SAUVAGE

905 Lorimer St at Nassau Ave, Greenpoint

The Place: A super lovely, trendy French restaurant/bar that’s run by the same folks as Maison Premiere, right on the Williamsburg-Greenpoint border.

The Time: Saturday September 17, 8:30pm. Guys. I’m at a bar alone in a hip neighborhood on a Saturday night. It’s terrifying. I’ll be up front in admitting that I’m only here by myself because a friend cancelled on me last minute, and instead of turning around and getting back on the G train, I decided to face my fears and go to Sauvage anyway. I’m a strong, independent woman. I can do this!

The Vibe: I’m trying to pump myself up with cool girl energy as I make my way into the bar, until the hostess stops me and asks the dreaded question: “Hi, how many in your party?” After a lengthy pause, I respond awkwardly, “Um, oh, I just wanted to get a drink at the bar, it’s just me.” She has to go and check if there’s room for me at the bar! As I’m contemplating running away from what seems like a dreadful situation, looking around at all the people sitting having dinner outside and all the people sitting having dinner inside, she comes back and leads me in. It’s a really beautiful space, with a marble bar top and a seafoam green back wall. I get to pretend I’m in France, and that takes away the horror of being out alone in what is the trendiest, most crowded part of Brooklyn. Everyone in here, customers and staff, is beautiful and under 35. Since it’s right on the edge of Williamsburg, I sense it’s mostly populated with Williamsburg spill-off, unlike Moonlight Mile, which none of these gorgeous hipsters probably know exists. There’s a super funky photo in the corner of two older people wearing sunglasses. I’ve decided these folks in the photo are now my dates for the evening, and we can all pretend to be French together.

The Drank: Sloe Moon’s Rose, a riff on a Sloe Gin Fizz, with sloe gin (duh), framboise, lime and gin, served over crushed ice. It’s bright pink with a paper swizzle straw, and I feel only slightly ridiculous until I taste it, and feel ridiculous no more because it’s delicious. The menu has a handful of low-proof cocktails like this, and a really interesting list of spirits, i.e. I don’t recognize any of them. I want to ask the bartender what the story is with this.

The Bartender: A very nice woman who’s so busy, I can’t ask her about the photo of the sunglassed people or the spirits list. But she’s helpful in assuaging my fears and assures me that my drink would not be too sweet. She’s right.

Was I Hit On? Luckily I had my notebook on me so I could spend some time writing. After I’m here for a while, a guy sits down next to me, takes out a notebook and he starts writing. Journaling at a bar on a weekend is a weird thing; even weirder for two people who don’t know each other to be doing it side by side. The two guys at the end of the bar notice how strange this is. I see one of them mouth to the other, “is this Improv Everywhere?” and his friend looks around for other people who might also have notebooks. Eventually, Writer Guy breaks the ice and mentions the coincidence, asked with a sly “Excuse me, but I need to know: are you copying me?” He’s nice enough and honestly, I’m grateful for the company. We chat for a while, and as I’m about to leave, he asks if I want to get a drink with him somewhere else. I politely decline; he doesn’t make a fuss and says it was nice talking to me. Civility still exists somewhere in this hate-riddled world.

Should You Drink Here Alone? Oui oui mon cherie. Sauvage was perfectly pleasant on a busy Saturday night for a lady riding solo. Personally, I’d rather come here with a hungry friend to enjoy that yummy looking food that was coming out of the kitchen. But for going out alone on a weekend in this neighborhood? Could’ve been a lot worse.

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THE MOONLIGHT MILE

200 Franklin St nr India St, Greenpoint

The Place: A laid-back and unpretentious whiskey bar nestled in a residential corner of Greenpoint inhabited by people who probably never leave Greenpoint.

The Time: Wednesday August 3, 6:15pm. Hankering a good cocktail and a change of scenery before treating myself to The Color Purple (HOLY SHIT CYNTHIA ERIVO), I headed up to the Moonlight Mile. A peculiar name, but I can get down with weirdos. I really try to spend as little time around Times Square as humanly possible, and Greenpoint is a nice quiet antidote to the tourist mayhem that ensues in midtown.

The Vibe: I’m the only person in the bar when I walk in. Immediately this makes me nervous. But the two bartenders are very friendly and welcoming so I stay. It’s a big open space, with tons of light pouring through the open windows. There’s a lovely cross-breeze happening, which makes me forget I’m indoors. With this breeze and light, it’s just as nice as a rooftop bar, but without all the asshole rooftop bar people. Soon after I get there, it starts to fill up. I kid you not, the bartenders know the names of Every. Single. Person. who walks in this bar. Literally everyone! “Hey Debbie, nice haircut!” “How you doing, Bruce?” “What’ll it be Chris, the usual?” OMG my boyfriend barely notices when I get a haircut, I would LOVE my bartender to compliment my new hairstyle while he makes me “the usual.” Are you fucking kidding, that would be so cool! And what’s more, they all know each other! Everyone either came to the bar alone or with one other person, and yet everyone seems to know everyone else. I’ve determined that Moonlight Mile is the hipster Brooklyn whiskey bar version of Cheers.

The Drank: The Ned Stark – High West rye, allspice, muddled pear, lemon, habanero syrup, shaken over ice. It’s super refreshing, and I’ve never had pear in a cocktail before so points for creativity. They have a great cocktail list, and an expansive whiskey list, heavy on rye and bourbon. They’ve got a bunch of good beers on tap too. Something for everyone! (Unless you exclusively drink vodka, then go to a vodka bar because you must be Russian.)

The Bartender: A really nice chill guy named Asaf. I didn’t catch the other guy’s name, since he was on the other side of the bar. We talked a bit about the industry. He used to work at the Meatball Shop, and he also couldn’t get over the size and color of the grapefruits they got in today. He went to the Panorama music festival with Chris, the guy who was sitting next to me. Now you know basically everything I know about Asaf.

Was I Hit On? No, just had a lovely conversation with Asaf and Chris and Debbie. I asked Bruce how his drink was and he nodded so we had a good rapport going. I couldn’t get any reading done because we were all hanging out and talking. I guess I could’ve extrapolated myself and sat by the window but I was having fun with these folks. Why ruin a good time by reading a book? How dull.

Should You Drink Here Alone? If you wanna chat and meet some new people, absolutely, especially if you live in Greenpoint. Since I don’t live around there, I did feel a bit out of the loop, but everyone was sociable, and didn’t exclude this Williamsburg girl from their club. If you prefer some quiet time to get work done or because you’re sick of talking to people, maybe pick another spot. But the Moonlight Mile is perfect if great whiskey and good conversation is your jam.