Marc Vidal of Boqueria's Favorite Bushwick Restaurants
When Marc Vidal moved to New York in 2010 to lead the kitchen of Bouqeria—the newest location is opening on the Upper East Side—everyone told him he had to live in Manhattan. While he landed in Soho, Vidal spent all his spare time in Brooklyn. The Spanish chef eventually made the jump across the East River within a year and now calls Bushwick home. Now he's surrounded by friends, other chefs and some of his favorite restaurants. Here are Vidal's neighborhood picks in Bushwick.
Go-to spot: Roberta's is my go-to spot. The pizza is good but it's not the only thing I will go for. I went to Blanca last week. I'd love to go every day but you can't. It was one of the best meals. The simplicity of it was good. They use so little ingredients. I remember this eggplant that was burned than pureed. I don't remember what it was served with but it was amazing. I think the chef is amazing.
Bar: Featherweight opened three months ago and nobody in the neighborhood knows about it yet. I went to Sweet Science one day and found this speakeasy bar next door. You would not expect to have a bar like this in the neighborhood. I like gin, but all the drinks are really good. Let the bartender guide you. It never disappoints.
Brunch: I always go to brunch at Fitzcarraldo. It is in an artist building where lots of different artists were doing classes there. The building closed, but the restaurant is still open. The food and the space is beautiful. Apparently, it's inspired by the movie. It has big windows that look out on to Morgan Avenue, and the young chef is doing Italian-inspired food.
Vietnamese: I went in February when they opened. Bun-Ker has these crepes called banh xeo. Those are amazing. I like the idea of mixing herbs with the fried stuff. It's something we don't see in Spain. I really like the lemonade with the basil seeds. Last time I went I had a green curry that was really good. Coconut braised pork ribs. Those ones were amazing.
Tacos: Tortilleria Los Hermanos is next to the Jefferson stop by Northeast Kingdom. It's a factory of tortillas and there's a little spot where they make their tortillas. They are super cheap and accessible. They have tacos with chorizo, chicken...I always get three different tacos with a Mexican Coca Cola and that's it. I always bike to this place. Easy, fast, and cheap.
Doughnuts: Dun-Well Doughnuts are probably the best doughnuts in the neighborhood—and they're vegan. Even if it's "weird" to eat a vegan doughnut, they are so good. I always get chocolate doughnuts, but the cinnamon are amazing. They have so many flavors you can get a different one each time. They have great coffee, too.
Coffee: Right before I get on the train, I go to Cup. It's not cheap, but it's good.
They make strong coffee. I'm an espresso person, but no one drinks it before getting on the train. I just get a cup of American coffee.
Date: Dear Bushwick is good for a first date. It's small and nice. The food isn't complicated. You can have a conversation there and hear the other person.