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The Early Word on Gowanus Newcomer Runner & Stone

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Daniel Krieger

Smorgasburg vets Chris Pizzulli and Peter Endriss opened their ambitious bakery and restaurant Runner & Stone in Gowanus a couple of weeks ago. It's an all-day affair, with former Per Se and Bouchon baker Endriss pumping out some serious baked goods that provide the foundation for the breakfast options, while Blue Ribbon vet Pizzulli runs the savory show. So far, people seem to be taken with the concept. Here's the early word.

The Good News: The Yelp reviews are overwhelmingly positive so far, including this one that is particularly smitten with the design: "Nice two-story space, modern yet not cold and quite inviting. A few tables by the windows, stools at the bar, and tables in a long row in the rest of the space. Airy and since the baking is done on premises, the faint smell of baked goods throughout the day. Already goes in my best of the Gowanus list!" [Yelp]

The Mixed News: Here's a Foursquare tip: "Fantastic bread/soup. Extremely well cooked steak, pear tiramisu amazing. A lot of modernist techniques without being in your face about it. The spaghetti sucks, noodles are like ramen and undersalted." [Foursquare]

The Amazing News: From the Eater Tipline: "Next door to my daughters pre-school. Probably the best baguette outside of france - the hole structure and flavor are amazing. Croissant may not be the best I've had, but it's damned good. Haven't had any savory food yet though, but very promising." [Eater Tipline]

The Less Good News: Another Yelper doesn't quite agree with her peers: "I went for lunch with my friend and we ordered the chicken cacciatore sandwich, turkey confit salad, the soup of the day which was white bean with escarole and a red pepper puree, and two coffees + tip = $39. The sandwich I was particularly excited for to see how chicken cacciatore would be interpreted into a sandwich, however, it was a basic chicken sandwich, bland, and was a bit on the small side. The salad while lacking in presentation, sort of looked like salads you make at home was actually really flavorful and tasty. The soup was a bit cold which wasn't helped by the cold temperature of the red pepper puree. It was a bit thick and lacked flavor." [Yelp]

The Locally Sourced? News: A commenter on Grub Street loved the restaurant but has questions about where the food comes from: "Food is excellent, service is good and the prices are amazing. My only other comment is that they should use more locally sourced food." [Grub Street Comments]

The Perfect News: From the Eater Comments: "I went there yesterday. The homemade white bean soup had a lot of flavor. I loved the puréed carrots and the spicy tomato sauce that came on the side. Their baguettes had the perfect crunch and texture. I cannot wait to tryout their dinner menu. Plus, they serve my favorite whiskey 'Widow Jane'!" [Eater Comments]

The Accommodating News: In a long review of a meal there, a Chowhound poster was seated in an area she calls "Siberia," but the Runner & Stone manager moved her two-top and comped drinks when they complained: "Considering this was only their second night open the kitchen ran smoothly and wait staff already seemed as if they were on the floor for years not days. Impressive! The manager apologized to us yet again before we left and my husband walked out saying he enjoyed his meal and dining experience and would return soon. That is saying something since often when a meal starts out poorly the whole experience is tainted. Not so at Stone & Runner. Try it, I think you will be pleased!" [Chowhound]

The Incredible News: Another Eater Commenter also loved the design, as well as their meal: "Gorgeous restaurant - architects made walls of cinder blocks created from bags of flour. Everywhere that you can sit is a lovely, intimate space. The homemade pasta with mushrooms was incredible. As was the rye bread that started our meal - these are clearly serious bakers. Highly recommend." [Eater Comments]
· All Coverage of Runner & Stone [~ENY~]

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