The classic-cocktail movement has yet to make many inroads into Williamsburg, that hipster nexus where PBR and its ilk remain the sentimentally ironic quaff of choice. Sensing a void, and eager to deploy the mixology skills she honed at Hearth and Blue Smoke, Stephanie Schneider seeks to raise the neighborhood’s mixed-drink-and-small-plate standards at the just-opened Huckleberry Bar. Schneider and her partner, Andrew Boggs, are both seasoned veterans of Danny Meyer Enterprises, so it’s no wonder their speech is peppered with gastro-cultural signifiers like “seasonal,” “high-quality ingredients,” and “hospitality-driven.”
Apply those buzzwords to an ambitious, high-minded bar, and you end up with house-made grenadine in your Agave Sunrise, fennel marmalade on your homemade English muffin, and red and yellow beets pickled in gin and plated with Stilton and walnuts. A distinct southern accent is evident in chef Seth Johnson’s boiled peanuts and hard-boiled eggs garnished with red-eye gravy or Winston-Salem hot sauce. The obligatory meat-and-cheese plates are on offer, too, as are desserts like chocolate cooked cream with huckleberry jam, and the plan is to keep the kitchen open late into the night. Classic and seasonal cocktails may take center stage, but the owners claim as much pride in their carefully selected wines and beers and invite you to enjoy them, as long as this temperate weather holds, in the serene garden out back. —Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld
Huckleberry Bar, 588 Grand St., nr. Lorimer St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-218-8555.