an outside team, whereas Madre is operated by Franklin Guesthouse’s owners.
The menu at Madre is decidedly upscale, but will likely have something for most people’s tastes, and there are even a few meatless options. Executive chef Bryan Noury is no stranger to hotel-based eateries, having served as executive chef for La Piscine, the poolside restaurant atop Chelsea’s Hotel Americano, prior to Madre.
Expect French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and American flavors in the form of options like ham and manchego croquettes, branzino with grapes and fennel, eggplant agnolotti with ricotta and sesame tahini, and a charred octopus with romesco, green chorizo, and corn. The dessert selection is fairly summery: think strawberry shortcakes, fresh sorbets, and chilly affogato.
Though the flavors are international, the focus will be on locally-sourced items—Madre’s general manager Stephen Dougherty told the Greenpoint Post that their salad will feature produce from the nearby McGolrick Park farmer’s market and the menu may change week-by-week depending on what items are in season. And yes, there will be ramps, at least for now.
And if you’re thirsty, fret not—Jason Kahn, head bartender, has whipped up an array of items to imbibe, including a mezcal cocktail with apricot, Campari, cinnamon, and habanero, and a take on a Tom Collins made with lemongrass. There are three mocktails as well, made with Seedlip, a non-alcoholic spirit derived from herbs and vegetables.
It’s no coincidence that Madre and its home-base hotel are so close to the water; a press release states the restaurant seeks to appeal to “locals and visitors alike,” and nowadays many of these locals are taking up residence in swanky condos along the Greenpoint waterfront. According to Curbed, there are at least 19 development projects in progress in the neighborhood, the vast majority of which lie along the river.
These buildings are generally the tall, high-end kind; The Greenpoint, a tower on India Street, stands 40 stories high and spans an entire block. Last summer, the New York Times reported on a new 30-story building to crop up in the area, the latest edition in the Greenpoint Landing project, which plans to turn 22 waterfront acres into 10 buildings encompassing 5,500 units throughout the next decade. And in January, 6sqft noted that permits were filed for a new 14-story residential development slated to include two towers and 86 parking spaces.
Residents of these units who seek to sip on a fancy cocktail or enjoy a $39 ribeye cap need only stroll a few short blocks to reach Madre.
Madre, located within Franklin Guesthouse at 214 Franklin Street in Greenpoint, will be open for dinner Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays, 5:30 pm to late. See the dinner menu here.