Madonna at Antica Pesa, Julian Casablancas at Tørst: Williamsburg and Greenpoint’s Celebrity Heat Map
Last week, SXSW began and the resulting exodus from Brooklyn for warmer climates, made nightlife in NY seem a little slow, right? Not too many costume parties, must-see shows or reasons to stand out in the cold were happening. But, where were you this weekend when Madonna and her break dancers cast aside their plates of guancetta and bowls of tortellini al formaggio for an impassioned performance of Music, turning Antica Pesa’s rustic Roman floors into a dance floor?
Did you think to check Julian Casablancas’ Twitter on Sunday? Probably not. But if you had you would’ve seen this. You could have pestered him over a frothy Tørst brew about the new Strokes album, even buying him a pint with the promise that the album would be 1/10th as good as Is This It. North Brooklyn is overflowing with self-important people — and not just Lena Dunham filming Girls — but what about when you want to see the REALLY important people? These four places are on the celebrity heat map in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, and if creeping on celebrities is your game, you may need some hobbies, but be our guest, stalker!
Cringe levels were at an intolerable high upon learning that Brooklyn had been “gooped” by the insufferable Gwyneth Paltrow, for her weekly newsletter. Per Paltrow, Isa’s simple but effective menu and décor are “very cool”, but this is not surprising, as owner Taavo Summer is also responsible for “very cool Freeman and Peels in the city”. Ignoring Paltrow’s poor analogies and reference to Manhattan as “the city”, I will still take the advice of both a friend of Madonna’s and a fellow celebrity when trying to spot other celebrities. Hang around the rustic eatery and dig into the popular grilled skirt steak or Tuscan kale salad while keeping an eye on that sunglasses-wearing figure near the wood-burning stove. She also gives some love to Rye, Parish Hall, Marlow & Sons, and Blanca.
348 Wythe Ave.
New York, NY 11211
Celebrity-owned restaurants can only lead to further celebrity diners, right? The late Heath Ledger’s hot spot is the most coveted café to brunch at, and anyone interested in black coffee and a quick meal should keep it moving to Dunkin’ Donuts. A petition to confine weekend boozy brunching on Bedford to strictly indoors was rejected by Mayor Markowitz himself, equating a sidewalk lunch with the time-honored tradition of sitting on one’s stoop. Savor that mimosa and take another hearty bite of let the maple syrup of your irresistible ricotta pancakes, and savor in the fact that all passerby’s will now be forced to overhear the sordid details of your Friday night hook up.
18 Bedford Ave., Greenpoint
Brooklyn, NY 11222
The omnipotent pizza slinger falls outside of the Greenpoint Williamsburg umbrella, but who is going to argue with traveling to a Bushwick joint that the likes of President Clinton and co. honored a top Democratic donor at this past summer? The cozy, communal wooden tables are a perfect pedestal to place the work of art that is a Roberta’s pie. Truly Italian toppings from fiore sardo to speck pair well with veggies grown from Roberta’s own garden, and top crisp dough covered in air bubbles begging to be popped. Make like the Clintons, and bite into a president-approved pie, inhale some orecchietti, or identify whatever Gloria Steinem thought worth munching on.
261 Moore Street,
If your weekend wasn’t over before you hit the number 1 steakhouse in NYC and popular purveyor of beef, Peter Luger’s, welcome to your food coma. From the hulking iceberg salad to the endless options of sizzling browned meats, sit back and relax: you’re about to get meat drunk. The traditional oak and white-walled interior gives the restaurant an old world feeling that the restaurant has stuck to its roots since opening, and to rave review. With only two locations, the other in Great Neck, and a cult following the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Deniro and more, there is a good chance that your waiter might also be wheeling out a porterhouse to some of Brooklyn’s meat-loving carnivorous celebrities.