Williamsburg’s National Sawdust Performance Space Gets Its Very Own Restaurant

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Clams in bacon-coconut broth.
Clams in bacon-coconut broth. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine

A hospitality rider is a set of dressing-room demands made of a venue by a presumably diva-esque performer; perhaps the most famous one stipulated that Van Halen’s snack bowl never be sullied with brown M&M;’s. And although the restaurant inhabiting Williamsburg’s new National Sawdust performance space takes its name from that contractual agreement, chef-owner Patrick Connolly hasn’t organized his menu around the appetites of visiting artists. Instead, he hopes to tempt the dining public with griddled mortadella draped over ricotta toast, beets with blue cheese and crispy quinoa, and clams in bacon-coconut broth. Roughly 65 seats are divided between two floors, with a marble bar downstairs, a wall of windows above, and a bench made of timber salvaged from the building’s former life as an actual sawdust factory.

Here’s a look at the space and some of the food.

Patrick Connolly and his handiwork.
Patrick Connolly and his handiwork. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Black-bass crudo with dill, salmoriglio, garlic chips, and Fresno chiles.
Black-bass crudo with dill, salmoriglio, garlic chips, and Fresno chiles. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Chicken thigh with cashew yogurt, soy-roasted radish, and frico crumble.
Chicken thigh with cashew yogurt, soy-roasted radish, and frico crumble. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Confited chicken wings, topped with seeds and spices and garnished with caramelized fennel and fronds.
Confited chicken wings, topped with seeds and spices and garnished with caramelized fennel and fronds. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Duck with 'nduja-stuffed dates, parsnips, hazelnuts, and pekmez (Turkish fruit-must syrup).
Duck with 'nduja-stuffed dates, parsnips, hazelnuts, and pekmez (Turkish fruit-must syrup). Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
A French dip of beef deckle on bagna-cauda-griddled baguette, served with marrow, horseradish, and black-garlic beef jus.
A French dip of beef deckle on bagna-cauda-griddled baguette, served with marrow, horseradish, and black-garlic beef jus. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Griddled mortadella with whipped ricotta and a purée of sunflower seeds, lemon, and nasturtium leaves.
Griddled mortadella with whipped ricotta and a purée of sunflower seeds, lemon, and nasturtium leaves. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
The first-floor dining room.
The first-floor dining room. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
The Seaward, in progress: gin, kombu, blanc and dry vermouths, and shiro shoyu.
The Seaward, in progress: gin, kombu, blanc and dry vermouths, and shiro shoyu. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Maple custard with pear, chile chiboust, and ginger-oat crumble.
Maple custard with pear, chile chiboust, and ginger-oat crumble. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Shaved beets, blue cheese, and crispy quinoa.
Shaved beets, blue cheese, and crispy quinoa. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
The Synthetic Happiness combines gin, coconut, saffron, lime, and mint.
The Synthetic Happiness combines gin, coconut, saffron, lime, and mint. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine

80 N. 6th St., nr. Wythe Ave., Williamsburg; 718-210-3152

*A version of this article appears in the March 21, 2016 issue of New York Magazine.