"To have two dreams come true in one lifetime is pretty cool," says Ilene Rosen, chef and, with Sarah Dima, co-owner of 606 R&D. (Rosen's the R, Dima's the D.) The bar-restaurant-café-doughnut shop opened just a few weeks ago in Prospect Heights.
Plenty of eateries wear multiple hats, but 606 is very much all of those things. In the morning, there's coffee and a state-of-the-art doughnut machine (you may've heard about their Kickstarter campaign to fund it). There's a full liquor license, cocktails developed by consultant Randy Gibson, with beer (Kelso, Keegan Ales), wine (Gotham Project Cab Franc/Merlot and Chardonnay), and Kombucha (!) on tap. The menu is straightforward but enticing, items like bacon-horseradish sandwiches dubbed "Horse and Pig" and ricotta-smothered grilled doughnuts. It's American in character but as such draws from everywhere; on our visit, an uni toast shared space on the specials board with brisket and with burrata.
"It's a lot of ambition for a small place," Rosen laughs.
She spent 15 years at Manhattan's beloved City Bakery, where she met Dima, who was working as the general manager. "I grew up in Brooklyn, and I knew I wanted to move back." The two found their neighborhood of choice—Prospect Heights, with "everything always pointing back to" the burgeoning restaurant row of Vanderbilt Avenue. Their cozy storefront is deeper than it looks, with an open kitchen and a garden out back "that we'll finish up before it gets warm." The space is full of homey touches, a market-restaurant where some products are indeed sold retail. Crates of apples and old-fashioned seltzer bottles sit under the chalkboard specials menu, burlap sacks draped up front; flickering candles sit on tables, flames from the kitchen occasionally bathing the room in light. "We left as much open as we could," said Rosen, "and I love the high ceilings. It doesn't feel cramped."
Take a look at the sweets, savories, and drinks of 606 R&D's dinner menu (with some items crossing over to brunch, as well).