Enjoy Booze, Bites and Brunch at Oleanders

Enjoy Booze, Bites and Brunch at Oleanders

Williamsburg has long been synonymous with where people flock to enjoy the places “to be” in Brooklyn. Well, you heard it here, friends—get thee to Oleanders. Located on the lower level of the McCarren Hotel & Pool, Oleanders offers modern takes on classic American dishes amid a welcoming atmosphere.

Food & Drink
Executive Chef Kevin Chojnowski’s menu highlights seasonal flavors and uses local ingredients whenever possible. Marinated olives, gooey goat cheese fondue with market fresh vegetables for dipping and a nutty/spicy almond romesco with crispy chicken skin chips (yes, you read that right—yum) are meant for sharing before your meal, but it’s completely okay to hoard them for yourself. Warm, filling polenta topped with tender cider-braised short ribs are perfect comfort foods for those cooler spring nights, while the juicy bone marrow cheeseburger holds a promise of better weather to come. Seafood fans should definitely try the scallops and mussels; both beautifully plated and awaiting eager diners.

Sticky toffee pudding is served still warm so that the vanilla ice cream melts a bit, coating everything with a layer of cool, creamy deliciousness. Also try the chocolate pudding with fried banana fritters. The sweet of the pudding combined with the savory of the panko and cinnamon-breaded bananas works so, so well.

Oleanders cocktail list, under Beverage Manager Francis Verrall, has something for every palate. If you fancy bourbon as I do, I recommend the Old Oscar. This is made with a smooth blend Old Forester bourbon with bitters, including those from Aztec chocolate and Ancho Reyes (contributing just a touch of chili spice). If you’re in the mood for a boozy brunch, Oleanders serves up some mean mimosas and your choice of Bloody Mary on the weekend. Pair those with any of the tasty items offered on the menu and you’ll be all set to get your morning or afternoon off to a great start.

Atmosphere & Additional Offerings 

One of my favorite things about Oleanders is the ambiance. There is plenty of room at the copper-clad bar to hang out, or gather around a cozy table to share some laughs with friends or colleagues (even if you refuse to share your appetizers). Designed by Heather Mahoney at Definition:Design, Oleanders features comfy banquettes, beautiful Tiffany chandeliers and a funky checkerboard floor. And the artwork is adorable! There are portraits of animals everywhere (from Yago Partal’s “Zoo Portraits” series), but these animals are wearing sweaters, glasses, headphones and the like. They are the cutest little hipsters in all of Brooklyn.

When the weather warms up and McCarren’s pool opens, patrons will be able to enjoy tasty summer fare poolside. Also available for folks who like to take in the sites while they hangout and imbibe is the Rooftop Bar, with music and a perfect view of the Manhattan skyline.

Oleanders is open for dinner on Tuesday thro Sunday, 5 to 11 p.m., as well as brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come for the menu, stay for the good vibes and repeat as often as you like.

Top photo courtesy Kimberly Mufferi Photography.

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