By Chef Brad Willits


 Chef Brad Willits | Photograph courtesy of Camperdown Elm

Chef Brad Willits | Photograph courtesy of Camperdown Elm

About Brad Willits

Brad Willits is the chef of Camperdown Elm in Brooklyn. The restaurant is located in the former Thistle Hill Tavern space and named after the historic elm tree in Prospect Park. Before joining the opening team here, he was the executive sous chef at the one-Michelin starred Agern, and the chef de cuisine at Lupulo and one-Michelin starred Aldea in Manhattan.


 Photograph courtesy of Camperdown Elm

Photograph courtesy of Camperdown Elm

Camperdown Elm

Our goal is to make you feel at home when you're here. The restaurant uses a lot of reclaimed wood that my business partner and I sanded and finished. The bar and the kitchen pass-through window are made from wood taken from the Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg.

 Squid Cracker with Mackerel Paté and Benne Seed | Photograph courtesy of Camperdown Elm

Squid Cracker with Mackerel Paté and Benne Seed | Photograph courtesy of Camperdown Elm

As for the food, we don't try to manipulate it too much. We buy amazing ingredients and treat them with respect. One of my favorite things on the menu is the Squid Cracker with Mackerel Paté and Benne Seed. We crush it with a bunch of lime zest and benne seeds. It is super tasty.

41 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215
T: 347.294.4786
www.camperdownelm.com


Chef Brad Willits' Williamsburg Guide

During the summer, Brooklyn is my favorite place to be in the world. No matter what time of day, there is always something happening -- you'll find food with loud music on the patio or amazing cocktails with art. I don't want to sound like a Manhattan hater, but I think that Brooklyn is the new Manhattan for food and culture. Brooklyn is the place to be.

MORNING | Coffee

 New Orleans Style Iced Coffee from Blue Bottle | Photo Credit: ©Find. Eat. Drink.

New Orleans Style Iced Coffee from Blue Bottle | Photo Credit: ©Find. Eat. Drink.

Blue Bottle Coffee

I really love coming here for coffee. I recommend their iced coffee which is cold brew with maple and chicory. It is super delicious.

160 Berry Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249
T: 510.653.3394

www.bluebottlecoffee.com/cafes/berry-st

MORNING | Breakfast

 Photograph courtesy of Sunday in Brooklyn

Photograph courtesy of Sunday in Brooklyn

Sunday in Brooklyn

A very good buddy of mine, Jaimie Young, is the chef / owner. Everything is really good here, but I love the Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich. It's on a house-made bun with house-made sausage, scrambled eggs, cheese and crispy shoe string potatoes. It’s damn good.

348 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249
T: 347.222.6722
www.sundayinbrooklyn.com

SHOPPING | Farmers Markets

Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket

Working in the city I got spoiled by the Union Square Greenmarket. It's the best in the city, so I make the trip here on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. There is really no substitute for this market. However I hit up he Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket on many Saturdays.

Saturdays: 8am - 4pm
Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238
www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/brooklyn-grand-army-plaza

Bartel-Pritchard Square Sunday Market

This market is right next to Prospect Park and they have amazing berries and summer fruits. The cherries are dynamite.

Sundays: 8am - 3pm
Prospect Park West at 15th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11238

RESTAURANTS | Lunch

 Photographs courtesy of Emmy Squared

Photographs courtesy of Emmy Squared

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Emmy Squared

This is an amazing pizza joint. They aren't serving traditional New York pizza and their burgers kick ass too.

364 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
T: 718.360.4535
www.emmysquaredbk.com

 Photograph courtesy of Xi'an Famous Foods

Photograph courtesy of Xi'an Famous Foods

Xi'an Famous Foods

All I can say is, it is soooo good.

48 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222
T: 212.786.2068
www.xianfoods.com

AFTERNOON | Sweets

 Photograph courtesy of OddFellows

Photograph courtesy of OddFellows

OddFellows Ice Cream Co.

They do a lot of savory ingredient ice creams, as well as classic flavors. They also make their own waffle cones dipped in chocolate.

175 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249
www.oddfellowsnyc.com

RESTAURANTS | Dinner

 Photograph courtesy of Olmsted

Photograph courtesy of Olmsted

Olmsted 

Delicious food and wine with an amazing backyard. The food is very seasonal.

659 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238
T: 718.552.2610
www.olmstednyc.com

Four Horsemen

If you like wine, this is your place. It's affordable, delicious, and it will not let you down. This is a wine bar with a great menu. The crispy potatoes (patatas bravas) are amazing -- it might be one of my favorite foods. I also love the crudos.

95 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
T: 718.599.4900
www.fourhorsemenbk.com


LATE NIGHT

 Photograph courtesy of Double Windsor

Photograph courtesy of Double Windsor

Double Windsor

This is a beer bar where the menu is always changing. They have great bar snacks, but I love the steak frites. And there is nothing better than their homemade French fries with mayo.

Open until 2am, 4am on weekends
210 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215
T: 347.725.3479
www.doublewindsorbklyn.com

 Photograph courtesy of Extra Fancy

Photograph courtesy of Extra Fancy

 Photograph courtesy of Extra Fancy

Photograph courtesy of Extra Fancy

Extra Fancy 

This is a great place for oysters, burgers, and pimento cheese.

302 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
T: 347.422.0939
www.extrafancybklyn.com

MUSIC VENUES

 Photograph courtesy of Brooklyn Bowl

Photograph courtesy of Brooklyn Bowl

If you're in Brooklyn and love music, there are plenty of places to check out because there is always someone awesome playing somewhere. Here are three I recommend.

Brooklyn Bowl

61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249
T: 718.963.3369

www.brooklynbowl.com

Music Hall of Williamsburg

66 N 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
T: 718.486.5400
www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com

 

Saint Vitus Bar

1120 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222
www.saintvitusbar.com


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