While we’re never eager to see the far side of spring, it’s hard not to get excited about the prospect of summer being just around the bend. And Memorial Day (make that weekend) marks the unofficial start of barbecuing, beachcombing, and fruity, frozen drinks; so get primed for the season at the following summer-courting spots!
Blue Ribbon Kanpai Garden: The Blue Ribbon crew’s al fresco Japanese beer garden (located atop the 60 LES Hotel) has loads of East meets West appeal; featuring board games and ping pong, communal tables surrounded by buddhas and bamboo. Lest we forget the food & drink, which includes frozen Kirin Ichiban and yuzu popsicles, and Asian interpretations of all-American eats, such as Togarashi Pork Rinds, Sansho Popcorn, Oxtail Onigiri and Grilled Corn with miso butter.
190 Allen St., (212) 466-0404
Maison Premiere: They may have lost Executive chef Damon Wise, but that’s not keeping Brooklyn’s premiere absinthe and oyster bar from throwing their annual Memorial Day party; and ushering in summer with live jazz, cocktails like the “Stevedore’s Pride” with Blue’s Cat, pineapple, plaintains and rum, and barbecue specials from 12pm-2am.
298 Bedford Ave, (347) 335-0446
Root & Bone: The Doughnut Project is at it again; engaging in a Memorial Day weekend-only collaboration with the East Village’s down home Root & Bone. Inspired by their menu of Southern comfort classics, the out-of-the-box pastry shop has come up with the Maple Bourbon Tabasco Glazed Doughnut, which will be available as-is from Saturday through Monday at the Doughnut Project, or found cradling a Fried Chicken Sandwich at Root & Bone.
200 E 3rd St, (646) 682-7076
Feltman’s/Kitchen 21: Crowds reliably descend on Coney for the Mermaid Parade and the Fourth of July, but it only makes sense to kick off beach season with a Memorial Day pilgrimage as well. Especially considering the boardwalk’s recent resurgence, due to the return of Feltman’s (Brooklyn’s original hot dog purveyor), which will offer free, all-beef sausages to its first 150 visitors, as well as the brand new culinary complex, Kitchen 21 — a five concept food hall, occupying the landmarked, former Childs building, and featuring a clam bar, a test kitchen and a roof deck, overhanging the Atlantic.
1000 Surf Ave., (646) 337-6755
3052 W 21st St, (718) 954-9801
The Great Brooklyn Grill-Out: Get your barbecue on a couple of days early at this annual Saturday soiree; an all-inclusive, outdoor smorgasbord comprised of numerous grilling stations manned by celebrity chefs (look for ribs, tacos, grilled cheese and porchetta, from Sara Jenkins’ Porsena), as well as a hot sauce pavilion, a cider selection, and loads of craft beers.
1 University Plaza at The Food Sciences Academy of Long Island University
Pig Beach: Back from its winter hiatus (when it transformed into the indoor refuge, Pig Beach Burger), Gowanus’ super-sized BBQ joint will officially open five days a week starting Memorial Day; bringing back its full menu of pork shoulder, red hot sausage, hatch vinegar wings and pit master devilled eggs, from the all-star crew of Ed McFarland, Shane McBride and Matt Abdoo.
480 Union St., (718) 737-7181