As dining critic for The New York Times, Sam Sifton is expected to risk life and limb in search of that certain bold taste; that convergence of senses that adds new contour to a meal; that creative verve for the art of food that outpaces the old guard in brash, exciting ways. And in tomorrow’s review, Sam Sifton goes to a restaurant called Anella, in a place he likens to the end of the earth: Greenpoint, oh brave new world that has such people in it!
This edge of Brooklyn just flummoxes him.
ANELLA is an intimate little art house of a restaurant on a block in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, that might be a rough part of Paris or an old part of Boston, some forgotten corner of a city that can reach back into the 19th century for building stock and scale. The wind whips in off the East River there sharp as razors, and old women squabble in Polish on the street. You will need your adventure boots to get there, perhaps.
Polish people, odd-curved corners, and wind-swept river-flanked streets — we’ll need adventure boots indeed! Once ensconced in Anella our intrepid explorer relays, Marco Polo-style, the oddities spread out before him: “Beards and cardigans.” “Vintage dresses, heavy clogs.” “A worn A.T.M. in the back.”
The description of food tilts toward the absurd. The bread: “the work of a hippie mom in advance of a performance of madrigals.” The yams: “Of the earth and the sky, not marshmallows and despair.” The atmosphere: “pleasantly hipsterish.”
And on the entire effect: “Anella is a decent place to discover the nexus of geography and emotion.”
Good, we were looking for that nexus!
“We are all in this maze together,” Sifton reassures those of us making the trip to scary, awful Brooklyn for the first time.
But Sifton dug the place, even urging the sheltered masses to follow in his footsteps and make the trek.
“Annoyingly, it takes no credit cards,” he concludes. “But [Chef Joseph] Ogrodnek does his level best to make your trip worthwhile. Taxi!”
Taxi? Is it so awful to take the subway? All you have to do is take the G line to… wait the G? On second thought, maybe we’ll take a cab.