Credit the stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and all the building renovations: Dumbo is becoming a dining destination. Finally, the River Café has company.
The anchor for much of the development is Empire Stores, a retail, food and office complex in a renovated mid-19th-century brick warehouse on the waterfront. Cecconi’s, an elegant London import owned by Soho House, VHH Foods by Vinegar Hill House and Smile to Go are among the recent openings in the development, with Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill next on the list. Sugarcane, which has locations in Miami and Las Vegas, will serve globally inspired small plates from a grill, a raw and cold seafood station, and a traditional kitchen; Timon Balloo, a partner and chef, is in charge of it all. There’ll be 300 seats and a generous outdoor terrace with river views.
A few blocks east, Celestine, an Eastern Mediterranean restaurant, will rely on a team of experienced restaurateurs: Julian Brizzi of Rucola and Grand Army, Noah Bernamoff of Mile End, and Joe Campanale, formerly of L’Artusi. The chef, Garett McMahan, who cooked at the Harrison and Perilla, will have a wood-burning grill for flatbreads and whole fish. The restaurant will be fairly intimate, with 65 seats inside, and a sweeping view of the East River.
At the Randolph Beer outposts in NoLIta and Williamsburg, the beer lists run deep, but none of the brews are made in-house. This new 5,500-square-foot brewpub is a game-changer for its owner, the Randolph Group: It will have a full brewery to produce at least six beers on the premises. Raw-bar fare and comfort food like grilled shrimp tacos, pulled chicken empanadas, and pretzels with house-made beer cheese will be served in a no-frills industrial space with communal seating. Customers will be able to serve themselves from a wall of taps.
Brooklyn Bridge Park is just a short walk from Dumbo’s border. There, the yet-unnamed restaurant in the 1 Hotel has been in the works for well over a year, and it was supposed to have the chef Seamus Mullen on board. He pulled out, and now the restaurateur Matt Abramcyk, with the chef Michael Oliver, who has worked at Andrew Carmellini’s restaurants, will create American menus with a vegetable focus for the dining room, which will have spacious outdoor seating.