Grand Army — the bar from bartender Damon Boelte, Rucola's Julian Brizzi, Mile End's Noah Bernamoff, and food photographer Daniel Krieger — is all dressed up and almost ready to go in Boerum Hill. The couple of Instagrams that have surfaced in the past day are from friends stopping by for recipe testing. But the team hopes to get doors open soon, says Bernamoff. They are just waiting on a "letter of no objection," from the Department of Buildings, which they need to actually pick up their liquor license. The letter unfortunately has been slow-coming, which Bernamoff blames on a massive raid of the DOB that resulted in the arrest of 16 inspectors.
When the bar does open, Jon Bignelli, who logged six years in the kitchen at wd~50 and worked as the executive at Alder for the past two years, will helm the kitchen. But, don't expect modernist fare. "It's a comfortable neighborhood" place, explains Bernamoff with a menu focused on seafood and vegetables, and a raw bar with six or so varieties of east coast oysters, clams, west coast uni, and scallops. The plated dish lineup includes cured, pickled, and smoked fish, some of which will come as toasts made with bread from Andrew Tarlow's She Wolf Bakery. There will also be a beef tartare, an American country ham plate, a bread plate with a few different butters, and a few salads. In a nod to the bar's namesake, Bignelli hopes to buy much of the bar's produce from Grand Army's farmers market.
Master barman Boelte's drink menu is almost ready as well. The cocktails, which will have a slight bent towards rum and gin, are inspired by old train lines around the country, like ones through New Mexico and Alaska. Boelte's menus should be available next week, so check back then.