First Look at Freek’s Mill, a Seasonal-Small-Plates Joint in Gowanus

By
Dry-aged duck with refried cranberry beans and rosemary honey.
Dry-aged duck with refried cranberry beans and rosemary honey. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine

J. T. Stewart and Maxime Giordani named their new Brooklyn restaurant after an actual 18th-century mill that operated along the Gowanus, back when it was an oyster-rich creek instead of a toxic canal. The partners are veterans of Casa Mono and Bar Jamón, and their new venture, slated to open April 8, nods to all the hippest dining trends: seasonal small plates, bread-and-butter charge, vegetable mania, wood-fired oven, no-tipping policy, craft cocktails (there’s even one served at room temperature).

Chef Chad Shaner previously cooked at Union Square Cafe and BLT Prime, and here he riffs on eclectic bistro fare with dishes like BBQ kohlrabi with grits and mustard greens, dry-aged duck with refried cranberry beans, and rabbit in a jar. The offbeat wine list fetishizes Loire Chenin Blanc on the white side and Beaujolais on the red, while making space for sherry, Champagne, and the clay-vessel-aged, proto-natural “amber” wines of the Republic of Georgia. Here’s a look at the space and some of the food.

A spare and simple room, with bare bulbs and exposed brick.
A spare and simple room, with bare bulbs and exposed brick. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Like nearby Runner & Stone, Freek’s Mill takes inspiration from the area’s historic grist mills.
Like nearby Runner & Stone, Freek’s Mill takes inspiration from the area’s historic grist mills. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
The partners, from left: general manager Maxime Giordani, wine director Alex Alan, chef Chad Shaner, and owner J. T. Stewart.
The partners, from left: general manager Maxime Giordani, wine director Alex Alan, chef Chad Shaner, and owner J. T. Stewart. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
BBQ kohlrabi with grits and mustard greens.
BBQ kohlrabi with grits and mustard greens. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Carrots with yogurt and peanut dukka.
Carrots with yogurt and peanut dukka. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Charred radicchio with stracciatella and candied walnuts.
Charred radicchio with stracciatella and candied walnuts. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
The house Negroni, made with Perry’s Tot gin, Campari, and Cocchi Vermouth di Torino.
The house Negroni, made with Perry’s Tot gin, Campari, and Cocchi Vermouth di Torino. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Radishes and Teleme cheese on pumpernickel.
Radishes and Teleme cheese on pumpernickel. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Spring Mill, a gin drink with white vermouth and calamansi.
Spring Mill, a gin drink with white vermouth and calamansi. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Striped bass crudo with sea beans and spring onion.
Striped bass crudo with sea beans and spring onion. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
The wood-burning oven and kitchen counter.
The wood-burning oven and kitchen counter. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine


285 Nevins St., at Sackett St., Gowanus; 718-852-3000

*A version of this article appears in the April 4, 2016 issue of New York Magazine.

A New Seasonal-Small-Plates Joint in Gowanus